Morning Sentinel

BANGOR – Since the fans of the Forest Hills boys basketball team were forbidden from storming the Bangor Auditorium court, Tigers head coach Anthony Amero stormed them.

The echo of the final horn was still in the air when Amero sprinted from the Forest Hills bench across the court, arms in the air. “We did it!” Amero screamed. “We did it!”

Forest Hills outhustled Central Aroostook throughout the entire Class D championship game Saturday afternoon, and despite shooting just 46 percent from the free throw line, and despite seeing its best player, Evan Worster, foul out with just under four minutes left in the game, the Tigers earned a 55-48 win.

It’s the first boys’ basketball title for Forest Hills, which ends the season with a 20-2 record. Central Aroostook, which had never lost a Class D championship game, finished at 17-6.

While Forest Hills was just 16 for 35 at the line, senior Derick Ouellette was 6 for 10 from the line in the fourth quarter, including four free throws in the final minute.

Ouellette was also a key player in Forest Hills’ outstanding defense, drawing the assignment of guarding Steven Decker, Central Aroostook’s 6-foot-4 center, who averaged 24 points per game in the Eastern Maine tournament. Decker scored just eight points, including a desperation 3-pointer in the final minute.

“I just played the best defense of my life. I knew he was a 20 points or more scorer. That was a big assignment, and I knew that I could do it,” Ouellette said.

Another key for Forest Hills was hustle. The Tigers outworked the Panthers, particularly when it came to rebounding. Forest Hills had 17 offensive rebounds, manufacturing more scoring chances.

Said Central Aroostook coach Tim Brewer: “I don’t think we showed up, plain and simple. We had kids that were too tentative. Maybe you attribute it to some of their defense.”

Chandler Brewer left the game for two minutes in the third quarter after getting kicked in the head going after a loose ball, but returned and led Central Aroostook with 23 points.