AUGUSTA — With a lineup averaging well under 6-feet tall, the Forest Hills boys basketball team relies on quickness and tempo for success.

So far the formula has worked well. Friday morning in a regular-season game played as part of the Capital City Hoop Classic, the Tigers pulled away from Rangeley late to post a 61-52 win.

Forest Hills is 7-1 in Class D South play while Rangeley falls to 3-3.

There was nothing pretty about this game. The Tigers committed 27 turnovers, many of them unforced, while Rangeley coughed it up 19 times.

“In the first quarter, we weren’t ready to defend,” Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero said. “Like I told the guys, it’s an early-morning game, Civic Center, Class D. Guys you’ve got to step on the floor with intensity. We didn’t have any intensity out of the gate, Rangeley did.”

Despite the lack of intensity, the Tigers were able to force the pace against the taller Lakers, and came away with several fastbreak layups. Brandon Gilboe and Carson Veilleux each scored four points in an 8-0 run that gave Forest Hills a 12-6 lead in the first quarter that it never relinquished.

The Lakers stayed in touch behind senior Kyle LaRochelle, who scored a game-high 24 points and junior Callahan Crosby, who added 12. The Tigers once again went to freshman guard Parker Desjardins, who led the team in scoring as an eighth grader last year and finished with 17 points. Gilboe finished with 14 points while sophomore teammate Hunter Cuddy scored 10 points and helped neutralize Rangeley’s rebounding advantage.

Desjardins, a 5-foot-3 shooting and ball-handling wizard, nailed three long 3-pointers late in the second quarter and early in the third, then hit a jumper in the lane to push the lead to 32-20.

“Whatever they give me, I’ll shoot it,” Desjardins said.

The Lakers closed the gap again behind Crosby and LaRochelle but Gilboe scored off a nice feed from Kenn Vito Cruz and Cuddy drilled back-to-back 3s from the right side to make it 42-28.

“We played them in the past and had a hard time rotating (against) that dribble-drive offense,” Rangeley coach Jeff LaRochelle said. “I thought we did pretty good there.”

Kyle LaRochelle connected on back-to-back 3s late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to cut the lead to 44-41 but the Lakers would draw no closer. Once the Tigers got the lead to five points, they spread the floor and put the game away from the foul line.

“I feel our team is a lot better (this year),” Desjardins said. “We have more chemistry and we can get the job done.”

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