Ethan Murphy of Cape Elizabeth comes to a stop while confronted by Hayden Webster, 33, and Zach Leal of York during York's 58-35 victory.
By Tom Chard
PORTLAND - York High has focused this season on strong starts. Thursday night was no exception.
Aaron Todd scored 20 points for the second-seeded Wildcats, who scored the first 10 points and rolled to a 58-35 win over third-seeded Cape Elizabeth in a Western Class B boys' basketball semifinal at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The Wildcats (19-1) will meet top-seeded Falmouth (19-1) in the regional final at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center.
"One of our problems last season was not coming out strong," said Todd. "We've been working on that all season. We did a great job of that against Cape Elizabeth."
Todd, a 6-foot-7 center and one of the 10 semifinalists for Mr. Basketball in Maine, constantly got free inside.
The front line of Todd, 6-6 Adam Bailey and 6-5 Hayden Webster dominated inside.
Webster opened the scoring with two from the line. Todd scored two baskets and Zach Leal followed with the next two.
After a timeout, Cape Elizabeth (14-6) got a 3-pointer from Chris Robicheaw, who scored again to make it 10-5. But York ran off the next eight points.
Todd had three baskets in the first quarter, didn't score in the second, then scored his team's first 10 points of the third.
"We knew Cape Elizabeth was going to double-team at the top of the defense and down low on me," said Todd. "Our guards are good at getting the ball inside. It's been that way all season."
Webster scored 14 points and Leal added 12.
"We've been very well-rounded in our scoring. We have confidence that anyone on the floor can score," said Todd.
York Coach Randy Small said the offense comes off defense.
"We were stingy," said Small. "We were patient on offense and got the ball down low. It was a good game, top to bottom."
Cape knew it would have its hands full.
"We were the clear underdog and knew we were going to have to play our best game," said Coach Jim Ray. "York was very motivated and pounded the ball inside. We needed to swing the ball and make our shots. This was not our best game. All of our games this season were tough. Unlike last season, we were able to win the close games."
Ray said his team competed to the end and did its best to challenge the taller Wildcats. The Capers were just up against one of the best teams in the state.
Robicheaw led the Capers with 13 points.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:
Hayden Webster of York finds room between Eddie Galvin, left, and Chad Peterson of Cape Elizabeth to get a shot off Thursday night during York's 58-35 victory in a Western Class B semifinal.
Rebound time and it's a scramble for the ball. Aaron Todd, left, and Adam Bailey of York tangle with Ethan Murphy of Cape Elizabeth.