WINDHAM — Kevin Weisser spent most of the third quarter Friday sitting on the Windham High bench, saddled with four fouls. He returned in the fourth to carry the Eagles to a vital SMAA boys’ basketball victory.

Weisser scored 10 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, hitting four foul shots in the final 29 seconds to lift the Eagles over Westbrook, 66-61.

Windham had built a 17-point lead with Weisser on the bench, and held on after a Weisser blocked shot and defensive rebound in the final 14 seconds.

“It was a good one to get,” said Eagles Coach Kevin Millington. “It’s good to get a win at home; they’re a good team. And we’ve got a tough stretch coming up. Getting it started with a win takes some of the pressure off.”

Windham (5-2) has games against Deering, Bonny Eagle and Scarborough next week – all three ranked in the top six of the Western Class A Heal points.

The Eagles were nearly perfect at the foul line, hitting 26 of 28. Westbrook (5-4) was 29 of 42, missing three in the final 31 seconds.

“For a high school team (foul shooting) is pretty important, especially when the fouls are being called as such,” said Westbrook Coach Mike Burke. “They call them free throws for a reason.”

This one appeared to be an easy one for Windham. Weisser scored 17 points in the first half to give the Eagles a 31-22 lead. And even when he went to the bench, Windham kept pushing the tempo, twice getting the lead to 17 as guard Markus D’Andrea and forward Kyle Kilfoil stepped up.

D’Andrea had eight points in the quarter – 8 of 8 at the foul line – and Kilfoil scored six.

But then something clicked for the Blazes. A 3-pointer from Blake Fillmore (26 points) and a three-point play by Luther Williams (off a nifty pass from Fillmore) brought Westbrook within 12 entering the fourth.

Slowly the Blazes crept closer, only Windham’s excellent foul shooting – Weisser was 8 of 8 and freshman Nick Curtis 4 of 4 – keeping the Eagles ahead. Both D’Andrea and Kilfoil fouled out in the fourth for Windham.

A drive by Weisser gave Windham a 58-48 lead with 2:43 left. Fillmore scored seven in a row to cut it to 58-55. Weisser hit two foul shots with 1:17 left but Fillmore hit a 3-pointer from the right wing. Trailing 62-60, Westbrook had a chance to tie but missed the first of two free throws. Weisser came back to hit two with 28.3 seconds left to make it 64-61.

The Blazes then missed two more foul shots but retained possession when Weisser blocked a shot out of bounds with 13.4 seconds left.

Derek Breunig of Westbrook missed a contested shot inside and Weisser came up with the rebound.

“We were lucky he missed,” said Weisser, who was fouled with 2.9 seconds left and hit both to seal it.

“He’s a great player,” said Millington of Weisser, who hit three 3-pointers in the opening quarter to lift Windham to a 15-5 lead. “He can shoot it. If they give him space he’s going to make it. And he’s improved his game around the basket, too.”

Weisser liked the way his team responded when he went to the bench.

“We were in foul trouble and they really stepped up,” he said. “And we hit shots when we needed them.”

For Westbrook, a gritty effort fell just short. “We definitely had our chance at the end,” said Burke. “We probably didn’t deserve the win but we put ourselves in position to get one.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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