GSA boys breeze past Dexter to reach regional title game

first_imgBANGOR — It’s been rare for opposing teams to pose any sort of challenge for the George Stevens Academy boys’ basketball team this season. Two games into the Class C North playoffs, that still hasn’t changed much.GSA overpowered Dexter on both ends of the floor Friday to win 60-31 and advance to the regional title game. It wasn’t as high-scoring as some of the Eagles’ other wins, but GSA still brought the Cross Insurance Center to its feet with a series of slam dunks, behind-the-back dribbles and outlet passes to continue their push for a second consecutive state title.Dexter attempted to break down the GSA defense with a series of backdoor passes and outside shots to avoid one-on-one situations with the Eagles’ big men, but it didn’t work. GSA forced Dexter to take a number of poor shots, and the Tigers’ inability to overcome GSA’s size left them trailing 15-5 after the first quarter.“We knew they were going to be able to rebound well, but the height advantage was still a bonus,” GSA head coach Dwayne Carter said. “I thought it really affected the way they shot the ball. We kept Max in the paint a lot, but they still didn’t take a lot of outside shots.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textAfter a quick basket and a foul at the other end to start the second, Taylor Schildroth made a long 3-pointer and got an immediate steal that led to a layup. Moments later, Jarrod Chase dunked after a breakaway steal to make the score 24-6. Max Mattson would get a dunk of his own off an outlet pass about a minute before halftime to give the Eagles a 28-10 lead.A series of outlet passes for GSA (20-0) led to easy Schildroth layups that expanded the Eagles’ lead early in the third quarter. The Eagles gave up a 6-0 Dexter run when Schildroth, Mattson and Stefan Simmons rested to start the fourth quarter, but that was about the only hiccup for GSA in the second half of another dominant victory.Schildroth had 29 points and five rebounds for GSA. Mattson had 12 points and three blocks, and Jarrod Chase scored eight points. Jacob Bickford and Brayden Miller each had eight for Dexter.Although the game was one of GSA’s lower offensive outputs this season from a statistical standpoint, much of that could be attributed to Dexter’s slower pace. in an effort to limit GSA’s possessions.That part of Dexter’s game plan was a success, but GSA still scored with ease most of the time at the other end. To put distance between themselves and the Tigers, the Eagles got down the court faster than usual and were also able to get frequent scores on fast breaks.“We knew Dexter was a really well-coached team, and they like to slow it down,” Schildroth said. “They sometimes took as much as two or three minutes off the clock. Early on, we wanted to push the pace.”GSA will face the Fort Fairfield Tigers (19-1) in the Class C North title game tomorrow, Feb. 25, at 8:35 p.m. The Eagles battled Fort Fairfield for first place in the Class C North standings all season long before finally clinching it on the final day of the regular season. In less than 24 hours, the two will finally get to face each other on the court. “The thing about [Fort Fairfield] is that they’re fast and like to run like we do,” Carter said. “That’s going to make it really fun to watch. They have some real shooters and play good defense.”With a win, GSA would advance to the state title game against Winthrop or Madison. That game would be played at 7:05 p.m. March 4 at the Cross Insurance Center. Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Latest Postscenter_img MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Biolast_img read more