Bangor’s big man enjoyed the big city Wednesday night.

As a result, the visiting Rams earned a huge Class AA North boys’ basketball victory over Deering at the Portland Expo.

Bangor’s 6-foot-8 senior forward, Sam Martin, had 11 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in the first quarter alone and was just getting started. He wound up with 27 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocks as Bangor gradually pulled away for a 65-44 win.

Bangor, which won the Class AA state championship last year at Cross Insurance Arena, improved to 9-3.

“We love the environment down here in Portland,” said Martin. “We love being on the big stage. All the greats have played here.”

Bangor started fast, thanks to its inside dominance and unselfishness. In addition to Martin’s production, Andrew Szwez had four assists and made a 3-pointer at the horn after a pass from Max Clark to put Bangor up 18-12.

“Andrew and all the guards just give me the best looks and put me in a great position to succeed,” Martin said.

Askar Houssein, who didn’t start for Deering (11-3), entered the game to begin the second quarter and assisted on a Max Morrione 3-pointer before making a layup to draw Deering within 18-17, but Bangor responded with seven straight points.

Bangor couldn’t put Deering away before the half, however, as a Darryl Germain 3-pointer and two Houssein free throws cut the lead to 32-27.

“I didn’t feel like we were totally out of it, but we needed to play with more energy,” said Deering Coach Todd Wing. “That was lacking and that’s who we are. If you play without your identity, you’re lucky to be down five.”

Szwez opened the second half with a leaner and a 3-pointer, and by the end of the third quarter, Bangor was up 47-34.

Bangor then opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run, featuring five free throws from Martin and consecutive layups from Henry Westrich.

“We knew we had to get out on their shooters, because Deering’s such a great shooting, athletic team,” Martin said. “I feel like we executed very well and put the ball in the hole.”

Szwez (20 points, eight rebounds, six assists) and Westrich (13 points) also scored in double figures for Bangor.

“The special thing about this group of guys is they don’t care who scores and what the stat line is,” said Bangor Coach Brad Libby. “Sam and Szwez had things going tonight, but next game, it might be someone else.”

Deering was paced by 16 points from Houssein.

“(Martin) was all we figured he was and a little bit more,” said Wing. “We’ve got to figure it out because we come back and see him again (Jan. 31 in Bangor).”

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