FAIRFIELD — In Brunswick High School, you have one of the most experienced boys basketball teams in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference. Particularly in the backcourt, where Blake Gordon, Derek Devereaux and Ryan Black are longtime starters.
“We’re a veteran team. Five of our top six guys are seniors,” Brunswick coach Todd Hanson said. “Those guards are seniors and have been with me for three years. We’ve put the leadership burden on those guys.”
The Dragons’ senior backcourt stepped up Friday night at Folsom Gym, combining for 47 points to lead Brunswick to a 62-53 win at Lawrence.
While Brunswick (11-5) is a veteran group, Lawrence (8-8) is a team that entered the season with very little varsity experience. This late into the season, however, lack of experience is no longer an excuse, Lawrence coach Jason Pellerin said.
“We’ve refused to talk about how young we are since the Mt. Blue game (in December) and we refuse to do it now,” Pellerin said. “We’re far enough into the season that shouldn’t come into play any more. We understand as a basketball team we have to play better against these teams.”
The Dragons led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, but Lawrence made a run, and Dustin Simpson-Bragg (18 points) hit a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 15 seconds to play, Brunswick’s lead was 57-53. However, the Dragons went 5 for 6 at the line in the final minute to seal the win.
Brunswick led 18-15 after one quarter, and increased its lead to 35-26 at the half with a strong transition game, playing up-tempo and attacking the basket. Gordon Black scored 16 of his game-high 27 points in the first half, with most of his points coming by driving the lane for layups.
“These (Lawrence) kids are tough. They’re young. They’re going to be a great team down the road,” Hanson said. “We knew their youth might play into our hands a little bit, with our experience. We wanted to make them work on both ends of the floor and exploit what they gave us.”
A Devereaux (14 points) basket with 4:34 left in the third quarter gave Brunswick its largest lead, 40-28. From there, the Bulldogs chipped away, and an 8-1 run in the fourth quarter cut Brunswick’s lead to four points. But Lawrence missed five free throws in the fourth quarter, and missed layups throughout the game.
“Brunswick played an outstanding game. I love how our kids play. Tonight, shots didn’t fall,” Pellerin said.
Elliot Boyd grabbed 11 rebounds for Brunswick. Cole Robinson had nine points for Lawrence, and Joe LeClair had seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.