— By

Staff Writer

BANGOR — Ellsworth looked like it was going to get a rare uncontested basket on a driving jumper in the second quarter.

But Casey Scott of Camden Hills appeared from nowhere, leaped and swatted it away.

Joel Gabriele dribbled quickly down the court and fed Keegan Pieri for a 3-pointer.

Then came a Zack Wincklhofer 3-pointer, and the Windjammers led 43-10 with 2½ quarters still to play.

Camden Hills cruised to the Eastern Class B boys’ basketball championship with an 82-49 win Saturday afternoon at the Bangor Auditorium.

The Windjammers (19-2) will defend their state title Friday night against Falmouth at Bangor. Camden Hills is seeking its sixth state title since 1999.

On Saturday, the Windjammers looked ready to celebrate another Gold Ball.

”At the end of the season, we always snap to and realize we have to step it up,” said Tyler McFarland who led all scorers with 18 points.

McFarland is one of three 6-foot-6 starters for the Windjammers. Camden Hills dominated from the outset with tenacious rebounding and stifling defense.

”They are so much bigger than we are,” Ellsworth Coach Peter Austin said. ”Plus, those big guys can move. They’re quicker than we are.”

Camden Hills outrebounded the Eagles 29-12 in the first half. The Windjammers also held Ellsworth (17-4) to 20 percent shooting in the first two quarters.

”The last couple of games, we’ve had a pretty good focus at getting guys to the boards,” Camden Hills Coach Jeff Hart said.

Hart enjoyed his players’ focus against Ellsworth.

”Great defense. I think that’s what keyed it all,” Hart said. ”And then when you’re making some shots, it all looks really good.

”We got both the inside and the outside game going. When we get both of those going, we’re pretty good.”

Gabriele came off the bench to score 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Pieri added 10 points, and Adam Carlson had two 3-pointers.

Andrew Austin scored 10 points for Ellsworth.

The Eagles hit only 1 of 11 shots in the first quarter.

”We’ve been working on coming out strong all year,” McFarland said. ”We want to shock teams with our defensive pressure. And we have a lot of offensive weapons. We used them all.”

McFarland is one of the biggest weapons.

”He can guard anybody,” Hart said. ”He’s our best athlete. He’s so versatile, which makes him pretty special.”

Hart’s team lost two games at the buzzer over the past month, including a 67-66 defeat to Rockland on Feb. 4.

”That one put us on alert,” Hart said. ”Maybe we were being complacent. We had to get back to work.”

Now the Windjammers look to be peaking.

”I’d like to think (we’ve) got one better (game) left in us,” Hart said.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

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