Portland had already defeated Deering, twice–by a combined score of 52 points, so the question going into the semi-final matchup was would, or could, Deering avoid another blowout. The answer was five foot nine inch Deering sophomore reserve Benedict Williams who, took over a stretch of fourth quarter eating feeds from the pivot, crashing and–slashing to the rim for 18 2nd half points to keep Deering. Jayvon Pitts-Young carried Portland in the first half, but in the second–as with every other game hitherto–Portland’s five-man panopticon–their zone trap defense–proved just too good for their opponent. Steve Alex was the third-quarter beneficiary of Portland’s defensive machine getting out in the open floor and scoring in transition where he finishes like no other. In the 4th, point guard Justin Zukowski closed out the match, Zuk the Cuke calmly hit free throw after free throw after free throw after free throw . . . .
They say basketball games are decided in the final two minutes, and that may be true–to an extent–but at the end of the first half the Bonny Eagle Scots led the Falmouth Yachtsmen with the score at 18 a piece. Say what? How could the Scots lead in a game with the score tied? Because Bonny Eagle point guard Dustin Cole is an artist at drawing fouls. Although Dustin scored just two in the first half he drew 5 fouls and went on to score thirteen points from the line in the game. Those mistakes were costly to Falmouth, as two key Yachtsmen would foul out down the stretch. Such a pity, as Falmouth Sophomore Tommie Coyne rung up Dustin for a game high thirty-three, on a team of giants, the 5’11 point guard tested Dustin’s mettle as well as his game.
It was a test that Dustin could have failed; but Cole is simply not to be denied when moving to the air borne ball. On the Scots final two possessions, with the game on the line, Cole made his best plays of the night with two brilliant ball hawk catches off inbound passes. And with the ball in his hands and the Scots in the bonus, the free-throws, and the victory, are a fait accompli.
Head vs. Heart, Dustin vs. Justin: Bonny Eagle will try to avenge their one loss when they meet undefeated Portland Western Class A Final, Saturday.