January 24, 2012

BOYS BASKETBALL: Hall-Dale's depth too much for Ramblers

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FARMIONGDALE — The Hall-Dale boys basketball team can empa-thize with rival Winthrop. That’s who they were a year ago — young, energetic and inexperienced. Hall-Dale has since arrived. This season, the Bulldogs have nearly doubled their wins of a year ago at 10-3 and are a tournament contender in Western Maine Class C.

click image to enlarge

COMING THROUGH: Winthrop High School’s Taylor Morang, left, attempts to dribble past Hall-Dale High School’s Tyler French during a game Mondayin Farmingdale.

Monday night, they had too much depth for the Ramblers and put them away in the second half with a 56-47 win. Winthrop (2-12) didn’t go quietly, though. Trailing by as many as 19 points (54-35) the Ramblers hung tough behind senior Tyler Foster, junior Hunter Kilgore and precocious freshman point guard Taylor Morang.

“Things finally clicked tonight,” first-year coach Todd MacArthur said.

“We did a good job of handling their pressure early on. We executed and had success.”

The Bulldogs depth caught up to the Ramblers in the second quarter and they never fully recovered.

“We knew they were  going to be itching at us,”  Hall-Dale senior Austin Bechard said. “They’ve gotten a lot better than when they started.”

The Bulldogs seem to have a different high scorer every night — little wonder since coach Jim Patrick rotates his lineup every four minutes — and Monday night belonged to Bechard, who connected on four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 17 points.

“We’re nine or 10 deep,” Bechard said.

The Bulldogs pressure got to the Ramblers in the second quarter when they forced seven turnovers and outscored Winthrop 18-9. They led 27-21 at the half as Mike Woods fed Ezra Jones for a bank shot at the buzzer.

Hall-Dale got individual offensive efforts from several players throughout the game. Woods had a spurt at the end of the third quarter, then Zac Plummer scored seven of his nine points in a flurry to start the fourth period.

Morang finished with a team-high 15 points, many of those on strong double-pump drives to the basket, while Kilgore scored 13 and Foster had 11.

I am so proud of my group,” MacArthur said.

“All year long, even though our record doesn’t say much, they’ve battled. They’ve hung together and they compete until the end.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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