Patrick McKenny of Medomak Valley, left, looks to pass while Tom Guild of Morse, right, defends during a basketball game in Bath on Friday. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

BATH — The Morse boys basketball team played its first game on its home floor in 11 months, falling 49-37 win over Medomak Valley on Friday night.

After traveling on the road for their first three games this season, the Shipbuilders were glad to be home despite the loss. 

“It felt good to be back here, but it’s definitely a different atmosphere without our home fans,” said Morse junior forward Gabe Aucoin, who scored seven points before exiting in the fourth quarter due to cramping in his left leg. “It’s tough to get used to playing a competitive game in a quiet gym.”

It was an improvement for the Shipbuilders from last Friday when they fell to these same Panthers 70-42 in Warren.

“It was a much better performance for us on both ends of the floor tonight,” said first-year head coach Chris York. “That’s a super tough team that is very well coached, the guys have no reason to hang their heads.”

In the first quarter, both teams started out slow, with the teams only hitting a combined three field goals in the quarter. Medomak Valley found themselves leading 8-2 at the end of the quarter, but that’s when the Shipbuilders found their game.

Max Brochu of Morse, right, looks to pass over Aiden Starr of Medomak Valley, left, during a boys basketball game on Friday night at Bath Middle School in Bath. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“We had much better shot selection tonight, and that showed in the runs we had like the second quarter,” said York.

The term “basketball is a game of runs” was on display for the final three quarters.

After the Panthers jumped out to a 14-6 lead halfway through the second, the Shipbuilders found their shot and went on a 12-3 run to close out the half, behind six straight points from Aucoin.

Morse led 18-17 when the halftime buzzer sounded.

Tom Guild of Morse looks to pass over Medomak Valley defender Patrick McKenney during a boys basketball game on Friday night in Bath. Eli Canfield/The Times Record“The guys brought the energy, having the bench getting hyped up during that run gave us more momentum,” added Aucoin.

In the third, the Panthers started to turn it on, but the Shipbuilders traded baskets to stay within striking distance. 

After a Boden Gould jumper with 3:30 to go in the quarter to give Morse a 28-23 lead, the Panthers went on a run of their own behind four points apiece from Trevor Brown and Patrick McKenny to give the Panthers a 31-28 lead going into the fourth.

The Panthers kept their foot on the gas in the fourth, opening the quarter up on a 11-0 run, marking a 19-0 overall run between the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth.

A McKenny 3-pointer with just over three minutes to go to put the Panthers up by 17 all but sealed it for Medomak Valley. 

“Through three quarters we were neck and neck and then the fourth got away from us,” said York. “But I’m still super proud of how they played tonight.”

The Shipbuilders were led in the scoring department by Josh Ter Mars with eight. Aucoin and Brochu added seven apiece, and Sawyer Stead had five.

For the Panthers, Brown led all scorers with 23, including 10 in the third. McKenny had 12, and Finn Parmley had six. 

The Shipbuilders also held their senior night on Friday, staying with the trend that high school teams in the area did in the fall by holding senior night during their first home game.

They recognized the three seniors (Maxon Brochu, Boden Gould and Josh Johnson) prior to the game with a small pre-game ceremony.

For York, who has been in the Morse system for the past three seasons, it was a special moment to recognize players he’s seen grow during his time at Morse.

“It was a pleasure and I’m just really proud of them and the work they’ve put in over the past few years,” added York. 

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