Shires top Hawks in classic battle of unbeatens

11 years ago

Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Joseph Cyr
SP-HltnHodg-dc1-pt-1DRIVING — Nick Lunn, right, of Hodgdon drives to the hoop while defended by Dan Swallow, left, and Elijah Crockett.

By Joseph Cyr
Staff Writer

    HOULTON — When two undefeated squads meet on the hardwood, something has to give. And on Wednesday, that something was the Hodgdon boys’ perfect record.
    More than 1,100 fans jammed into Alumni Auditorium at Houlton High School to see the host Shires square off against Hodgdon. And when the dust settled, the Shires rallied from an early deficit to stake a 62-59 overtime victory over the Hawks.
    With the win, Houlton improves to 6-0, while Hodgdon dips to 4-1 on the year. The Shires are the top ranked team in Eastern Class C, but are just one of four undefeated teams in the region. Lee Academy, Calais and Penquis Valley (Milo) each have 4-0 records.
    Following the loss, Hodgdon slipped to third in the Eastern Class D standings, behind unbeaten Jonesport-Beals (4-0) and Bangor Christian (5-0).
    In Wednesday night’s contest, the Shires received a game-high 24-point, 10-rebound effort from Kyle Bouchard, while Nick Guiod chipped in 13 points, and Kole Buzzeo added 11.
    For the Hawks, four players scored inn double digits, which is something the team has done in four of its last five games. Chris Hudson led the way with 16 points, followed by Josh Hudson with 15, and Devon Logie and Tyler Sherman each added 10.
    “Coming into Houlton we knew that it would go through Kyle Bouchard,” said Hodgdon coach Rob Smith. “We were going into the game planning on playing two or three defenses and switching as needed.”
    Hodgdon roared to a 16-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and pushed that lead to 27-16 by halftime. Houlton made the necessary adjustments during the break and held the Hawks to just six points in the third stanza to cut the lead to 33-31 after three periods.
    “For us offensively we were looking for mismatches which we got early in the game when Nick Guiod was guarding Chris Hudson,” Smith said. “We took advantage of the mismatch and scored six points off of it.  We scored most of our first half points on cuts to the basket, whether off a screen or from a pass on a cut.”
    “In the second half we came out quick on the first few possessions and then Chris picked up his third and fourth foul with 6:30 to go in the third,” he continued. “This hurt us offensively and defensively. We only scored six points in the third and Houlton had 15. The outside shooting brought them back and then they started to pound the ball inside to Bouchard.”
    Houlton sent the game into overtime by outscoring the Hawks 22-20 in the final eight minutes of play, to knot the game at 53-53 at the end of regulation.
    Foul troubles plagued both teams, particularly in overtime. Hodgdon lost the services of starters Chris Hudson, Nick Lunn and Tyler Sherman, while Houlton lost Buzzeo and Dan Howe.
    “Entering overtime, it hurts when you take three starters, due to fouling, out of the game that are major contributors,” Smith said. “Matt Harmon and Devin Quint stepped up, but after we took a four point lead we only scored once more. Houlton only had one basket from the field in overtime but hit their free throws to seal the game.
    In overtime, the Hawks quickly went up 55-53 as Josh Hudson converted an open layup off a pass from Nick Lunn. After Bouchard made one of two foul shots, Josh Hudson struck again with a nifty post move with 3:02 to play to give the Hawks a 57-54 advantage.
    Houlton answered as Bouchard scored from inside the paint, pulling Houlton to 57-56. The Shires took a 58-57 lead with 1:57 to play on a pair of free throws by Guiod. And after a missed Hodgdon shot, the Shires began working precious time off the clock, while forcing Hodgdon to foul.
    Bouchard sank a pair of free throws with 41 second to go, but Hodgdon was not done yet. Chris Hudson drilled a pair of free throws on the other end of the floor, with just under 20 seconds to play, pulling Hodgdon to within a point (60-59).
    Bouchard was once again sent to the line on the next Shire possession and he converted one of two shots for a 61-59 advantage.
    Hodgdon had a chance on its final possession, as Logie got an open look at the basket from the lower left corner, but his shot rattled off the rim with Houlton controlling the rebound with 5.3 seconds to go. Jacob Drew was immediately fouled and sent to the line for the Shires. Drew made the second of two free throws, giving Houlton the 62-59 victory.
    “As for the game overall, what a crowd that we had,” Smith said. “It had a playoff atmosphere and I think the fans got their monies worth. Many people did not have us even close to Houlton, but I think the Hawks showed that they can play with top teams and they will not give up no matter what happens during the game. We battled back and forced overtime. This game even though we lost can give us momentum and confidence to know we can play with top teams. It also showed us that we still have to continue to work to get better.”

HODGDON (59)
    Logie 4 2-2 10, Lunn 3 0-0 6, Barton, C. Hudson 6 4-5 16, J. Hudson, 7 1-2 15, Quint, 1 0-0 2, Sherman 3 3-6 10, Harmon. Totals: 24 10-15 59. 3-pointer — Sherman.
HOULTON (62)
    Buzzeo 3 3-3 11, Crockett 2 0-0 4, Guiod 4 4-5 13, Bouchard 5 13-16 24, Swallow, Straubel 2 0-0 4, Howe 2 0-0 5, Drew 0 1-2 1. Totals: 18 21-26 62. 3-pointers — Buzzeo 2, Guiod, Bouchard, Howe.
Hawks    16    11    6    20    6    —    59
Shires    10    6    15    22    9    —    62