AUGUSTA — When Jet Archer walked out on the Civic Center floor early Saturday morning, his eyes couldn’t help but widen.

“You get excited when you see you are the tallest player on the floor,” the 6-foot-4 Seacoast Christian junior said. “We knew this was going to be fun.”

It most certainly was for Archer and his teammates.

No. 5 Seacoast Christian took advantage of a formidable size advantage to wear down No. 4 Forest Hills 70-55 in a Class D South boys quarterfinal game before a sparse Civic Center gathering.

Archer finished with 17 points while brother Sky — who stands at 6-1 — scored a team-high 21 to push the Guardians (12-7) into the regional semifinals against top-seeded Greenville (18-1) on Wednesday.

“We executed,” Sky Archer said. “We did what we wanted to do out there.”

Kenn Vito Cruz — who said he had never played organized basketball before moving to Maine from California two years ago — scored a game-high 23 points to pace the Tigers (12-7).

Forest Hills eighth-grader Parker Desjardins scored 17, including five 3-pointers in the second half.

“But we are just too small,” Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero said. “It was tough to get a rebound. Every time we would get a lead or get close, we would give up an offensive rebound. That’s tough. We just didn’t have the physicality.”

Seacoast led 15-8 after the first quarter and 27-24 at the half before Forest Hills made a run to open the second half.

Desjardins, who acknowledged some nerves in the early going, drained a deep 3-pointer with 4:21 left in the third quarter to give the Tigers their second — and last — lead of the game, 33-32.

“I needed to get my confidence going,” Desjardins said. “It’s hard out there. But in the second half I started to get open and felt good.”

But the quicker and bigger Guardians responded with some tough inside baskets from Jet Archer and Jesse Towne (14 points) to take a 39-35 lead.

A Vito Cruz 3 and free throw kept the Tigers close going into the fourth as the Guardians led just 43-39.

“I had some good looks,” Vito Cruz said. “My teammates were giving me some good screens.”

“He kept us in it,” Amero added. “He came to play. We definitely hung around.”

But not for much longer.

Seacoast didn’t get to the free throw line until Jet Archer buried one with 6:19 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Guardians camped out there, shooting a remarkable 15 for 17 from the line as the lead mushroomed into double digits.

Sky Archer sank all but one of his eight free throws in the final four minutes of the game.

“We were a little jittery early on but we just couldn’t match up with them well,” Amero said.

Seacoast threatened to run away with this one early, using its size advantage down low and good ball movement at the top. The Guardians led 11-6 when Jet Archer muscled his way to the basket for a pair of layups before a Towne putback extended the lead to 15-8 at the end of the quarter.

The lead swelled to 19-10 when Archer again put back his own rebound in between two Tiger defenders and Sky Archer followed with a pull-up jumper.

The Tigers, however, clawed back with Brandon Gilboe contributing some tough baskets in the paint. The 5-foot-9 sophomore forward scored all eight of his points in the quarter, with his last bucket pulling Forest Hills within 25-24 in the closing minute of the half.

“He had a great game,” Amero said. “We just couldn’t match up with their size, and that hurt us.”

Marlon Bernardo scored nine points for Seacoast Christian while Caleb La Croix added seven.

Bill Stewart — 621-5618

[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartMTM

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.