FARMINGDALE — Sam Shepherd’s fingerprints were all over Hall-Dale’s victory against Wiscasset on Friday night.

In fact, it seemed the 6-foot-5 junior had a hand on just about every shot the Wolverines attempted. Shepherd finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds and 12 blocked shots, including one with two seconds in regulation, to lead the Bulldogs to a 70-66 overtime victory.

This was Mountain Valley Conference basketball at its hard-nosed best with both teams pressing and playing at a break-neck pace. In the end, the difference was Shepherd, who not only blocked 12 shots, but altered another 10 or 12.

“We have nobody that big,” Wiscasset coach Dana Lawrence said. “I think he intimidated us a little bit.”

Neither team led by more than four points in the fourth quarter. Wiscasset’s Devin Grover scored seven of his 16 points in the period, including a layup to tie the game at 55 and send it to overtime. Shepherd scored eight points, including two three’s from the left corner, and a block as the Wolverines had two cracks to win the game in the final four seconds.

“This is the highest game I’d had for blocks in a long time,” Shepherd said. “It’s pretty much anticipation. It’s a hard thing to explain. It’s intuitiveness. You just have to know.”

Shepherd won the center tip in overtime and knocked the ball right to Mike Woods for a layup. Woods added a second layup off a steal and assist from Zac Plummer and the Wolverines never fully recovered. Woods had six of his eight points in the extra session while Shepherd scored five. Wiscasset made it interesting when Jordan Jones (21 points) hit a four-point play with 52 seconds left to make it 67-65, but Shepherd hit a layup off an assist from Brad Shepherd to put the game away.

“It was a very big game,” Sam Shepherd said. “I’m so proud of our guys. We just kept our heads the entire game even when we were behind.”

The Wolverines led throughout the first half as they forced 13 Hall-Dale turnovers with a tenacious man-to-man press. When Grover nailed a jumper in the lane they led 27-15. But the Bulldogs turned up their own defensive pressure and closed to 29-26 at the half as Harry Cheung hit three straight layups, two off steals by Woods and Sam Shepherd.

Brad Shepherd finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Hall-Dale (6-2) while Caleb Bryant had eight points and 12 rebounds for Wiscasset, which falls to 2-5.

“We played three or four of the top teams in the league from the get-go,” Lawrence said. “We’ve just been making baby steps every day. These kids are coming together.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]


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