Saturday, March 8, 2014
AUGUSTA — The Forest Hills boys basketball team expected to be challenged at some point in the Western D tournament.
That some point came Saturday in the quarterfinals for the top-seeded Tigers, who got all they could handle from No. 9 Islesboro.
Ryan Petrin scored a game-high 30 points and Tanner Daigle added 10 as Forest Hills sank Islesboro 60-45 in a Western D quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center.
“Hats off to Islesboro,” said Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero. “They came in prepared. We just couldn’t break their backs today. Every time we got up 11 or 12 points, they just came back and made a basket. This wasn’t an easy game.”
Forest Hills (17-2) advanced to play No. 4 Valley (15-4) in a regional semifinal game Wednesday.
Islesboro, which upset No. 8 Richmond in the preliminary round, finished 9-9. Fin Conte led the Eagles with 16 points while Cameron Jack added seven.
“We didn’t really know what to expect from them,” said Daigle, who also grabbed 12 rebounds. “We were expecting to play Richmond. We weren’t expecting them to come in here and hit all their jump shots. They just kept hanging around.”
Forest Hills led 26-15 at the half and the teams traded baskets in the third quarter. The Eagles pulled within nine points when Conte hit a 12-foot jump shot midway through the third quarter. However, Petrin scored 10 points in the quarter to help keep the Tigers ahead.
“He is a longtime starter for us,” Amero said. “He had a hell of a game. He put us on his back.”
The Eagles opened the game playing man defense but switched to a two-three zone in the second half.
“They switched things up and we had to adjust,” Amero said. “We struggled a little bit. It was also tough for us to get into a rhythm.”
Foul trouble played a part in that.
Amero said his team averages 4.4 fouls a half, but it picked up four in the opening half of the first quarter.
“That was tough,” he said. “We had to make a lot of adjustments early, and that didn’t help us.”
Forest Hills finally put the game out of reach when it opened the fourth on a 12-4 run.
Petrin scored six points in the run, including a three-point play with 5:19 left in regulation.
“It got frustrating for a little while,” Amero said. “We didn’t feel the game was in hand until there were four minutes to go. That’s when we felt we could close it out.”
Added Daigle: “We just kept getting the ball inside. We finally took over defensively. They gave us a little scare but it’s good to move on.”Bill Stewart — firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @billstewartkj