FARMINGDALE — Strong two-way guard play carried Hall-Dale to a 63-55 win against Wiscasset in a Saturday matinee showdown between two Mountain Valley Conference boys basketball teams expected to reach the postseason.

Sophomore Alec Byron scored a game-high 20 points while junior point guard Tyler Nadeau scored 18 to pace the Bulldogs (11-3). Center Ethan James led the Wolverines (9-5) with 16 points despite sitting out nearly all of the first half in foul trouble.

Byron, Nadeau and Ashtyn Abbott each connected on three-point shots near the end of the third quarter to break a 36-all tie and give Hall-Dale the lead for good.

“We’re a pretty good team and we like to shoot the ball definitely,” Byron said. “When we’re on, we’re on. That’s definitely one of our strong points.”

The Bulldogs weren’t necessarily on throughout the game. They shot just 17 of 52 from the floor but hit big shots when they needed them and went 17 of 20 from the foul line, led by Byron who made 11 of 11.

“When I’m in the gym, that’s usually the first thing I go do,” Byron said.

James, who is averaging 22 points and more than 10 rebounds a game, went to the bench after picking up his second foul less than three minutes into the game and didn’t return until the third quarter. The 6-foot-6 center scored all his points in the second half, including 11 in the third quarter as he muscled inside against the smaller Bulldogs.

“You try to (stop him) in a variety of ways,” Hall-Dale coach Chris Ranslow said. “You just don’t do it one way. You play top and bottom, sometimes you just play top.”

The Bulldogs, led by Byron and Nadeau, also did a good job of forcing 23 turnovers before James ever touched the ball.

“We played with some energy but we had a drop-off as far as execution,” Ranslow said. “I thought we played with a high level of composure. (Byron and Nadeau) really forced the tempo we wanted.”

The Wolverines played well with James on the bench. Logan Cyr (13 points), Cody Roberts (12) and Zach Reed all stepped up in his absence and drew their team into a 29-all tie at the half. Byron scored nine points in the quarter as Hall-Dale went cold from the floor. No one stopped shooting, though. The Bulldogs made four of their nine 3-pointers for the game in the third period, led by two from Nadeau, as they took a 45-40 lead.

“Sometimes it’s kind of scary to watch the roller-coaster ride from the sidelines,” Ranslow said.

The Wolverines drew to within two (51-49) as Roberts nailed a 3 and followed with a jumper in the lane. But Roberts fouled out shortly thereafter on an intentional foul and Cyr later committed an intentional foul and was assessed a technical.

“The last four minutes we let the game kind of get into our head a little bit,” Wiscasset coach Dana Lawrence said. “Mentally kind of took us out of the game. That’s what we’ve got to learn to understand. It doesn’t matter if you’re not getting the calls, you’ve still got to play the game.”

Nadeau, Byron and Jett Boyer (11 points) shot 10 of 12 from the line down the stretch to put the game away.

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