Vikings come up short in upset bid over No. 1 TigersUndefeated Forest Hills scores first 27 points of game against islanders
Augusta — Top-ranked Forest Hills of Jackman has been the team to beat all season in Western Class D as the Tigers entered the postseason with an unblemished 18-0 mark.
And while No. 8 Vinalhaven had upset on their minds during the quarterfinal playoff matchup between the squads on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at the Augusta Civic Center, the Tigers had the Vikings’ number from the opening tip.
Forest Hills, coached by Mike LeBlanc, a former Rockland Recreation Department director, displayed tenacious fullcourt pressure defense throughout the first three quarters of Tuesday’s game, which the opportunistic Tigers regularly turned into transition hoops.
Throw in top-tier shooting to the tune of five 3-point field goals in the first half and the Tigers had all they needed to pick up a 70-27 win over the islanders.
With the win, Forest Hills (19-0) moves on to the regional semifinals on Thursday, Feb. 20, where the Tigers will face No. 4 Pine Tree Academy of Freeport. The Breakers defeated No. 5 Islesboro 56-24 during another Tuesday morning quarterfinal.
The Vikings (12-8) defeated No. 9 North Yarmouth Academy 51-47 Feb. 11 to advance to the quarterfinal round.
The Tigers roared out of the gate and led the Vikings 27-0 after the first quarter, 44-7 at halftime and 58-14 after three quarters.
Ellie Reidy scored 10 points to lead the Vikings, while Ashley Hamilton added six; Bailey Wadleigh, four; Skyler Sanborn, Hannah Noyes and Bethany Candage, two; and Ashley Davis-Oakes, one.
Anna Carrier scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Tigers, while Kori Coro added 15; Jocelyn Hoyt, nine; Keely Taylor, five; Linda Riley and Caitlin Logston, four; and Samantha Begin, Haley Cuddy and Patricia Lessard, two.
The Vkings were 5-of-10 (50 percent) from the foul line, while the Tigers were 1-of-6 (17 percent).
Viking coach Alan Lazaro called a pair of first-quarter timeouts in an effort to rally the troops (and put a halt to Tiger offensive runs), but to no avail as the islanders trailed 9-0 with 4:31 left thanks to two hoops from Carrier, a trey from Coro and another field goal from McNally.
The Tigers led 17-0 with 2:33 left in the first quarter as the higher seed continued to roar throughout the game.
Vinalhaven netted its first field goal a minute into the second quarter off a bank-shot jumper by Reidy. However, it proved much too little too late for the Vikings as the Tigers continued to extend their lead throughout the game, leading by as many as 43 points in the second half.
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. Haskell has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School. He has won multiple Maine Press Association awards for writing and photography.
Mark loves the Boston Red Sox, iced coffee, cargo shorts, Foo Fighters and time with friends and loved ones.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn, his sons Beckett and Austin and daughter Lila.
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