PORTLAND — Jon Amabile scored 18 of his game-high 25 points in the second quarter to lead Deering to a 63-31 victory against Sanford in a Southern Maine Activities Association boys’ basketball game Thursday night.

A blistering opening pace set by the Rams proved way too much for the Redskins to handle.
Deering built a 43-13 lead by the half and cruised to its fifth straight victory to open the season.

“Traditionally Sanford is always ready to play, and typically the last couple of years they’ve gotten off to a really quick start against us,” said Deering Coach Dan LeGage.

“We wanted to take it a level higher and at a minimum, match their intensity and physical play.”

The Rams displayed their depth in scoring during the quick start. They raced out to a 20-8 first-quarter lead without Amabile, Deering’s leading scorer who has averaged 21 points in his first four games.

Labson Abwoch paced the first-quarter spurt with eight points for the Rams, who used 8-2 runs to start and close the opening period and build the sizable advantage.

“It feels good to help the team like that, especially when we’re boxing out and working for the boards like we were,” said Abwoch, a 6-foot-6 junior forward who finished with 15 points.

Things got significantly worse for the Redskins (1-4) in the second quarter when Amabile came to life.

After an opening basket by Abwoch, Amabile went to work.

In the span of 21⁄2 minutes, Amabile scored 10 points to help stretch Deering’s lead to 22.

By halftime, Amabile had scored 18 of his team’s 23 second-quarter points and Deering held a 30-point advantage.

“When I’m feeling it, the team passes me the ball so that helps me out a lot,” said Amabile, a two-time All-SMAA first-team selection. “But it’s good that everyone just plays well together and if I’m not going, someone else will be.”

While the Rams were playing well, the Redskins couldn’t get anything positive going.

When they did create a play to set up an offensive opportunity they weren’t able to finish, resulting in a frustrating performance.

Sanford was held to single digits in scoring in each of the first three quarters, and didn’t enjoy back-to-back baskets until late in the third quarter.

In addition, thanks in part to tight defensive coverage applied by Pat Green, among others for Deering, Ryan Camire was held to two points.

Camire, the leading scorer for the Redskins, had averaged nearly 21 points.

“We saw from Deering how the game is supposed to be played,” said Sanford Coach Kyle Hodsdon.

“They played hard, they played physical and that’s what good teams do in our league.

“We typically play very hard. I’m disappointed in the effort tonight. We have great kids but we just didn’t believe tonight.”

Reserves Malik Romero and Brandon Stanton each had five points to lead the Redskins.