BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL guard Thomas Hanson (30) puts up a shot over Mt. Ararat’s Harper Moutal 23) and Garrett Bolduc (12) during a Class A South boys quarterfinal contest at the Portland Expo on Friday. The fourth-seeded Dragons downed the fifth-seeded Eagles, 61-52.

BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL guard Thomas Hanson (30) puts up a shot over Mt. Ararat’s Harper Moutal 23) and Garrett Bolduc (12) during a Class A South boys quarterfinal contest at the Portland Expo on Friday. The fourth-seeded Dragons downed the fifth-seeded Eagles, 61-52.

PORTLAND

Fans of Mt. Ararat and Brunswick basketball have witnessed the “Battle of the Bridge.”

MT. ARARAT SENIOR guard Shyheim Ulrickson (21) is surrounded by Brunswick defenders JD Souza (3), Josh Dorr (10) and Christian Glover, back right, during a high school boys basketball Class A South quarterfinal in Portland on Friday. Ulrickson had 27 points, but his Eagles fell to the Dragons, 61-52.

MT. ARARAT SENIOR guard Shyheim Ulrickson (21) is surrounded by Brunswick defenders JD Souza (3), Josh Dorr (10) and Christian Glover, back right, during a high school boys basketball Class A South quarterfinal in Portland on Friday. Ulrickson had 27 points, but his Eagles fell to the Dragons, 61-52.

On Friday night, the Eagles and Dragons faithful watched the “Battle at the Expo” go the way of Brunswick, which secured a hard-fought 61-52 victory in the Class A South high school boys quarterfinals.

Brunswick (14-5), the No. 4 seed, will face top-seeded Greely on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The Rangers downed Marshwood, 63-50, in the second game on Friday at the Expo.

Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Mt. Ararat finished 11-8.

A slow start cost the Eagles, who trailed 14-1 after a quarter after missing their first eight shots from the floor. Brunswick made 6-of- 16, with Caleb Cost picking up six points and Corban Teel crashing inside the paint for four more.

“We talked about bringing energy, and the kids had a pep in their step early,” said Brunswick coach Todd Hanson of his team’s solid start.

“We had a lot of nerves, and we just kept missing a lot early,” said Mt. Ararat senior forward Alex LaFountain.

After three more misses to open the second quarter, LaFountain scored inside for the Eagles’ first field goal. Then it was senior guard Shyheim Ulrickson’s turn. He stepped back and swished a pair of 3-pointers, bringing Mt. Ararat to 22-19 by halftime.

“We realized that it was one and done,” said LaFountain. “We never give up and we got over the nerves when Shy hit a three. Once he hit that, it was time to go and we relaxed.”

“It is different gym, a new experience for a lot of kids, and we reacted to it fairly well, just late,” said Mt. Ararat coach Steve Cox. “We felt like the momentum changed going into halftime, and it felt like that we hadn’t played well but we were only down three.”

“We were 1-for-17 in the second quarter, but we were able to weather that storm, knowing that Mt. Ararat was going to make a run like they always do,” said Hanson. “We had to be tough and together.”

At the half, Cost led the Dragons with 10 points, while Ulrickson and LaFountain scored all 19 of Mt. Ararat’s points, with Ulrickson leading the way with 11.

Eagles get closer

Mt. Ararat continued to come in the third quarter. Ulrickson hit a trey, and later drove to the basket, scoring while being fouled to get the Eagles to within a point, 30-29.

“This is the third time we played them, and to beat a good team three times is hard to do,” said Hanson, who called a timeout to settle his team.

Coming out of the timeout, Brunswick put together a run, using an 8-2 spurt to close the frame for a 38-31 lead.

“We knew they would start making shots eventually, so we just started making shots in the third quarter and played tighter defense,” said Cost, who added six points to his total in the frame.

Mt. Ararat hung tough, getting a lay-up from senior Zach Garvey to open the fourth quarter.

The momentum swung to Brunswick over a brief 26- second span. Leading 39-33, Jesse Devereaux, who had been held scoreless through 24-plus minutes, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to up the Dragons’ lead to 45-33. Moments later, Devereaux intercepted an Eagles pass, sent the ball ahead to Thomas Hanson, who scored while being fouled. He made the free throw for a threepoint play and a 48-33 Brunswick advantage.

“Jesse has a huge heart, and when he plays patiently and plays within himself, he can be a game-changer,” said Todd Hanson of Devereaux. “Those threes were big.”

“We never really got things on track in the third, and they had a little roll. We just never had ours,” said Cox. “They got it done and we didn’t. We dropped a few long balls late, and if we would have done that earlier it would have been different down to the end.”

“It was the biggest momentum changer in the game, and it went our way the rest of the way,” said Cost, who finished with a team-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in the win.

“I think the biggest progress that Caleb has made this year is toughness,” said Todd Hanson of Cost. “He picked up a boatload of points under the basket tonight. He used to settle for jumpers, and now he attacks downhill. You get those easy putbacks, we will take them.”

For Cox, he took the time to honor two of his seniors. First, LaFountain was substituted for to a loud ovation after scoring 10 points and picking up 10 rebounds for a double-double. Then came Ulrickson, who walked off the court as both Mt. Ararat and Brunswick fans stood to applaud a player who has meant a lot to the Eagles’ program.

“There is a lot of respect for those two gentlemen in our program and communities,” said Cox. “Shy has always had that and it is well deserved. Alex has just been a pleasant young man to work with, and he has grown a ton this year. It has been great to witness his growth.”

“It meant a lot to me,” said LaFountain. “Coach gave me a shot last year and this year, and I just thank him for the opportunity. Shy has been a huge part of this program. He has not only been huge in our program but around the league.”

Despite not scoring in the opening quarter, Ulrickson finished with a game-high 27 points. He had five rebounds and three assists.

Thomas Hanson added 10 points and eight boards for Brunswick, with Corban Teel picking up nine points and six rebounds. JD Souza came off to bench to chip in eight points, with Devereaux scoring all seven of his points in the final frame.

No. 4 Brunswick 61, No. 5 Mt. Ararat 52

Class A South Boys Quarterfinal Friday, at the Portland Expo

Mt. Ararat 1 18 12 21 52
Brunswick 14 8 16 23 61

Mt. Ararat — Cam Cox 1-0-3, Garrett Bolduc 0-0-0, Alex LaFountain 3-4- 10, Shyheim Ulrickson 9-4-27, Harper Moutal 0-0-0, Zach Garvey 1-2-4, Eric Segars 2-0-5, Cole Guerin 0-0-0, Ryan Mello 0-0-0, Jacob Steinman 0- 0-0, Tanner Greenleaf 0-0-0, Steven Gerencer 0-0-0, Nick Merrill 1-0-3. Totals — 17-10-52. Brunswick — Jesse Devereaux 2-1- 7, Josh Dorr 0-0-0, Caleb Cost 6-9- 21, Thomas Hanson 3-4-10, Corban Teel 3-3-9, JD Souza 3-1-8, Christian Glover 1-0-2, Owen Rudalevige 0-2- 2, Colby Bucknam 1-0-2, Alan Molnar 0-0-0, Nathan Benoit 0-0-0, Aaron Carlton 0-0-0. Totals — 19-20-61. 3-point field goals — (MtA) Shyheim Ulrickson 5, Cam Cox, Eric Segars, Nick Merrill; (B) Jesse Devereaux 2, JD Souza. Records — Brunswick 14-5, Mt. Ararat 11-8. Up next for the Dragons — Wednesday in Class A South semifinal against No. 1 Greely, 8:30 p.m. at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Note — Mt. Ararat’s season is completed.


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