Waynflete 57 North Yarmouth Academy 45

W- 13 13 10 21- 57
NYA- 12 9 12 12- 45

W- Hart 6-4-21, Adey 4-2-11, Kirby 3-3-9, Cox 3-0-6, Isherwood 1-3-5, Campbell 2-0-4, Riberio 0-1-1

NYA- Bila 5-4-14, Poulin 4-3-11, Nice 3-0-6, Welch 2-0-5, E. Oney 1-2-4, Semuhoza 1-0-3, Byrne 1-0-2

W (6) Hart 5, Adey 1
NYA (2) Semuhoza, Welch 1

W- 24
NYA- 27

W: 13-21
NYA: 9-17


YARMOUTH—Waynflete’s boys’ basketball team needed a big road victory and Wednesday evening, despite being pushed for nearly 32 minutes by North Yarmouth Academy, the Flyers took care of business.

And showed their potential in the process.

The contest was tight from the get-go and there were five lead changes in the first quarter alone, which ended with Waynflete holding a 13-12 lead, thanks in large part to three 3-pointers from senior captain Henry Hart.

The Flyers then turned up their defensive intensity in the second period, forced seven turnovers and closed on a 9-2 run to take a 26-21 advantage to halftime.

The Panthers rallied to pull even early in the second half on a layup from senior Joaquim Bila, but a 3-point shot from junior Matt Adey put Waynflete on top to stay.

NYA then hung tough and was only down by three points, 36-33, heading for the fourth quarter.


There, the Panthers drew within two before Hart made his fifth and final 3-pointer and down the stretch, the Flyers hit their free throws and pulled away for a 57-45 victory.

Hart led all scorers with 21 points as Waynflete evened its record at 4-4 and in the process, dropped NYA to 3-5.

“I’m pleased to see how things turned out,” said Flyers coach Rich Henry. “With the youth we’ve got and the opponents we’ve played, we’ve been in a meat-grinder. It’s good to get a win against a rival, a very good team.”

Deja vu

Waynflete started by rolling at Sacopee Valley (67-28), then lost at Cape Elizabeth (74-55) and at home to Old Orchard Beach in double-overtime (54-52). After a 72-17 win at Seacoast Christian, the Flyers were idle for over three weeks before returning to action with a 52-38 home win over North Yarmouth Academy. Waynflete then lost at home to undefeated Yarmouth (57-25) and at Poland (67-56).

NYA started with a 58-54 loss at St. Dom’s and a 72-68 home loss to Poland, then won at Seacoast Christian (60-17) and at home over Traip Academy (50-44) before also sitting idle three weeks. The Panthers returned to action with a 52-38 loss at Waynflete, then downed visiting Sacopee Valley (61-43) and lost Friday at Old Orchard Beach (76-52).


In the teams’ first meeting, Jan. 11, Kirby had 13 points, while Hart and sophomore Sam Ribiero added 12 apiece as the Flyers did just enough to prevail over the Panthers, who got 13 points from senior Logan Welch and 11 from Bila.

Wednesday,  the Panthers looked to beat the Flyers for the first time since Jan. 17, 2017 (41-37), but Waynflete did what it had to do when the game was hanging in the balance and made it 25 victories in the teams’ last 26 meetings and stayed unbeaten against NYA in Yarmouth since 2008.

The Panthers opened the scoring with a free throw from senior Bryce Poulin before the Flyers got on the board when Adey took a pass from senior Ed Cox and made a layup.

NYA then got a driving layup from Bila and a leaner from senior Elliott Oney, but Hart made his first 3 to tie it up.

After Poulin put the Panthers back in the lead with a free throw, Adey hit a jumper, but Bila drove and finished with his left hand.

Midway through the first period, Hart made a 3 to put Waynflete on top and after Poulin made one foul shot, Hart made another 3 from the corner.


Poulin added one more free throw and junior Cal Nice sank a short jumper, but the Flyers held a 13-12 edge after eight minutes.

There wouldn’t be much separation in the second quarter either.

A layup after a steal from junior Jack Byrne gave NYA the lead back to start the frame, but junior Cole Isherwood got a runner in the lane to bounce home and Waynflete was on top again.

After Bila tied the score with a free throw, Poulin scored on a putback for a 17-15 Panthers’ advantage.

Off an inbounds set, Hart fed Adey for a layup, but with 5:40 to go in the half, Poulin banked home a contested shot and the home team had the lead for the last time.

With 4:27 on the clock, Hart took a pass from Adey and made a 3 and the ninth lead change proved to be the final one and the Flyers were up one.


Sophomore guard Nico Kirby, who dominated on the glass all night, added a basket on a putback, then Kirby set up Hart for a layup on the fastbreak to make it 24-19, forcing NYA coach Jason Knight to call timeout.

It helped initially, as Nice scored on a putback, but a putback from freshman Demetrius Campbell made it 26-21 Waynflete at the half.

Hart led all first half scorers with 14 points and the Flyers forced 10 first half turnovers, but they weren’t in the clear yet.

The Panthers then came out strong in the second half, as Welch nailed a 3, then Bila drove for a layup with 6:42 to go in the third period to tie it for the fourth and final time.

