North Yarmouth Academy senior Te’Andre King, with help from a sophomore Bryce Poulin screen, drives on Waynflete junior Dominick Campbell during the Panthers’ 65-38 victory Thursday.

BOX SCORE

Waynflete 65 North Yarmouth Academy 38

W- 18 19 14 14- 65
NYA- 8 7 13 10- 38

W- Campbell 6-5-17, Johnson 5-1-11, Burdick 3-1-9, Dahia 3-1-8, Levy 4-0-8, Kieffer 3-0-7, Saade 1-1-3, Holdridge 1-0-2

NYA- King 6-8-21, Hamblett 1-2-4, Oney 2-0-4, Poulin 2-0-4, Bernier 0-3-3, Welch 0-2-2

3-pointers:
W (4) Burdick 2, Dahia, Kieffer 1
NYA (1) King 1

Turnovers:
W- 18
NYA- 21

FTs
W: 9-16
NYA: 15-23

YARMOUTH—North Yarmouth Academy might have a King, but Waynflete’s boys’ basketball team has incredible balance and the Flyers’ depth and talent stole the show in a midseason battle between a pair of Class C South contenders Thursday evening.

With all eyes on the battle of big men between Panthers’ senior standout Te’Andre King and Flyers’ junior star Dominick Campbell, several other Waynflete players stepped up and tipped the balance in an entertaining, up-tempo contest.

NYA held its own early and the game was tied, 7-7, midway through the first period, but after Waynflete senior Diraige Dahia hit an NBA-range 3-point shot, the Flyers had the lead for good and by the end of the quarter, they held an 18-8 advantage.

The Panthers couldn’t manage a field goal the entire second period and Waynflete pounced, gradually stretching its lead to a commanding 37-15 at the half.

NYA tried to answer in the second half, but never got closer than 19 points and the Flyers closed it out, 65-38.

The inside tandem of Campbell (17 points) and unheralded junior Jared Johnson (11 points) paced Waynflete’s attack and while King wound up with a game-high 21 points, it wasn’t close to enough as the Flyers improved to 8-1 on the season while dropping the Panthers to 6-2 in the process.

“The proximity of the schools, the similarities of the schools, it’s a rivalry that everyone looks forward to,” said longtime Waynflete coach Rich Henry, who won his 203rd game with the program.

Heavyweight bout

Waynflete and NYA had each passed every test but one this winter.

The Flyers started with a 70-24 win at Sacopee Valley, then impressed by downing visiting Cape Elizabeth, the defending Class B South champion (61-52), host Old Orchard Beach (61-51) and host Yarmouth (49-43). In its final game of the 2019 portion of the schedule, Waynflete handled visiting Freeport, 66-34, to give Henry his 200th victory. After opening 2020 with a 45-38 home win over Wells, the Flyers defeated visiting Old Orchard Beach (67-48). Tuesday, however, Waynflete was knocked from the unbeaten ranks, 61-52, at Cape Elizabeth.

NYA, meanwhile, started with a 74-46 loss at Traip Academy, then caught fire, downing host Temple Academy (60-30< visiting Sacopee Valley (54-44), host Buckfield (58-36), visiting A.R. Gould (70-36), host St. Dom’s (64-38) and visiting St. Dom’s (73-41).

Last winter, Waynflete twice beat NYA decisively, 76-40, in Portland and 68-17 in Yarmouth.

Thursday, the Panthers looked to beat the Flyers for the first time since Jan. 17, 2017 (41-37) and for the first time in Yarmouth since Dec. 18, 2008 (40-35), but Waynflete made it 20 victories in the teams’ last 21 meetings.

In impressive fashion.

Just 18 seconds in, the Flyers broke the ice, as Johnson took a pass from Campbell and made a layup.

NYA then went ahead on a 3-point shot from King, but Johnson answered with a putback.

With 6:40 left in the first quarter, junior Chris Hamblett scored on a floater to give the Panthers a 5-4 lead, but they wouldn’t make another field goal until after halftime.

King and Campbell then took center stage.

After King blocked a Waynflete shot at one end, he went up for a layup on offense, but Campbell soared and swatted the ball away, punctuating the block with a mighty roar to set the tone that it was going to be the Flyers’ night.

“(Te’Andre and I) have a little rivalry,” said Campbell. “I get fired up to play against him, but we’re really good friends.”

“It was great to see those two go head-to-head. If you came for that show, you got your money’s worth,” said NYA coach Jason Knight.

Senior Oliver Burdick gave Waynflete the lead with a long 3-point shot, but with 4:04 left in the quarter, two free throws from sophomore Bryce Bernier tied the score, 7-7.

Then the Flyers completely took over.

With 3:27 remaining in the first, Dahia’s 3 gave Waynflete the lead for good.

Senior Solomon Levy followed with a long jumper and after King got a point back at the charity stripe, junior Aidan Kieffer set up Johnson for a layup, Campbell made two free throws, then Campbell took a feed from junior Joey Ansel-Mullen and made a layup to give the Flyers an 18-8 advantage after eight minutes.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Panthers in the second quarter, as Waynflete’s pressure defense and ability to finish inside and out broke the game open.

