FAIRFIELD — It was a pretty good week to be Mt. Blue boys basketball coach Jim Bessey. On Tuesday, his Cougars picked up a big road win at Bangor. On Friday, Mt. Blue went into the most hostile gym in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and earned another huge road victory.
Playing in front of a packed and loud Folsom Gymnasium, Mt. Blue pulled away from Lawrence in the third quarter, then held off a Bulldogs rally in the fourth for a 65-62 win.
“We love playing when it’s loud. Our gym is nice and loud. Even if it’s loud cheering for the other team, it gets us pretty motivated,” said Cam Sennick, who led Mt. Blue with 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
Mt. Blue is now 12-4, Lawrence is 10-6.
“That’s a pretty big win for us. I’m thinking we’re going to go to sleep tonight maybe being No. 2 in Eastern Maine tonight, and that’s a good feeling,” Bessey said. “We’ve had some tough losses, so to get a couple close wins feels good.”
An Eric Berry layup 40 seconds into the fourth quarter pushed Mt. Blue’s lead to 51-33, but Lawrence fought back. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to nine points, 60-51, on an Emmitt Faulkner 3-pointer with 2:23 to play. When Shaun Carroll scored on a putback layup with 1:27 left, it cut Mt. Blue’s lead to 60-55.
The Cougars hit 4 of 5 free throws in the final 1:14 to preserve their lead. Faulkner scored 12 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter for Lawrence.
“Faulkner played a great game. He’s playing with a really bad back, and that’s good to see, because we’re going to need that down the stretch, because we’re so guard oriented,” Lawrence coach Mike McGee said.
The score was tied 29-all at the half, and Mt. Blue pulled away with a dominating third quarter. The Cougars held Lawrence to one field goal in the third, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-4 to take a 48-33 lead.
“I thought we shared the ball really well. We looked like a real basketball team there for six, seven, eight minutes,” Bessey said. “Just about everything we did worked well.”
Added Sennick: “Our intensity was really, really good. We went more up-tempo, and we pushed the ball up the floor. We got more open looks, and that’s quick points.”
Throughout the game, the smaller Bulldogs had trouble defending the 6-foot-5 Sennick and the 6-4 Nick Hilton. Sennick scored 16 points in the first half, and when Lawrence focused more on him in the second, Hilton’s offense picked up. Hilton scored 11 of his 18 in the second half.
“In the second half, they helped to Cam so much, Cam made some nice passes and got (Hilton) some easy hoops,” Bessey said.
Bigger teams have been a tough matchup for Lawrence all season, McGee said.
“We could never handle Sennick. We never got a comfortable feel for him. He’s a beast. I thought he dominated the game, offensively and defensively. He gets every rebound. He alters shots, takes away our inside game,” McGee said “When we did (defend Sennick), Hilton went off. Those two guys together are a deadly combination. That’s a really bad matchup for us.”
Spencer Carey had 14 points for Lawrence, while Keith Chesley added 11.
 


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