MT. ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL’S Cameron Cox (3) drives through the offensive zone with Brunswick’s Pearson Cost coming in on defense. The Eagles captured the 66-56 victory to move into the No. 9 slot of the Eastern A Heal Point Standings.

MT. ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL’S Cameron Cox (3) drives through the offensive zone with Brunswick’s Pearson Cost coming in on defense. The Eagles captured the 66-56 victory to move into the No. 9 slot of the Eastern A Heal Point Standings.

BRUNSWICK

For the Mt. Ararat High School boys basketball team, a second Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference win over “Battle of the Bridge” rival Brunswick was imperative if the Eagles hoped to advance to the Eastern Maine Class A postseason.

CORBIN TEEL (11), of Brunswick, makes a push for the basket against Mt. Ararat's Mason Griffin. The Dragons dropped a 66-56 decision, allowing the Eagles to move to No. 9 in the Heal Point Standings.

CORBIN TEEL (11), of Brunswick, makes a push for the basket against Mt. Ararat’s Mason Griffin. The Dragons dropped a 66-56 decision, allowing the Eagles to move to No. 9 in the Heal Point Standings.

With the Eagles backs against the wall, Mt. Ararat did what it needed to do, downing the Dragons, 66-56 Thursday night.

The sweep of this year’s series, the first for Mt. Ararat over Brunswick since the 2010/11 season, gives the Eagles a 6-11 mark and moved Mt. Ararat to the ninth and final spot in the playoff picture. With No. 10 Bangor slated to visit tonight at 6 p.m., another must-win is on the horizon, with the Rams slated to visit rival Brewer on Saturday. Mt. Ararat will look to make that game meaningless.

“This was do or die, and we had to get the job done,” said Mt. Ararat junior guard Shy Ulrickson, who lit it up for 32 points in the win, including a 11-of-12 performance from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. “We played good team ball tonight. We are feeling good after this win, and we will go home Friday night and get the job done again.”

“We have played this way all year long, so odds are you will eventually get there,” said Mt. Ararat coach Steve Cox. “We had a series where my kids came in during a timeout and I said to them that might have the best eight or nine possessions I have seen at Mt. Ararat.”

For Brunswick, which fell to 8-9 and hosts Lawrence tonight at 7 p.m., this was a tough loss, especially after a solid first half produced a 34-31 halftime lead.

“I told the kids for three quarters we hung in, but the fourth quarter we didn’t have the grit to grind that game out,” said Brunswick coach Todd Hanson. “They shot the ball very well. They hit 10 threes. We pride ourselves defensively, so we are kicking ourselves for giving up that many threes.”

Ulrickson and Mason Griffin combined for 28 points in Mt. Ararat’s 58-51 victory over the Dragons in Topsham on Jan. 10. They nearly doubled that total on Thursday, with Griffin scoring 21 points as the duo produced 53 points, including eight 3-pointers.

“They have experienced guards and guys that can shoot the ball,” said Hanson. “Shy and Mason have played together for a long time and are both really good players. At the end of the day, we couldn’t stop either one of them.”

Back and forth

Both teams shot the ball well in the first half. For Brunswick, Pearson Cost drained three from beyond the arc and finished with 12 first-half points, while Griffin had 12 points and Ulrickson 11. The biggest lead was five points by the Dragons, while Mt. Ararat only led once, 13-12, on an Ulrickson trey. The Dragons shot over 50 percent (12-of-23) in the first half, while Mt. Ararat canned 11 buckets, including six 3-pointers.

“We were trying to play our best against Mt. Ararat, and it was a great atmosphere,” said Cost, who has suffered two broken wrists over the past couple years. “I have broken both wrists, so I have to keep those healthy while trying to play my hardest. I want to be on the floor.”

Cost, who had a team-high 17 points, opened the second half with a 3-pointer, and Corbin Teel (eight points, six rebounds) drove to the basket for a 39-33 Dragons lead.

Back came Mt. Ararat, which put together a 10-0 run for a 43-39 advantage with 3:37 left in the third.

“We found our rhythm,” said Ulrickson, who produced six points in the frame.

Brunswick scored the next four points (Teel inside and Thomas Hanson on a short jumper), but Ulrickson hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe for a 44-43 Eagles lead after three.

Alex Bandouveres produced the final tie for the Dragons to open the fourth before Ulrickson drove the lane for the go-ahead hoop, and Griffin stepped back and swished a 3-pointer for a 49-44 lead. Griffin’s final trey put the Eagles up 52-46.

The Dragons refused to go away, getting a pair of free throws from Cost and a hoop and harm by Josh Dorr to make for a 52-51 game with 2:46 left.

But, Ulrickson found his stroke at the line to put the Eagles into a playoff position, with the Rams coming into hostile territory tonight.

“They are coming into the Hangar. We will be ready,” said Cox.

Coach Hanson hopes his team can put this one behind them, with Lawrence playing for pride.

“Lawrence is a team much like Mt. Ararat, a team that is about 10 points away from being 11-6,” said Todd Hanson. “In this league, you have to show up and play well for 32 minutes. If you don’t, bad things happen.”

Mt. Ararat shot 46 percent from the field (19-of-41) and made 18-of-23 at the freethrow line. Mike Crawford chipped in six points and dished out four assists, Griffin pulled down eight rebounds and blocked three shots, and Ulrickson had seven boards, four assists and three steals.

Thomas Hanson finished with 10 points and six rebounds for the Dragons, who shot 37 percent from the field (19-of-55) and 13-of-18 at the line. Bandouveres had nine points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots, while Dorr picked up three assists.

Mt. Ararat 66, Brunswick 56

At Brunswick
Mt. Ararat — 15 16 13 22 — 66
Brunswick — 19 15 9 13 — 56

Mt. Ararat — Mike Crawford 2-1-6, Shy Ulrickson 7-14-32, Mason Griffin 7-3-21, Kevin Carter 1-0-2, Alex LaFountain 0-0-0, Avery Desjardins 0-0-0, Cam Cox 2-0-5, Zach Garvey 0-0-0, Harper Moutal 0-0-0. Totals — 19-18-66. Brunswick — Corbin Teel 4-0-8, Taran Payne 2-0-5, Thomas Hanson 4-2-10, Pearson Cost 5-3-17, Alex Bandouveres 2-5-9, Josh Dorr 1-1-3, Owen Rudalevige 1-0-2, Alan Molnar 0-0-0, JD Souza 0-2-2, Fynn Arthur 0-0-0, Caleb Cost 0-0-0. Totals — 19- 13-56. 3-point field goals — (MtA) Ulrickson 4, Griffin 4, Crawford, Cox; (B) P. Cost 4, Payne. Records — Mt. Ararat 6-11, Brunswick 8-9. Up next for the Eagles — Tonight at home against Bangor, 6 p.m. Up next for the Dragons — Tonight at home against Lawrence, 7 p.m.


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