After King picked up his second foul just 12 seconds in (he’d remain on the floor), the Flyers got a layup from Kieffer (set up by Johnson), a floater from Dahia and with 4:13 on the first half clock, after a Burdick steal, Levy raced in and slammed the ball home for a 24-8 lead.

“Our press gave us the lead,” said Campbell. “We’re very athletic.”

Junior Chris Saade added a free throw before two King foul shots ended the 13-0 run.

With 3:15 left in the half, Dahia converted an old-fashioned three-point play (steal, layup and free throw), but on his celebration of the basket, Dahia was called for a technical foul and sophomore Logan Welch made two foul shots for the hosts.

Kieffer then stole the ball and set Burdick up for a 3-pointer in transition. After Bermier made a free throw, Burdick hit a long jump shot, Burdick made a free throw, Campbell sank a foul shot, Campbell had a basket and despite single free throws from King and Hamblett, Waynflete was firmly in control at the break, up, 37-15.

In the first half, Burdick led the way with nine points, while Dahia contributed eight points, Campbell had seven points, four rebounds and three blocked shots and Johnson six points and five boards, which was more than enough to offset seven points from King.

NYA hoped to rally in the third quarter, but a comeback never materialized.

A putback from Levy opened the second half scoring.

After a King free throw, Johnson set up Campbell for a layup, then Campbell added a free throw to stretch the lead to 42-16.

With 5:13 to go in the third quarter, a King putback ended the Panthers’ 17-minute, 27-second field goal drought.

King then added a jumper and sophomore Elliott Oney made a bank shot after a steal to cut the deficit to 20 points.

Waynflete responded, as Johnson set up Saade for a layup and Campbell scored on a putback for a 46-22 advantage.

After King’s putback was countered by a runner from Kieffer, sophomore Bryce Poulin made a jump shot and Oney made a layup after a steal, but just before the horn, a 3-pointer from Kieffer put the Flyers up, 51-28, heading for the fourth quarter.

Where Waynflete finished off its impressive victory.

NYA started the final stanza with a layup from King and another from Poulin, but it would draw no closer.

After a Campbell three-point play, Levy scored on a putback and after Hamblett made a free throw, Saade set up Johnson for a fastbreak layup, Campbell scored on a leaner, Johnson fed junior Ilo Holdridge for a layup and Johnson hit a free throw to push the lead to 30 points, 63-33.

Down the stretch, Campbell fed Johnson for a layup and the Flyers’ final points before King made two free throws, then sank one more to account for the 65-38 final score.

“We had a team meeting (after losing to Cape Elizabeth) and got together and talked about being more accountable,” Campbell said. “We practiced hard and got ready for today. We shot well tonight, so I had some weight off my back. Having a balanced team is great. We have players coming off the bench who can score.”

“It was very important for us to get back in the win column after the Cape game and the kids were focused on that,” Henry said. “The captains had a meeting without me saying a word. I met with them afterwards and they told me what they talked about and it’s what I would have said. They wanted to work harder and be pushed harder and that’s a blessing. I appreciate the effort they had tonight. We’ve worked on some things. It’s far from a finished product, but I’m pleased.”

Campbell paced Waynflete with 17 points, as well as seven rebounds, four blocked shots and four steals.

Johnson impressed with 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

“Jared has great court vision,” said Henry. “Sometimes it looks like the game comes easily to him. He’s a talented player in terms of his versatility.”

Burdick had nine points (and five steals), Dahia and Levy had eight apiece, Kieffer (six boards) added seven off the bench, Saade had three and Holdridge two.

The Flyers had a 40-29 rebounding advantage, sank 9-of-16 free throws and overcame 18 turnovers.

NYA was led by another monster game from King, who wound up with 21 points, 15 rebounds, five steals and two blocks.

Hamblett, Oney (three steals) and Poulin all had four points, Bernier added three and Welch finished with two.

The Panthers made 15-of-23 free throws, but committed 21 turnovers.

“I thought it was going the way I wanted it to, but we couldn’t get shots to fall and turnovers killed us,” Knight lamented. “Our ball control and finishing around the rim needs to be better. They took advantage at the other end. With their length defensively, it’s hard to manage if you haven’t seen it before. Free throws don’t cut it when you’re playing a team making 3s and capitalizing on mistakes.

“I’m really proud of the effort in the second half. We tried to make some adjustments and keep it loose. We got some turnovers and finished. It’s 32 minutes and we maybe played 16.

“It was a good benchmark for us. Waynflete always is. This was our toughest game to date and it might be the rest of the season.”

Big things ahead

NYA hopes to bounce back Saturday at Pine Tree Academy. The Panthers then host Buckfield Wednesday of next week.

“We’ll watch some film and take away some positives,” said Knight. “We have some wins ahead of us. Class C South is wide open. We consider ourselves right in the mix. We have to refine some things.”

Waynflete battles a Class B South foe, Lake Region, Saturday at home. The Flyers then host Traip Academy in a makeup game Monday before visiting A.R. Gould Tuesday.

“If we keep practicing hard and keep bonding, I think we can do anything,” said Campbell.

“I feel good, but there are still some glaring weaknesses I’d like to address,” Henry said. “What’s really good about this group is the chemistry and the camaraderie and the fact they pull for each other. It’s such a great group of young men.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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