Josh Johnson of Morse, right, battles with Thomas Harvey of Brunswick for possession during a boys basketball game on Tuesday at Morse High School in Bath. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

BATH — What a way to break in the new Morse High School gym. The players were competing, the cameraman and announcers sat on a ledge overlooking the gym from an upper level, and there was no scoreboard on the wall yet. With that all being said, a countable game of basketball was played for the first time in 58 years at Morse High School on Tuesday.

Although it didn’t go as planned for the Shipbuilders, who fell in a tightly contested battle 74-64 in double overtime, it felt like a new beginning for the program.

“It was definitely a great experience to play inside our own school, and you can tell the atmosphere here is going to be electric,” said Morse guard Gabe Aucoin. “I still wish we could have a packed house with our fans, but this gym is awesome.”

It was the first varsity basketball game held under the Morse High School roof since February of 1963. Starting in the 1963-64 season, the Shipbuilders played their home games at Bath Middle School up until Tuesday.

“It’s a beautiful facility and I’m very excited to be coaching in here from here on out,” said Morse head coach Chris York. “I just wish we could have christened it with a win over Brunswick, but we worked our tails off tonight.”

It was a thrilling back and forth affair that needed two extra four minute quarters to decide a winner, thanks to some timely baskets down the stretch by both sides. 

Cam Hathaway of Brunswick, left, looks to pass around Josh ter Mors of Morse during a boys basketball game on Tuesday at Morse High School in Bath. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

In the end the Dragons took control by shutting out the Shipbuilders in the second overtime, outscoring them 10-0 in the frame. 

The Dragons were paced by Evan Kilfoil, who finished with a season-high 27 points.

“We focused on getting great shots, not just good shots, and moving the ball around to find the open man,” said Kilfoil, who scored 17  in the second half. “We really locked in during the second overtime and listened to Coach (Hanson), his experience in those spots helps us in moments like that.”

There were some fireworks at the end of the fourth quarter and the first overtime. 

With the game tied at 59 apiece with 30 seconds remaining, Kilfoil drove to the hoop and scored on a spinning layup to give the Dragons the lead. The Shipbuilders advanced the ball and York called for time to draw up a play, which worked to perfection.

With senior Boden Gould inbounding, Aucoin cut to the basket where a perfectly placed lob pass from Gould would be waiting. Aucoin adjusted mid-air and finished over Kilfoil with four seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. 

“I was just so determined to try and get the win for our team,” added Aucoin. “I was feeling myself for a little while and played a good stretch of basketball.”

In the first overtime, it was Brunswick who had the clutch shot.

After Josh ter Mors of Morse made one of two free throws to give Morse a three point advantage with about 20 seconds to go, Brunswick coach Todd Hanson let the Dragons play it out, which ended up being the right decision.

After a drive by Kilfoil was shut off, he kicked it to Ethan Upham, who let it fly from beyond the arc without hesitation to tie the game at 64-64.

The Upham three was all the momentum the Dragons needed, as they cruised in the second overtime period to secure the victory on the road. 

“We wanted this one bad, we have seven seniors who are playing in their final two games this week,” added Kilfoil. “This win will just give us the momentum we need going into Thursday against those guys. A loss in our final game just isn’t going to be acceptable.”

On the other side, Coach York and the Shipbuilders will have a day of practice to adjust before Thursday’s finale at Brunswick. 

“I’m very happy with how we played for four quarters and the first overtime period,” said York. “We’ll make the proper adjustments tomorrow (Wednesday), and go into Thursday ready to attack and get some revenge.”

Upham and sophomore Thomas Harvey each added 18 for the Dragons. Aucoin paced the Shipbuilders with 24 points. Josh ter Mors added 12, and Saywer Stead had eight.

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