Mt. Blue Boys create name for themselves in Northern A Ball

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FARMINGTON – The Mt. Blue boys basketball team continue their strong play, posting a 11-5 record ahead of the final few weeks of the regular season.

The Cougars picked up a pair of key wins on the road, including a 68-62 victory against Cony High School, and a 69-43 win against Leavitt Area High School. The two away wins was coupled by a 57-50 victory against Messalonskee High School at home.

The team avenged an earlier loss to the Cony Rams, with a gritty on the road win. The two teams would each go on runs, only to see the momentum shift and the other team start hitting shots. Mt. Blue held onto a 47-41 lead going into the final period. A late game run would cut the Cougars’ lead to 1 point, yet the veteran squad remained calm, with senior Chandler Briggs connecting on a key three pointer followed by junior Evans Sterling stealing the ball and completing the fast break play. Cony would not score again. The victory was the result of 19 and 18 point performances from Briggs and Sterling, aided with 13 points from senior Zak Koban.

Sharpshooting from senior guards Poisson and Briggs drove the Cougars to victory against the Leavitt Hornets. The duo put on a show, netting key shots from beyond the arc to lead the team to victory. Even play and defensive tenacity led to a slow start for both programs, with Mt. Blue edged Leavitt, taking a 25-22 lead going into halftime. The third quarter saw a huge shift in momentum in the Cougars’ favor, with their 3 point lead ballooning to an 18 point lead, namely due to Briggs connecting on 3 and Poisson nailing 2 treys to round out the offensive attack. The team was led by Briggs, who nailed 6 3-pointers en route to his game-high 24 points, aiding him in the scoring column was Poisson with 13 and Sterling with 12.

In the Cougars’ return to their home court, the squad took down the Messalonskee Eagles 57-50. Strong shooting and tenacious defense led to a key Northern A division victory. Poisson netted 19 to lead the charge, with Sterling and Briggs netting 17 and 14.

The victories highlighted the strength of the veteran team: its multifaceted offensive attack and selflessness attitude. Sterling, Briggs or Poisson each can put up 20 point performances on any given night. Briggs nailed 11 3-pointers over the course of the Cony and Leavitt game alone, reflecting the strong shooting skills from the senior. The group possesses a team-first mentality, from Jayden Meader’s defensive pressure to Zak Koban’s rebounding presence, each member of the team contributes to the Cougar’s success.

A playoff run looks promising for the talented group. Mt. Blue currently sits as the 4 seed, with the top 8 teams making the Maine Principals Association’s State Basketball Tournament. Ahead of the Cougars sits the undefeated Brewer High School Witches at 15-0, Nokomis Regional High School at 11-5, and Skowhegan Area High School at 10-6. Brewer defeated Mt. Blue twice this season, most recently 58-52, however Mt. Blue competed with Brewer throughout the contest. Mt. Blue split with Nokomis, taking down the defending state champions 70-55 Dec. 22, then falling 63-60 at the buzzer Jan. 17. The Cougars also split with Skowhegan, defeating them 67-45 Dec. 13, while losing 49-59 Feb. 1.

The squad has two remaining games left on the schedule, wrapping up the regular season against Camden Hills Regional Feb. 9.

The game was recorded by Mt. Blue TV and is available for viewing at MtBlueTV.org

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