Forest Hills’ Cooper Daigle, left, defends Southern Aroostook’s Hunter Burpee during the Class D boys basketball state championship game Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — For the Southern Aroostook boys basketball team, winning is all in the family.

And it took a brotherly effort to lead the Warriors past Forest Hills 82-61 in the Class D final Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. It’s the first title for the program since 1991. It was also a clean sweep of title wins for the Dyer Brook-based school, located 172 miles north of Augusta, as the girls basketball team rolled to a 58-18 win over Seacoast Christian earlier in the afternoon.

The Burpee brothers — Hunter and Dylan — provided a large bulk of the scoring for the Warriors (19-1) in the boys game. Hunter Burpee, a senior center, led Southern Aroostook with 31 points and 14 rebounds. Dylan Burpee, a sophomore guard, added 17 points.

“I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a kid, coming to tournament games when I was younger,” Hunter Burpee said. “To be on this team and go out and (win), it just feels amazing.”

“It means a lot,” Dylan Burpee added. “It’s just overwhelming, really. Getting back here after 31 years, when (Warriors head coach Brett Russell) used to play. Just making history.”

A third member of the Burpee clan, cousin and sophomore forward Brennan Burpee scored five points.

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Hunter Burpee was a large reason the Warriors jumped out to a 28-14 lead over the Tigers (21-1) in the first quarter, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the first period alone. He and fellow forward Graham Stiltz — who had eight points and seven rebounds — were key in winning the battle on the boards against Forest Hills.

“We were just hitting our shots,” Hunter Burpee said. “Moving the ball around well, hitting our (3-pointers), getting the looks that we wanted. Then we got it in the post and hit our easy layups.”

“(Hunter Burpee) used to love sitting out by the 3-point line,” Russell added. “I told him, ‘If you could get inside, you could score 50 (points) a game.’ He still gets his shots in during the transition game. I didn’t expect 31, but 20-25 has been his game all season, and the last couple (seasons).”

Dylan Burpee provided his offensive output with his shot, nailing three 3-pointers for the Warriors.

“(Forest Hills) played really good defense, they pressured the whole game,” Dylan Burpee said. “It was a little iffy in the second half, but we battled back.”

The Tigers wouldn’t go away, outscoring the Warriors 22-10 in the third quarter, which included a 14-0 run that went into the fourth quarter. But Hunter Burpee helped seal the win for Southern Aroostook by scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter, while Dylan Burpee added four in the final period.

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“I wasn’t too worried (about Forest Hills’ comeback effort),” Hunter Burpee said. “I knew we would buckle down and keep playing our game, we’d pull it down.”

 

Dave Dyer – 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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