AUGUSTA — At halftime of its game against Lewiston, it appeared the Cony boys basketball team had all but given up, trailing by 21 points.
But the Rams came back to make a game of it in the second half, drawing to within four points in the fourth quarter, before falling 60-46.
The loss all but eliminates the Rams (4-11) from tournament contention unless they can knock off undefeated Hampden Academy next week, and even that might not be enough. Lewiston (10-5) will play in Eastern Maine Class A tournament and will be a dangerous opponent. The Blue Devils, who have won seven straight games, are deep and athletic.
“We’ve finally found out touch and we’re playing as a team,” senior center Steven Patrie said. “When we get going, it’s pretty hard to stop us.”
The Blue Devils looked pretty unstoppable in the first half when they forced 14 Cony turnovers and attacked the basket. A 3-pointer from Mohamed Mohamud and a three-point play by Josh Thomas early in the second quarter ignited a 15-2 run that left the Rams reeling and trailing 33-12.
But the Rams got off the mat in the third quarter as sophomore Liam Stokes got things going with a 3-pointer from the right side. Junior Ben Lucas (14 rebounds) scored seven of his nine points in the quarter, capped by a 3 from Mitchell Bonenfant that drew Cony to within 10 points, 43-33.
“I thought being down so much we played loose in the second half and started making some shots,” Cony coach Tim Bonsant said. “And we started playing a little better defense.”
Bonenfant (10 points) opened the fourth quarter with a 3 from the left corner and Ben Leet followed with another 3 from nearly the same spot to make it 45-40. The Rams applied a little full-court pressure which rattled the Blue Devils for three of four minutes and produced three turnovers.
“They brought a lot of intensity,” Lewiston coach Tim Farrar said. “There’s some things we’ve got to do better but a lot of that has to do with what they did.”
The Rams cut the lead to 48-44 when Zack Lachance hit a 3-pointer from the right side, but that’s as close as they would get. Patrie and Thomas scored layups and Donne Aggossou made a short jumper in the lane to push the lead back to 10 points.
“Our defense kind of fell apart at first,” Patrie said. “Once we talked to each other . . . we kind of took a step from there.”
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638