CORINTH— Kyle Ham scored 18 points to lead a balanced Central Red Devils attack in a 72-43 victory over the Mattanawcook Lynx on Friday evening at Central high school.
Central lost their previous two games, and they had 10 days off, including two holidays since they last took the floor for game action. That layoff was noticeable, as the Lynx scored the first six points of the game and held a 9-3 lead after the first three minutes.
“I knew coming into tonight that we may struggle getting into the game,”Central coach Curt Davis said. “We emphasis that last night in practice, we need to come out and be ready to play.”
Central took a 17-16 lead late in the first quarter, when Jordn Smith scored his only field goal of the game. That started an 18-2 Red Devils run that extended into the middle of the second quarter.
The Red Devils had good ball movement the entire game, especially in the first half. Central had 12 assists on 13 field goals in the first 16 minutes. Caleb Shaw finished with six assists, Andrew Prescott dished out five.
“We decided to move the ball more. We were holding the ball, letting the defense settle,”Central guard Andrew Speed said. “Once we started moving the ball, we started to get open looks.”
The Red Devils made seven three pointers, including three from Grant Poulin. Speed connected on two, while Shaw and Prescott made one each.
“We were getting down on ourselves, we can’t do that,”Poulin said. “You need to keep going strong. When we move that is when we are at our best.”
Mattanawcook cut the deficit to 41-32, when Gunner Maxwell connected on one of his third quarter three pointers with 5:32 remaining. Central outscored the Lynx 18-7 the rest of the quarter to put the game away.
“This is a team (Mattanawcook) that is a football school, they have athleticism,”Davis said. “I tried to emphasis to the boys, that they were going to come out and play hard, and they did. We just kind of wore them out, not to mention they were without their point guard from the past, that hurt them.”
The Red Devils are now half way through their regular season. They will be looking to start games faster going down the stretch of the season. In the last four games, Central has fallen behind against PCHS, in a game they had to rally back to get a win in overtime. They fell behind in losses to Hermon and GSA, and they did it again in their win over Mattanawcook.
The Red Devils have Hermon on the schedule again next week. They finish the season at GSA, and have very challenging games against Orono, PCHS, and Lee Academy remaining on the schedule.
“The last two games that we lost, we started slow too,”Poulin said. “We need to come out strong every night and show that we want it.”
Central (7-2) will travel to Milo for a game against Penquis, before a rematch with Hermon. They know they will have to do a better job rebounding in the second half of the season. The Red Devils out-rebounded Matanawcook 30-27 after a slow start.
We didn’t box out very well, they were putting those back in. I think they had 10 points at the half on second chance opportunities. I told them going into the second quarter, we need to continue to do what we do on offense, but we need to do a better job of boxing out,”Davis said. “It started to come around, that type of boxing out will not work against Hermon or a few other teams that we are going to face. This is good for our confidence, we are hoping to roll into the Hermon game on a good note, and we split with them on the season and get back to where we want to be.”
Poulin finished with 15 points, four rebounds, and one assist. Speed added 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Prescott recorded seven points, three steals, and two rebounds. Trevor Macomber scored six points and pulled down three rebounds. Shaw scored six points and grabbed six rebounds. Smith recorded five points, six rebounds, three blocks, and three steals. Jay Tate, Kristian Casavant, and Ethan Mailman scored two points each for the Red Devils.
Maxwell led Mattanawcook (1-7) with 15 points and seven rebounds, Scott Jipson added nine points, Carter Ward recorded five points, four rebounds, and three assists, Brett Crocker chipped in with five points and three assists. Tyson Libby scored three first half points, Austin Smith, Edwin Ritchie, and Jordan Hanscom scored two points each for the Lynx.