AUGUSTA — Since playing in the Western Maine 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 scored 51 points to set a tournament and Class D state record. Worster outscored the Bears by 14 points alone as the No. 2 Tigers cruised to an 88-37 quarterfinal victory.

The win sets up a semifinal game for Forest Hills (16-3) against rival Valley on Wednesday. Seventh-seeded A.R. Gould finishes at 10-8.

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,” the 6-foot-2 Worster said. “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 Maine Class D record for points in a game was set in 2010 by Ian Nono of A.R. Gould, who scored 45. The Class D state record of 46 points was set by Washburn’s Matt Baker in 1991. As Worster entered the fourth quarter with 39 points to his credit 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 earlier in the quarter 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 about the three-and-half (minute) mark and (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 hung with the Tigers for the first quarter and trailed just 19-15, but they were victimized by turnovers (28 in all) and outscored 25-2 in the second quarter. Matthew Turner and Derick Ouellette scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Tigers while Zacharia Mohamed led A.R. Gould with 12 points and 14 rebounds despite picking up his fourth foul in the second quarter.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

 


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