John Trull says his Bonny Eagle team loves basketball so much, it probably would have wanted to practice even if it lost Tuesday’s Class AA South semifinal.

Thanks to a fourth-quarter surge fueled by guards Zach Maturo and Jacob Humphrey, the No. 2 Scots (17-3) have at least two more practices after advancing to Friday’s regional final with a come-from-behind 55-50 win against No. 3 South Portland on Friday at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Bonny Eagle will meet No. 1 Thornton Academy, which beat defending regional champ Scarborough.

“We had a great week of practices. They were doing squats and incline benches yesterday,” said Trull, the Scots’ first-year coach. “These guys love to practice. We’re probably the only team that is still lifting weights this late in the season and it showed tonight because we didn’t have tired legs late and that’s when we really turned it up.”

South Portland (11-9) led 42-34 after three quarters and had an eight-point lead a couple minutes into the final quarter.

Then Maturo started a 14-0 run when he hung in the air and banked in a shot – one of 11 baskets on 18 shots for the 5-foot-10 junior.

In quick order, Maturo’s backcourt running mate – 5-8 sophomore Jacob Humphrey – converted off a turnover, Maturo hit a floater over 6-7 center Scott Lewis, and Humphrey swiped the ball and scored on a layup to tie the game, 44-44.

Another Maturo hoop in the lane, a breakout for Humphrey and another steal and layup by Humphrey pushed the lead to 50-44.

“Obviously it might have been our last quarter of the season, so we knew, it might be over and we just kept going one defensive possession, one offensive, as hard as we could and we came out on top,” Maturo said.

Maturo finished with 26 points. Humphrey had 19.

South Portland did cut the lead to a one on a Geremi Baez (18 points) bucket and a 3-pointer from Cade Carr with 1:22 to play, but Maturo was able to seal the win with four straight free throws in one-and-one situations.

In the regular season, South Portland thumped Bonny Eagle, 58-25. Prior to Tuesday’s game, South Portland Coach Kevin Millington said that score was an “outlier,” pointing to the Scots record and their quality wins.

“Really the difference in the game was Maturo,” Millington said after the game. “They needed to have a great player have a great game and he shot over 50 percent from the floor and made it really hard for us to guard. He was just impossible to guard at times.”

South Portland led 26-20 at the half, paced by eight points from point guard Tyree Bitjoka and strong overall play in from the active Baez.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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