Three-pointers propel Tigers past Hawks

17 years ago

    FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine – Statistically, the Fort Fairfield and Hodgdon boys’ varsity basketball teams were virtual equals in Thursday night’s game. Both teams hit 31 shots from the floor, Hodgdon led only 24-20 in rebounding and Fort Fairfield had 13 steals while Hodgdon players blocked seven shots and added seven steals, but the Tigers got the edge in the 87-73 victory behind a strong three-point shooting effort.

Fort Fairfield picked up 30 points from beyond the arc hitting 10 of 19 attempts including two in a row that capped a 28-point second-quarter comeback and another that virtually put the game away with 2:32 remaining.

Maintaining a fragile 73-70 lead with 3:12 left in the game, the Tigers showed their patience on offense as they tried to force the Hawks to foul. Hodgdon stayed in the 2-3 zone and left Josh Booth open for his third three-pointer of the night, giving Fort Fairfield some breathing room.

“We’re a pretty good three-point shooting team,” said junior forward Ryan Noyes. “They definitely helped us tonight.”

Noyes had his hands full defensively all night guarding 6-foot-6-inch senior Travis Bartley and though the Hawks brought a significant height advantage to the court Noyes says the intimidation factor was minimal.

“We’ve been playing bigger teams since our freshman year,” Noyes said. “We just went out, played good defense and boxed out.”

Hodgdon stayed in the game behind Bartley’s 22-point effort, but with time expiring and the Tigers pulling ahead, the team had to foul. Fort Fairfield wasn’t missing. The team put up 15 points from the free throw line including eight with under two minutes to play.

“We knew free throw shooting was going to be important,” Noyes says. “They kept fouling us and we kept making them, so that was huge for us.”

Hodgdon leapt out to a 24-12 lead in the first quarter led inside by Bartley and Jordan Guy, but Fort Fairfield went to a full-court press in the second quarter, creating four turnovers and picking up steals to chip away at the lead. Momentum began to swing in the Tigers favor and they grabbed the lead with 3:40 left in the first half behind back-to-back threes by Matt Cresenzo and Doug Sharpe.

Sharpe drained a three at the first-half buzzer to put Fort Fairfield up 40-35 and the Tigers were off and running.

The lead changed hands several times in the second half with Hodgdon clinging to a 59-58 lead at the end of the third but Fort Fairfield put six players in double figures to earn the win.

Cresenzo led the way with 21 points and six rebounds followed by Noyes with 19 including a perfect seven-of-seven effort from the free throw line, seven rebounds and six steals. Austin Dufour added 14, Booth and Sharpe added 11 each and Otis Edgecomb put up 10.

Guy led Hodgdon with 29 points followed by Bartley with 22.

The Tigers improve to 2-3 going into a brief holiday break. The team resumes play Friday as they host Limestone Community School/Maine School of Science and Mathematics at 7 p.m.