Wells’ Tyler Bridge puts up a shot during a regular-season game against Poland. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

Wells’ Tyler Bridge puts up a shot during a regular-season game against Poland. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

WELLS — The Wells boys basketball team had a historic 2016-17 winter season, upsetting Yarmouth in the Class B South finals and making an appearance in the state title game.

Many wondered if it was possible for Wells to make another deep postseason run this winter considering it lost all five starters from last year’s group. The answer was a resounding yes as the Warriors finished the regular season at 12-6, earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and won their first two postseason games.

The Warriors will square off against No. 2 Cape Elizabeth in today’s regional final at the Cross Insurance Arena as they look to punch their ticket to another state championship game.

“I thought that we would be decent but I didn’t know if we would make it back to this point. There was a point in the season where we lost three straight and I wasn’t even sure if we were going to make the tournament,” said Wells coach Troy Brown, who also feels that the conference has been a dog fight all season long. “We knew and all of the teams in this conference knew that if you could get a foot in the door in this tournament that you would have a chance to be where we are. I thought the Western Maine Conference was pretty even, everyone in the final four had beaten each other. Everything has kind of been up for grabs.”

The Warriors grinded out a tough 52-47 win over the Capers earlier this season, and Brown expects another tight battle.

“Obviously (Finn) Bowe is very good but before we even get to Bowe we know that they’re going to be coached really good. I have the utmost respect for Coach (Jim) Ray and what he has accomplished, as a coach he’s someone that I admire. He’s done it all. He’s made bad teams into good ones and has made good teams flourish. They’ll be more than prepared for us,” said Brown.

After a down stretch of years in which the Warriors struggled in the postseason, Brown and company feel that the Wells program has turned a corner over the past two seasons. The Warriors are confident in their depth, ability to face adversity, and hope that basketball will continue to emerge as the sport to watch in Wells.

“That’s what I’m very pleased about — that we were able to lose five starters from last year and take three guys, Cam Cousins, Tyler Bridge, Matt Sherburne, who played some minutes last year and turn them into our primary scorers. Last year, we needed them to get us maybe 15 points per game, but this year they’re averaging 35 points. We have brought some young kids along and developed them. It will make young kids want to get involved and that will only bode well for us,” said Brown.

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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