Seniors from the Wells boys basketball team celebrate their regional title win on Saturday. Pictured from left: Channing Wang, John Harris, Christian Saulnier and Cam Cousins.

Seniors from the Wells boys basketball team celebrate their regional title win on Saturday. Pictured from left: Channing Wang, John Harris, Christian Saulnier and Cam Cousins.

PORTLAND — The No. 1 Wells boys basketball team grinded out a 40-35 win over No. 2 Cape Elizabeth in the Class B South finals to advance to the state championship game for the second year in a row.

The two teams traded leads throughout, with Wells falling behind by as many as seven points. However, the Warriors would surge in the third quarter to regain the lead and would stay in control in the fourth to close out the win.

“It was just some guys that refused to lose. (Tyler Bridge) did a great job on (Finn) Bowe all night long and made it really hard for him to score. We want to be not Cape Elizabeth, but the team like them that gets here year in and year out. Maybe not always to this game, but always in the discussion,” said Wells coach Troy Brown after the victory.

The Warriors were cold in the first half, shooting less than 28 percent from the floor. They would rebound in the second half, shooting 8-for-16.

Brown also felt the Warriors defense was the difference in the second half, and throughout the entire year.

“Defense — it has always been defense and it was defense throughout the tournament for us, it was defense throughout the season. We play very good man-to-man defense,” said Brown.

Matt Sherburne led Wells with 17 points while Bridge added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Cam Cousins chipped in nine points, nine rebounds and a block as well. Andrew Hartel led Cape with 14 points and seven rebounds while Bowe chipped in 11 points and six rebounds.

Sherburne had a big fourth quarter for Wells, and would go 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final two minutes.

“Just get me the ball — get me the ball, I want to shoot it,” said Sherburne on his thoughts during the final two minutes. “It’s what I like to do.”

The Warriors will once again represent the Class B South in the state title, in a season that included unlikely success. Wells lost all five starters from last year’s run, and relied heavily on former bench players and well as newcomers to get back to the state’s biggest stage.

“I am so proud of these kids. We lost three players this season, one was a starter and two were strong players coming off my bench. All the young kids that came in and filled those roles, it speaks volumes to what this team is all about. Kids step up,” said Brown.

“We knew what we needed to do. Me, Tyler and Cam really stepped up big last year so we knew it was going to happen. It was nice to get back here, get a W and go to states again,” said Sherburne.

The Warriors will square off against Northern champ Hermon on Friday night in Bangor. After a tough loss to Mount Desert Island in last year’s state championship, Wells is looking forward to a chance to finish the job.

“Coming up short last year really helped us this year,” said Sherburne. “We’ve got to finish it now, we can’t be happy that we’ve made it this far, we need to win states now.” 

— 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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