AUGUSTA — Since playing in the Western Class D tournament as an eighth grader, Forest Hills junior Evan Worster has always felt comfortable at the Augusta Civic Center.

Worster was downright relaxed Saturday morning against A.R. Gould, as he set a Class D tournament record with 51 points. He outscored the Bears by himself, and second-seeded Forest Hills cruised to an 88-37 victory in a Western Class D quarterfinal.

The win for Forest Hills (16-3) sets up a semifinal against rival Valley on Wednesday.

Worster set the tone early, as he muscled inside for 14 points in the first quarter.

“My teammates were looking inside for me all day,” said the 6-foot-2 Worster. “My coach said we could get inside because they didn’t have much size.”

Worster added 17 points in the second quarter to send fans and media to the tournament record book. The Western Class D tournament record was 45 points by Ian Nono of A.R. Gould in 2010, and the state record was 46 by Washburn’s Matt Baker in 1991.

As Worster entered the fourth quarter with 39 points, he realized both marks were within reach.

After scoring three more layups, two on putbacks, to bring his total to 45 points, Worster missed a pair of free throws.

“There was definitely a lot of pressure on those last free throws,” he said. “I knew the record was within reach, so I was trying to make them all.”

Worster scored his 46th point from the foul line, then broke the state record with a three-point play. He added two free throws to finish his record-breaking day.

Ironically, the 51 points only tied the school record set by Josh Kipp in 2003.

“I was aware of both, but the tournament record was more important to me,” Worster said.

Forest Hills Coach Anthony Amero thought about pulling Worster until assistant coach Mike LeBlanc told him about the record.

“He’s had big moments down here before,” Amero said. “I was getting ready to pull him at about the three-and-half (minute) mark, (but LeBlanc) said ‘you need to leave him for a couple more.’ The kid’s worked hard, he’s earned it. That’s how that shook out.”

The Bears (8-10) hung with Forest Hills for the first quarter and trailed just 19-15, but they were victimized by turnovers (28 in all) and were outscored 25-2 in the second quarter.

Matthew Turner scored 13 points and Derick Ouellette had 11 for Forest Hills.

Zacharia Mohamed led A.R. Gould with 12 points and 14 rebounds despite picking up his fourth foul in the second quarter.

 


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