Pine Tree’s Chris Amisi (24) drives along the baseline in front of Seacoast’s Caleb Reardon (24) and Charles Tieszen (23) during the second half of Monday’s boys high school basketball game. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

FREEPORT — Seacoast Christian School erased a five-point halftime deficit with an 18-10 third quarter and held on for a 63-58 victory over Pine Tree Academy in boys Class D South high school basketball action on Monday.

Pine Tree’s Chris Amisi led all scorers with 38 points and 20 rebounds in the Breakers’ season opener, while Seacoast’s Charles Tieszen netted 37 in the victory as the Guardians evened their record at 1-1.

“I was impressed with the intensity this evening,” Pine Tree first-year coach Jeff Davis said about his team’s effort. “We had some players out with eligibility issues, leaving us with just two players on the bench. Then a player gets hurt right before the half so that left us with just one. Against all of those odds it could have been a one-sided game.”

The opening frame saw plenty of back-and-forth action with each team grabbing temporary leads throughout the quarter. Amisi scored 14 of Pine Tree’s 19 first-quarter points to pace the Breakers. Tied at 14-14 with two minutes left, Amisi drained a rainbow shot from behind the arc and Dominic Sanchez hit a layup and the Breakers led 19-18 after one quarter. Seacoast turned the ball over seven times in the first eight minutes.

Pine Tree’s Alden Thacker (11) dribbles around Seacoast Christian’s Isiah Cardinal during the first half in Freeport. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

After Seacoast took the lead with a basket to open the second, the hosts went on an 12-5 run, capped off by a defensive block from Amisi before he took it coast-to-coast for the score, to extend their biggest lead of the game to 31-25 late in the half. The senior forward nailed a three-point basket as time was winding down and Pine Tree took a 36-31 lead into the break. Amisi had 21 points and six rebounds in the opening half.

“He’s an intense player. He’s a good leader on the team and he hates losing,” Davis said. “He played out of position for us tonight, taking the center position and worked hard at it.”

Tieszen led the Guardians with 15 first-half points, while Ethan Huss had seven rebounds as Seacoast out-rebounded the Breakers, 16-7.

“We focused on that all preseason, to be successful you need to limit teams to one shot,” Seacoast head coach Lee Petrie said.

Pine Tree’s Riquerme Morales had nine points on a trio of 3-pointers while Josiah Yeaton had four points and a steal in the half.

Second half comeback

As Amisi was taking over the game in the first half, Tieszen took centerstage for the Guardians in the second half.

The senior kept asking for the ball underneath the basket and his teammates obliged, finding the center as he chipped in 16 third-quarter points to give Seacoast the lead.

“Charles is our leader and is the guy that takes on everything,” Petrie said. “He does a great job as our leader as we’re working on changing the culture here at Seacoast.”

Amisi registered eight points in the quarter, but the depleted bench began to take its toll on the Breakers.

“We had some tired kids that were working their socks off and they still kept the game close,” Davis said.

Tieszen scored the final four points of the quarter to give the Guardians a 49-46 lead through three quarters.

Each team was unable to find a rhythm to start the final quarter, and with three minutes remaining, Seacoast held on to a 55-50 lead. Amisi hit his fourth 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two, but baskets from Tieszen and Huss sandwiched around an Amisi basket pushed the lead to four. Amisi hit one more trey to make it 60-58, and after a Seacoast miss from the free-throw line, Pine Tree had chance to tie or take the lead with 8.9 seconds remaining.

Amisi missed a 3-point attempt and Seacoast gained possession. A final free throw and a steal at the buzzer by Isiah Cardinal sealed the five-point victory for Seacoast.

Behind Tieszen’s 37 points, Andy Ackerberg had seven and Cardinal six. Huss and Tieszen each had nine rebounds.

Morales finished with 14 points, including four from behind the arc for the Breakers, who will host Great Portland Christian School tonight at 7 p.m.

“I know they’re disappointed right now, but I’m hoping what they take away from this is we now have plan B and plan C, so if that happens again this season we can say, ‘been there, done that’ and hopefully have learned from it,” Davis said.

Pine Tree’s Chris Amisi dribbles towards the basket during the second half of Monday’s boys high school basketball game. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

“Everyone came and worked as hard as they could. We just want to work hard together,” Amisi said. “We’re playing for the finals at the end of the season. This game is behind us, we just lost and it’s done. We’ll come out next game, work harder, play harder and hopefully get better results. Some of my teammates literally just started playing basketball and they came out and worked as hard as they could.”

 

 

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