Gorham wears down Hawks in opener
Marshwood High School’s Drew Bartlett defends Gorham’s Jackson Fotter during Friday’s Western Maine Class A boys basketball season opener in South Berwick. Matt Parker photo
By Mike Zhe
Posted Dec. 6, 2014 @ 2:00 am
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — For the first three quarters and even into the fourth, it had visions of a clean getaway, trailing for a grand total of just 18 seconds.
Still, it was never what the Marshwood High School boys basketball team would have called a comfortable lead on Friday night.
Not even after 6-foot guard Kyle Parmley posted up inside and converted a hoop, and then hit a 3-pointer the next time down to give his team a four-point edge with six minutes to go.
No, the Hawks were in big-time foul trouble and knew they had a charging posse on their heels.
The final result wasn’t what Marshwood wanted on opening night, a 60-51 loss that saw visiting Gorham overtake it, closing the game on a 19-5 run and cashing in on the foul trouble it had the Hawks in all game.
“Yeah, we’ve got a long way to go,” said senior guard Drew Bartlett, who scored a team-high 12 points. “But we usually get better as the season goes on. We’re hoping some teams will plateau and we’ll keep going. I’m happy with the effort tonight.”
The Hawks played without point guard Ryan O’Neil, who sat out the one game for a violation of team rules, coach Mike Zamarchi said. They also had three players in their rotation — Parmley, Nick Dalecki and Zach Mitchell — who only started practicing a week ago after helping the school’s undefeated football team win its first state championship in a quarter-century on Nov. 22.
Gorham junior forward Billy Ruby led all scores with 16 points. His team took control with a 9-0 run midway through the fourth that put it up by five, and kept its foot on the pedal to the end.
“We wanted to wear them down,” said longtime Gorham coach Mark Karter. “They’re probably still not in the best shape coming off a big football season. And I think we did. They’re a big, strong, physical team and it’s always great to come here and get a win.”
The game had a football feel. The Rams scored 29 of their points from the foul line and had Hawks big men Baili Lontine-Kearson (6-foot-6) and Griffin Simmons (6-foot-7) saddled with four fouls in the third quarter.
“I was happy with our effort on the defensive end,” said Zamarchi. “Offensively, very sloppy.”
Both teams, with starters back from middle-of-the-pack squads a year ago, have eyes on upward mobility in Western Maine Class A. The Rams went 8-11, finishing ninth and losing a prelim at No. 8 Noble.
The Hawks finished 12th (8-12 overall), upset No. 5 Thornton Academy in the prelims and lost in overtime to No. 4 Deering in the regional quarterfinals.
Marshwood set the tone with its defense Friday, forcing turnovers on the Rams’ first three trips, not allowing a basket for the first three minutes and taking a 10-4 lead when Simmons tipped in a miss as the buzzer sounded for the quarter.
Gorham, down nine on two separate occasions, cut into the lead by banging the ball inside to big men Nick Thibeault (10 points) and Sam Kilborn (eight points). It could have taken the lead but shot just 8-of-19 from the line in the first half.
“We were down two (at halftime) but we’d missed a ton of foul shots and a lot of shots,” said Karter.
The Hawks led 23-21 at halftime and 40-39 after three quarters, getting tied up twice but not surrendering the lead.
Until late. Once their athletes get into full basketball mode, the Hawks hope they’ll be able to finish games like these out.
“We have baseball players; we have football players,” said Zamarchi. “They didn’t lose a (basketball league) game all summer and our guys are still learning each other.”
The learning process continued Friday for the Hawks.
“Our offense looks really rusty right now,” said Bartlett. “Turnovers, foul trouble. But we’ll fight it through. That’s supposed to be one of the better teams we’re going to play this year and to know that we can play with them is good.”
Bernaiche 1-4-7, Thibeault 4-2-10, Fotter 1-4-6, Kilborn 2-4-8, Ruby 3-10-16, Ruda 1-3-5, Smith 3-2-8. Totals: 15-29-60.
Parmley 3-1-8, Bartlett 4-2-12, McDaniel 2-5-9, Mitchell 1-1-3, Lontine-Kearson 3-0-6, Dalecki 2-0-4, Stankovich 2-1-5, Simmons 2-0-4. Totals: 19-10-51.
Gorham 4 17 18 21—60
Marshwood 10 13 17 11—51
3-point goals: Gorham 1 (Bernaiche); Marshwood 3 (Bartlett 2, Parmley. Fouled out: Bartlett. Prelim: Gorham JVs, 66-59.
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