HYDE SCHOOL’S Tyquan Ekejiuba (11, top photo) drives to the basket against Forest Hills Saturday in the Western Maine Class D boys basketball championship at the Augusta Civic Center. In the bottom photo, Hyde’s Talin Rowe (44) offers up some defense aganst Forest Hills’ Evan Worster (23).

HYDE SCHOOL’S Tyquan Ekejiuba (11, top photo) drives to the basket against Forest Hills Saturday in the Western Maine Class D boys basketball championship at the Augusta Civic Center. In the bottom photo, Hyde’s Talin Rowe (44) offers up some defense aganst Forest Hills’ Evan Worster (23).

AUGUSTA — It was comeback of nearepic proportions and no one seemed to see it coming, least of all Hyde School.

The top- seeded Phoenix squandered a 19-point advantage as Evan Worster-led Forest Hills charged back to sew up the Western Maine Class D boys basketball championship Saturday, 61-60.

Worster poured in 33 points, giving him 106 to break the record 96 set by Paul Bessey of Buckfield in 1968.

The comeback began with 2:36 left in the third quarter with the 17-2 Phoenix holding a 42-23 lead.

Foul woes ( 10- 3 in Forest Hills’ favor late in the third quarter) began mounting for Hyde (four players with four fouls each), a hole they couldn’t climb out of.

With Hyde standout Warsame Mohamed saddled with foul problems for most of the first half and into the third quarter, Forest Hills clawed back.

Forest Hills (18-3) trailed 45- 36 heading into the final quarter and a Worster free throw with 4:37 left made it 53-47.

With playmaker Tyquan Ekejiuba of Hyde taking a breather, Forest Hills continued to whittle away at its deficit and a Worster hoop with 3:19 remaining made it 55-51.

After a tie at 55, Mohamed and Worster traded points and two Worster free throws with 36 seconds left put Forest Hills in a 59-57 lead.

Worster grabbed a key rebound of a Mohamed driveand miss and was fouled with 7.9 seconds left. He made the free throws for a 61-57 margin and Ekejiuba canned a desperation 3- pointer at the buzzer for the final.

Ekejiuba had 15 points and a passel of assists, while Jonah Alexander chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds, Evander Lenardson 10 points and five rebounds, Ryan Cassidy nine points and Chris Moulton eight points and five points.

Hyde was three of five from the foul line and Forest Hills 22 of 29.

Matthew Turner had 14 points for Forest Hills, which played six players.

Slow beginning

Hyde’s beginning was hampered by Mohamed picking up two quick fouls, but the Phoenix got baskets from six different players to lead 12-9 at the break. Interestingly, Worster was held to just four points.

But, the 6-foot-3 junior forward hit a trey just 56 seconds in the second period to get the Tigers moving in the right direction.

Though Hyde’s guards were disruptive, Forest Hills hung tough with steady defense. Hyde’s lead got up to 22- 10 when Ekejiuba nailed a jumper off a screen and it was 25- 15 at the break as Worster accounted for all six of his team’s points.

With 4:01 left in the third quarter the fouls were 7-0 in Forest Hills favor and the Tigers were playing with more confidence, making eight of 12 third-quarter free throws and piling up 21

Forest Hills 61, Hyde 60

Forest Hills — Ryan Petrin 1-2-4, Evan Worster 9-13-33, Brandon Ouellette, 1-0- 3, Derick Ouellette 1- 5- 7, Tyler Lawrence 0-0-0, Matthew Turner 6-2- 12.

Hyde School — Jonah Alexander 1-2- 4, Warsame Mohamed 2-0-4, Ryan Cassidy 4-1-9, Chris Moulton 4-0-8, Benjamin Burlock 1-0-2, Talin Rowe 0-0-0, Evander Lenardson 5-0-10, Wilson MacMillan 0-0-0, Tyquan Ekejiuba 7-0-15.

3-point field goals — (FH) Worster (2); (H) Ekejiuba.

Records — Forest Hills 18-3; Hyde 17-2.

Up next — Forest Hills meets Jonesport Beals (18-2) Saturday in the state Class D championship game at the Augusta Civic Center ( 2: 45 p. m.); Hyde’s season is finished.

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