Tyler Bridge knew Wells High teammate Matt Sherburne would make the clutch free throws in the Class B South boys’ basketball final Saturday afternoon against Cape Elizabeth.

“Matty Ice is so good. He doesn’t miss,” Bridge said.

And Sherburne knew Bridge was a big reason why he was in a position to close out the 40-35 win at Cross Insurance Arena and secure the Warriors’ second straight regional title.

It was the strong, athletic 6-foot-3 Bridge who matched up all game with Cape standout Finn Bowe, holding him to 11 points on 3-of-18 shooting.

Bowe scored 37 points at Wells in a regular-season game won by the Warriors.

“He did a great job on Bowe. He knew not to fall for his up-fakes. He played great defense,” Sherburne said.

Sherburne made both ends of three straight one-and-one free throws in the final minute and finished with a game-high 17 points. The last two came with seven seconds to play after Bowe hit a 3-pointer to give Cape a glimmer of hope.

“Just step up there, take my time, take a deep breath and usually it goes in,” Sherburne said of his preshot thought process.

Wells (15-6), the top seed in the South, will face Hermon (21-0) at 8:45 p.m. Friday in the state championship game at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Bridge scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Cam Cousins added nine points and nine rebounds. Cousins had consecutive putbacks in the third quarter to cap a 10-0 run as Wells took the lead for good. That came on the heels of a dunk by Andrew Hartel that put Cape ahead 22-15.

Hartel led No. 2 Cape Elizabeth (13-8) with 14 points.

In Cape’s semifinal rout of Yarmouth, Bowe controlled the game with his shooting and ball distribution, leading to eight 3-pointers from five players.

Against Wells, Bowe had two assists and five turnovers and Cape shot 5 of 21 from deep – just 2 of 13 after the first quarter.

“Against Yarmouth, they had (several) kick-out 3s,” said Wells Coach Troy Brown. “That’s why it was so important for Tyler to play such great defense, so we didn’t have to help on Bowe and we could stay outside on the shooters.”

Wells made only one 3-pointer, by Sherburne for the first points of the fourth quarter, giving the Warriors a 30-24 lead with 5:51 left.

Twice in the fourth quarter, Cape Elizabeth came up with steals – by David Hare and Bowe – when trailing by four points but failed to convert either into points.

After Hare’s steal, he and Bowe both had good looks from deep that came up short. Bowe’s steal was negated when Cousins raced down the court to slap away a Hare layup.

“It changes the complexion and that’s the way it goes sometimes,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Jim Ray, “and then the clock, it winds down pretty quickly, doesn’t it?”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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