Twelve seconds later, Kirby found Adey for a 3 and that put Waynflete ahead to stay.

Welch countered with a layup, but Kirby made a layup at the other end and Adey added two foul shots.


Freshman Moses Semuhoza pulled NYA within two by hitting a 3-pointer, but after Hart made a free throw, Campbell scored on a putback.

Bila then set up Nice for a layup and the Panthers trailed by just three, 36-33, heading to the final stanza.

Where the Flyers, who overcame 11 third quarter turnovers, finally locked up their victory.

Waynflete moved the ball well to start the fourth, as Isherwood set up Cox for a layup.

Bila then made a free throw and with 6:49 remaining, Bila made a layup after a steal to pull NYA within two, 38-36.

Enter Hart.


One final time.

With 6:07 on the clock, Kirby got the ball to an open Hart and Hart didn’t hesitate, burying another 3-ball.

“After I hit that first one, I felt more confident in my shot and that gave me a boost to keep shooting,” Hart said. “The guys kept finding me and I just tried to take the right shot.”

Oney got the Panthers back within three with two free throws and NYA got the ball back, but Bila was off-target on a potential game-tying 3.

Adey then set up Cox for a layup and after Welch missed a 3, Riberio made a free throw to make it 44-38 with 3:47 to go.

Bila drove for a layup to keep hope alive for NYA, but Hart sank two free throws, then Kirby did the same and after Bila made one foul shot, Cox banked home a shot with 2:40 left and the lead was nine, 50-41.


Poulin made a layup for the Panthers, but Kirby answered with a floater.

With 1:31 left, Poulin scored on a putback, but that would be NYA’s final points and in the final minute, Isherwood made three of four free throws, Hart added a foul shot and Kirby hit one more to bring the curtain down on the 57-45 victory.

“We focus a lot on defense,” said Hart. “If you pride yourself on defense, the offense will come. We try to bring energy and get steals and bring that momentum to offense.”

“I think it’s really important to win this,” Kirby said. “This brings the team together. Hopefully, we’ll keep it going. Being a smaller team, we’re quick. We brought energy from the start of the game and that can overwhelm other teams. We just focused on their shooters and where they were on the court. We had to stay calm and collected and that really helped us.”

“It was a very similar game to the game at our place,” Henry added. “Nip and tuck. Very aggressive defense on their part. They knew how to take away what we wanted to do, but I’m proud of how the kids battled back, settled down and got some shots to fall.”

Hart finished with a game-high 21 points and his importance to the Flyers as a leader can’t be quantified.


“I’ve seen the captains and leaders on the team as a younger player and seeing the culture they set,” Hart said. “Now, as a senior, I try to take on that role the best I can. It’s definitely a young team, maybe the youngest I’ve been on, but they step up to the challenge and come to practice hungry.”

“Henry is an exemplary leader,” said Henry. “He’s been someone I knew would accept the mantle of leadership. I talk to him about not taking everything on as his own personal responsibility. He inspires his teammates and leads them so well. There’s not anything more you could ask for as a coach.”

Adey had 11 points, five assists and four steals, while Kirby nearly had a double-double with nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds, as well as three assists and three steals.

“Being a smaller team, somebody has to rebound and I want to go get the ball,” Kirby said.

“Nico’s actually our leading rebounder and he gets quite a few on the offensive end,” Henry said. “He’s only a sophomore and he’s only going to get better. He’s very coachable.”

Isherwood finished with five points, Campbell had four (as well as seven rebounds and two blocked shots) and Riberio one.


“We had some great contributions off the bench,” Henry said. “Demetrius came in and made some things happen. It was a total team effort.”

Waynflete had a 38-37 rebound advantage and overcame 13-of-21 foul shooting and 24 turnovers.

NYA was paced by Bila, who had 14 points and five steals. Poulin added 11 points and nine rebounds, Nice had six points, eight rebounds and three blocks off the bench, Welch finished with five points, Oney had four, Semuhoza three and Byrne two.

The Panthers were stymied by 9-of-17 free throw shooting and 27 turnovers.

“We were right there,” Knight said. “Basketball’s a game of runs and we had our share and Waynflete responded and had one more run in them than we did at the end. You have to maintain possession of the ball and we can get better at that.

“We got better today and that was the message in the locker room. We haven’t pieced it all together for 32 minutes yet. We’re still building. We have to learn to play better in big situations. They made timely shots and stretched the floor really well.”


Busy stretch

Both teams have a lot of games to come.

NYA plays host to St. Dom’s Friday, then meets Rangeley Saturday.

“We have to take better care of the basketball and make smarter decisions,” said Knight. “That’s the key thing. We’ll keep refining and getting better. It doesn’t really matter what your record is going in (to the tournament) as long as you’re playing your best ball the first or second week of February. I’m confident that this group will piece it together in the next couple weeks. We just want to get better every day.”

Waynflete is back in action Thursday at Fryeburg Academy. Saturday brings a trip to Old Orchard Beach and Monday, the Flyers are at Traip Academy.

“I think we can be as good as we want to be,” Hart said. “We just have to bring the same hunger every game.”

“We want to play our best basketball at the end,” Henry said. “It’s more than wins and losses. We want to be playing consistently toward the end.”

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

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