CAPE ELIZABETH — The Cape Elizabeth boys’ basketball team fell behind by 11 points early in its Class B South preliminary round game against Lake Region on Tuesday night.

Then the Capers became the kind of team they’ve been striving to be all season.

Cape Elizabeth amped up its defense, got easy baskets and dominated the game from the middle of the first quarter on and prevailed, 61-42.

The Capers (11-8) will face top-ranked Oceanside in the quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday, at the James Banks Portland Exposition Building.

“We’ve really honed in on mental toughness and being calm and composed,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Jeff Mitchell. “We’ve worked on our defensive press since June and it’s worked for us. I’ll take our defense against any team. The guys love to get after it.”

Jackson Libby scored eight points as the Lakers race to a 13-2 first-quarter lead. The Capers closed on a 9-2 run, capped by a 3-point shot from Andrew Trachimowicz, to make it 15-11 heading to the second.


Trachimowicz then turned the game in Cape Elizabeth’s favor with three straight steals to start the second quarter. He scored on the first, then assisted on layups by Alex Van Huystee and James Rickman to put the Capers ahead to stay.

“When we play the best we can, that’s when we’re playing our (press),” said Trachimowicz. “At that point, we’re really hard to beat.”

Cape Elizabeth completed a 17-2 run with an Owen Tighe layup and appeared poised to pull away when Libby was sidelined with a knee injury. He soon returned and set up Jacob Chadbourne for a layup before Tighe and Sam Lombardo sank 3s to give the Capers a 31-23 halftime advantage.

Cape Elizabeth pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Lake Region 21-6. The Capers closed the quarter on a 15-4 run capped by  Trachimowicz grabbing an offensive rebound and setting up Tony Dell’Aquila for a 3-pointer at the horn to make it 52-29.

The Lakers never got closer than 16 points the rest of way.

“We beat them before and we could knew we could do it again,” said Lombardo, who had 12 points, including seven second-half free throws. “We know defense is how we can win games. We know shots will fall, so we’ve prioritized defense.”


Tighe led all scorers with 17 points and Van Huystee also finished in double figures with 10 points.

Lake Region got 10 points apiece from Chadbourne and Libby, who sat almost the entire second half after picking up a technical foul.

“We knew Cape is a very talented team with a lot of different weapons and they’re a tough matchup for us,” said Lakers Coach Ryan Martin. “Their pressure really got to us and they made us uncomfortable.

“We’re a young team that worked hard at playing the next play. I’m proud of how we stayed together and played through some adversity.”

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