CAPE ELIZABETH — Brunswick guard Noah Cox was swishing 3-pointers with ease at the start of the Dragons’ game at Cape Elizabeth on Friday night.

The Capers finally paid attention.

“He was supposed to have more attention right from the get-go,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Jim Ray said. “It doesn’t always work the way you want it.”

The Capers did tighten their defense and smothered Brunswick for a 57-41 win.

Center Andrew Hartel paced the Capers with 14 points. Tanner Carpenter and Finn Bowie each added 13 and Liam Jacobson scored nine, hitting three 3-pointers in the second quarter.

Dragons guard Dawson Hebert led all scorers with 15 points. Cox scored 12, all on 3-pointers – three in the first quarter and one in the second.

“Noah got off to a hot start and we felt good about the first quarter,” Brunswick Coach Todd Hanson said. “But, defensively, (Cape) is very well-coached and very disciplined.

“We hung around, but when (the shots) stopped falling, it went the other way.”

Cape Elizabeth (6-1) has won six straight games, while Brunswick (5-3) is on a three-game losing streak after starting the season hot. This was a rematch of last year’s Class A South quarterfinal, which Cape won 50-49. The Capers have since moved to Class B.

Brunswick jumped ahead 14-10 in the first quarter, thanks to Cox’s hot hand.

“All those coaches in the stands were wondering, ‘why don’t they cover that kid?'” Ray joked.

The Dragons’ 6-foot-6 center, Colby Bucknam, picked up two fouls in the first quarter and got his third early in the second. Brunswick had no one else to contain the 6-9 Hartel.

“Our next guy is 6-3, so that hurt us,” Hanson said.

Hartel was aggressive from the start, scoring on drives and jumpers. “I was just trying to get open and get the ball,” he said.

Not only did the Capers have a size advantage, they also got hot in the second quarter, hitting four 3-pointers.

“We just didn’t do a good enough job guarding the (3-point) line,” Hanson said. “And when we did, they’d go inside. They had their way, inside and out. That’s a tough combination.”

Carpenter made one of the 3-pointers, but he said the difference was on the other end.

“We really wanted to lock down on defense,” Carpenter said.

Jacobson was impressive, coming off the bench and popping in nine points.

“He’s starting to get more minutes,” Ray said. “Everyone starts to get better at recognizing when the opportunities present themselves in our offense. He’s taken advantage of his opportunities.”

The Capers led 28-21 at halftime and stretched it to 48-31 after three quarters.

“We were a little better tonight,” Ray said. “Still (a) work in progress. We’re headed in the right direction. We have a tough one coming up on Tuesday.”

Cape Elizabeth plays host to Class B South rival Yarmouth on Tuesday. Brunswick is also home, against Lincoln Academy.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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