Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Telegram
PORTLAND — Jacob Theriault scored 15 points to lead a balanced offense as Mountain Valley beat Spruce Mountain 63-52 in a Western Class B boys' basketball quarterfinal Saturday at the Portland Expo.
Ryan Nichols added 13 points and Adam Volkernick had 10 for the fourth-seeded Falcons (13-6), who will meet top-ranked Falmouth (18-1) in the semifinals at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
"It was a good team effort and everybody contributed," said Theriault.
Mountain Valley took a 6-2 lead, but fifth-seeded Spruce Mountain (14-6) then strung together three consecutive three-point possessions.
Peter Theriault started the roll when he scored a basket and drew a foul. Deonte Ring followed with back-to-back baskets from long distance. The opening quarter ended 13-13.
The Falcons then scored the first nine points of the second quarter for a 22-13 lead. Mountain Valley outscored the Phoenix 14-6 in the quarter and carried a 27-19 lead into the half.
"We have 10 seniors on the team and we wanted to go on a run and try to finish them off," said Jacob Theriault. "I think we let them back a little bit in the third, but we were able to contain the lead."
Spruce Mountain began the third quarter with an 8-2 spurt, but Mountain Valley later went on its own 7-0 run to take a 39-27 lead.
The Phoenix answered with the final seven points of the quarter to close within 39-34.
The deficit could have been reduced even further, but the Phoenix failed to capitalize on opportunities.
"We were playing from behind most of the game and we missed some key free throws that would have cut it to a one-possession game a couple of times," said Spruce Mountain Coach Chris Bessey.
His team was 3 of 9 from the foul line in the third quarter, including three misses in the final 30 seconds.
Spruce Mountain closed within four points twice in the fourth quarter. Each time, the Falcons responded to maintain at least a two-possession distance.
Ring paced Spruce Mountain with 21 points.