BRUNSWICK JUNIOR JOSH DORR dribbles by Morse’s Matt Belanger during a boys high school basketball game at Brunswick on Tuesday. The Dragons downed the Shipbuilders, 62-51.

BRUNSWICK JUNIOR JOSH DORR dribbles by Morse’s Matt Belanger during a boys high school basketball game at Brunswick on Tuesday. The Dragons downed the Shipbuilders, 62-51.

BRUNSWICK

When Morse guard Zidane McMurrin sank a pair of free throws early in the second quarter, then stole the ball and scored moments later, the Brunswick High School boys basketball team walked to the bench after coach Todd Hanson called a timeout, looking up at a 15-7 deficit.

BRUNSWICK GUARD JD SOUZA rises up and takes a shot with Morse’s Ayden Brillard (11) looking on during a boys high school basketball game at Brunswick on Tuesday.

BRUNSWICK GUARD JD SOUZA rises up and takes a shot with Morse’s Ayden Brillard (11) looking on during a boys high school basketball game at Brunswick on Tuesday.

With nothing working early, Hanson told his team to start shooting from the perimeter, a strategy that paid off in Brunswick’s 62-51 come-from-behind Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference win on Tuesday.

The early deficit forced the 8-3 Dragons to work hard to get back into the game. Led by Thomas Hanson’s 11 first-half points, including a pair of long 3-pointers, and the inside play of Owen Rudalevige (12 points, five rebounds), Brunswick closed to 30-29 at the half before claiming the lead for good in the third quarter.

THOMAS HANSON controls the ball for Brunswick as Dakota Freeman (15) of Morse jumps up during a boys high school basketball game at Brunswick on Tuesday.

THOMAS HANSON controls the ball for Brunswick as Dakota Freeman (15) of Morse jumps up during a boys high school basketball game at Brunswick on Tuesday.

Facing a 1-3-1 zone defense for the first time this season, the Dragons struggled out of the gate, making just 2-of-13 shots in the opening quarter in falling behind 11-7.

“That is the first team that has played zone against us and it took us a little while to get our bearings,” said coach Hanson of his team’s slow start. “We thought Morse was the hungrier team and we had to scrap to get out of that hole.”

“It was exactly what we needed after looking at the film, and the 1-3-1 zone was the way to go, and we played outstanding and closed out high,” said Morse coach Brian Bennett, whose Shipbuilders fell to 3-8.

Down by eight, Thomas Hanson helped bring the Dragons back. On consecutive possessions he stepped back and swished a pair of treys. Moments later, Chris Glover hit a 3-pointer to get Brunswick to 17-16.

“We were disappointed that we weren’t looking for our perimeter shot at the beginning,” said Todd Hanson. “When we started to catch on ball reversal and catch on triple threat it stretched the zone out.”

Once Morse extended out from its zone, Brunswick went inside to Rudalevige. The 6-foot-6 forward, who played behind former standout Alex Bandouveres the past two seasons and earlier this year came off the bench to spell Corban Teel, has found his spot lately.

“I don’t see myself as doing anything spectacular, it’s just about me finishing and doing my job,” said Rudalevige.

“The last three or four games he has played well, a double-double at Oceanside, and tonight had some big baskets and rebounds when we needed it,” said Todd Hanson of Rudalevige.

Bennett felt his team’s game plan was the right one.

“The bigs cost us the first game, so to negate the bigs we allowed the 3-ball and they hit it,” said Bennett, whose Shipbuilders visit Leavitt on Thursday. “I was pleased with our defensive effort.”

Down 30-29 at the half, Brunswick used a 10-0 run for a 39-32 lead early in the third quarter. After Thomas Hanson’s 3-pointer put Brunswick ahead to stay, Jesse Devereaux came off the Dragons’ bench and found his stroke. Five quick points by Devereaux upped the Brunswick lead to 39-32, and Devereaux swished another trey and added another short jumper as the Dragons claimed a 46-38 lead after three quarters.

Rudalevige’s finish of another Dorr pass staked Brunswick to a 10-point lead, 48-38, but Morse had another run left. Matt Belanger sank the first of two free throws. He missed the second, but Keegan McDonough, who had a game-high 26 points, grabbed the rebound and scored to get Morse to 48-41. Parker Onorato’s runner moments later completed a 5-0 Shipbuilders run.

But, that was as close as Morse was able to get, as Dorr started a game-deciding 12-2 run, which included four straight free throws by Thomas Hanson after a pair of technical fouls on Morse.

“We have a lot of heart,” said Bennett. “Defensively, we have a lot of heart, but we need to improve offensively. Once we start converting offensively, we will be there. But, we are running out of time.”

Thomas Hanson led Brunswick with 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists, with Devereaux adding 13 points. Teel picked up seven rebounds, with Glover dishing out three assists.

McDonough added 12 rebounds for a double-double, along with five steals. McMurrin had eight points before fouling out, with Onorato and Brendan Harper adding six points apiece.

“This win feels great,” said Rudalevige. “It is a rivalry game that we hadn’t played until this year during my time here. This was awesome.”

Brunswick 62, Morse 51

At Brunswick

Morse 11 19 8 13 51
Brunswick 7 22 17 16 62

Morse — Parker Onorato 3-0-6, Dakota Freeman 1-0-2, Keegan McDonough 7-11-26, Ayden Brillard 0-0-0, Matt Belanger 1-1-3, Zidane McMurrin 2-4-8, Brendan Harper 2-1- 6, Tait Nygaard 0-0-0. Totals — 16- 17-51. Brunswick — Josh Dorr 1-5-7, Chris Glover 1-2-5, Caleb Cost 0-2-2, Thomas Hanson 5-5-18, Owen Rudalevige 6-0-12, JD Souza 0-0-0, Corban Teel 1-1-3, Colby Bucknam 1- 0-2, Jesse Devereaux 5-0-13, Jackson Gordon 0-0-0, Nate Benoit 0-0-0, Hugh Voorhees 0-0-0, Aaron Carlton 0-0-0. Totals — 20-15-62. 3-point field goals — (Mo) Keegan McDonough, Brendan Harper; (B) Thomas Hanson 3, Jesse Devereaux 3, Chris Glover. Up next for the Shipbuilders — Thursday at Leavitt, 6:30 p.m. Up next for the Dragons — Thursday at home versus Medomak Valley, 7 p.m.


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