Skowhegan hit two 3-pointers off loose balls to end the third quarter with a 33-26 lead in a game that very much felt still teetering. Then the River Hawks opened up the final quarter with a 15-0 run to wear down the Eagles for a 54-34 semifinals win.
A predicted physical game lived up to the hype between Skowhegan’s size and the 6’9” sophomore Merrick Smith for Messalonskee, but the depth and experience of the River Hawks carried them through. Smith could only do so much as the 6’5” trio of Adam Savage, Colin LePage and Kyle LePage continued their tournament success after their 47 and 22 line in the bludgeoning of Lawrence. The three combined for 34 points, were big on the boards and stifled anyone not named Smith. Patrick McKenney also added 12 points, ten of them coming in the second half.
Smith finished with a game high 14 points in a double double night, but foul trouble contributed to his struggles along with the Showhegan defense. Smith also missed two crucial layups in the first three quarters, one leading to his third foul early in the second half. Dan Parent added eight points and no one else for Nokomis had more than three.
Neither team shot well from the free throw line with Skowhegan going 11-16 to Nokomis’ 5-11. Two of those came late on a technical against Savage for hanging on the rim. The Eagles were 1-5 from the charity stripe in the first half when the biggest lead was only eight points.
Skowhegan will play Brewer in the Class A North championship Friday.