BATH — With a berth in the Class A South quarterfinals at the Portland Expo up for grabs, visiting Westbrook and Morse knew their regional prelim Tuesday night was going to be a battle.

And it was — if only for a bit.

No. 9 Westbrook shook off No. 8 Morse, pulling away in the second quarter en route to a 56-36 victory in front of an energetic crowd. Westbrook advanced to face top-seeded Falmouth in the regional quarterfinals Saturday night in Portland. Morse finished 7-10.

Tyler Heathcoat and Ben Eugley each scored 13 points to pace the Blazes. Aiden Taylor added 10, including a pair of 3-pointers, for Westbrook as well.

Gabe Aucoin led the Shipbuilders with 12 points, while junior Andrew Card added eight.

Westbrook, which defeated the Shipbuilders twice during the regular season, used a solid defensive effort to prevent Morse from going on any extended run.


“We did a little bit of a better job keeping the other guys at bay,” Westbrook coach Bryan Hoy said. “We know Aucoin is a really good player and he was going to get his. We just had to make sure we could help off and I thought the other guys did a great job defensively (Tuesday), especially in the first half only giving up 14 points. We did an excellent job on the glass.”

Westbrook led just 13-9 after the first quarter bull took a 27-14 lead into halftime. Senior guard Braiden Pierce scored five points in the decisive second quarter for Westbrook.

Morse’s Gabe Aucoin (23) shoots over Westbrook defenders Kolbyn Dunphe (10) and Ben Eugley (32) as Connor Doolittle (11) and Morse’s Calin Gould (4) look on during a Class A South prelim game Tuesday night in Bath. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

“He’s got a ton of energy,” Hoy said of his senior guard. “He’s a really good on-the-ball defender and offensively he gets to the rim and is a finisher. Our big guys have to always be looking for him as he can pass the ball while driving to the hoop.”

Westbrook continued to pressure Morse in the second half, creating several turnovers.

“This was our first time playing man against them,” Morse coach Chris York said. “Before we had played a zone so they attacked us a little bit different this time because our defense was different.”

Morse’s shooting woes continued in the second half. Although it pulled within 41-31with five minutes remaining, it would get no closer.


“They came with a lot of heart (Tuesday) and wanted it more and it showed in the end,” senior Aucoin said.

Aucoin added that while it was tough for the seniors to lose in the prelims, playing in front of a large home crowd was special.

“It was great and emotional,” he said. “We had a lot of fans here tonight and it was awesome to see them out here supporting us.

Added York: “They’re a resilient group. They’ll scratch, they’ll and they work their butts off. They’re an unbelievable group. I started at Morse four years ago when they were all freshman so I have been able to watch them grow into these great young men that they are. I told them if they work as hard in life as they do out there on the court, they’ll be successful.”

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