Blazes regroup, edge Spartans
WESTBROOK — Keenan Lowe scored 19 points to lead Westbrook to a 58-53 win over Sanford in an SMAA boys´ basketball game Friday night.
The victory continued a successful stretch for the Blue Blazes (8-2), who have won four straight. Westbrook recorded a mild upset over Bonny Eagle to start the week and overcame adversity to get past the Spartans (5-5).
"That´s a real big week for us, to be able to beat Bonny Eagle (53-50 on Tuesday) and Sanford in the same week," said Westbrook Coach Mark Karter.
"You know, I think we´re getting a little battle-tested, which is only going to help us down the stretch. It was nice to see us be able to compete in games like that."
The Blue Blazes got off to a tremendous start, leaving the Spartans in a deep early hole.
Evyn Nolette opened the game with a 3-pointer for Sanford, one of four he drained in the first half, but the lead was short-lived.
Westbrook answered with a 15-0 run, featuring six points from Lowe and five from Zack Bean. Bean then added his second 3-pointer for the final points of the opening quarter as Westbrook surged to an 18-5 advantage.
Westbrook held a 13-point lead until midway through the second quarter before the Spartans make a big surge to tie the game.
Ryan Camire, who finished with 22 points, started the fireworks with the first of what turned out to be five straight 3-pointers -- the final three drained by Nolette -- in a 15-2 run that evened the game at 28-28.
The Blue Blazes scored the final three points of the half to carry a 31-28 lead into the break.
"Our past few games we´ve gotten off to a good start," said Lowe. "But that second and third quarter, we have let them creep back in. I think we come out well, which helps us later in the game."
Sanford scored six of the first eight points in the second half to grab a 34-33 lead, and moments later put together an 8-0 run to move ahead 42-36.
Lowe scored the final five points of the quarter to cut the visitor´s lead to 42-41 heading into the final eight minutes.
"We were down early and this place was rocking," said Sanford Coach Paul Nolette.
"We had a chance to just roll over, but we asked the boys to come out and compete and take a little pride in who they are. We knew that if we played solid defense that we could get back into things, and we did."
David Breunig´s basket three minutes into the fourth, followed by a Lowe basket, gave Westbrook a 45-42 lead. The Blue Blazes went 10 for 13 from the foul line down the stretch to secure the victory.
"We´ve done a nice job the last few games doing our stuff early, and we got off to a real good start tonight," said Karter. "That went a long way in helping us."
Nolette finished with 16 points. Bean scored 15 and Alec Hazlewood had 13 for Westbrook.