Alex Medenica dominated the post, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead third-seeded Yarmouth to a 47-32 win over No. 6 Spruce Mountain in a Class B South boys’ basketball quarterfinal Saturday at the Portland Expo.

Yarmouth (14-5) will play No. 2 Maranacook (17-2) in a semifinal on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Cross Insurance Arena. On Dec. 17, the Clippers traveled to Maranacook and defeated the Black Bears, 70-60.

“Anything can happen on (the Cross Insurance Arena) floor. It’s a really difficult place to play,” said Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith. “Whoever gets the feel for (the arena), as much as getting a feel for each other (has the advantage).”

The 6-foot-7 Medenica also had five blocks and two steals against Spruce Mountain.

“I just had to (recognize) where (Spruce Mountain forward Caulin Parker) was going to be and worked off of that,” said Medenica.

Parker led the Phoenix with 11 points.

Spruce Mountain and Yarmouth last met in the 2012 semifinals, with Yarmouth winning 60-30 on its way to a state championship. Smith is hoping for history to repeat in 2016.

“(Yarmouth) is a great team. They’re a really good team. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win it again,” said Spruce Mountain Coach Scott Bessey.

“Let’s hope (Spruce Mountain) can bring us good luck again,” said Smith.

The first quarter was a defensive struggle. Medenica made two free throws in the first minute of the game and the score remained 2-0 until Medenica made a layup with 2:34 left in the quarter.

Yarmouth led 6-3 at the end of one, a quarter in which the Clippers had five steals.

“Watching the game, some people might call it sloppy,” said Smith. “The defenses were great. I don’t think it was sloppy, I just think it was nerves and the defense.”

“That was just two teams getting after it on defense,” said Bessey.

The second quarter proved to be more eventful as the Clippers went into halftime with a 16-15 advantage before taking over the game in the third.

“I thought (Medenica) was a real asset in settling us down,” said Smith.

With 4:32 left and leading 22-20, the Clippers went on an 11-3 run to close out the third, outscoring Spruce Mountain 17-8.

“We subbed a lot more than (Spruce Mountain) had,” said Smith. “I thought they were getting a little tired and we were still pretty fresh.”

“I think it was just us focusing on what we needed to do, what we do best,” said Medenica.

Spruce Mountain (11-8) had won five straight coming into the game but was eliminated in the quarterfinals for the second straight year.

“We just couldn’t put consecutive (made) shots together and that grinds on you,” said Bessey.

Bailey Darling played a strong game on both ends of the floor for Yarmouth, scoring 11 points and adding three steals.


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