AUGUSTA — The Brewer boys basketball team avenged the lone blemish on its record resoundingly.

The top-seeded Witches made nearly 60 percent of their field goal attempts Friday night and cruised to a 70-33 win over Skowhegan in the Class A North final at the Augusta Civic Center. Senior Brady Saunders netted a game-high 28 points against the River Hawks, who handed Brewer its only loss of the regular season on Feb. 3.

“That was a lot of motivation,” Saunders said. “It’s hard to beat a good team three times, so it was kind of a blessing in disguise when we lost to them. If we’d have won that game, we’d have had to beat them three times and our game plan would have been totally different. We picked out the mistakes we had, and we really capitalized on that.”

Brewer (20-1) will meet A South champion Falmouth for the state championship at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, March 3 in this same building.

“One year ago I was sitting in this exact place, hugging my coach and crying because we just lost to Cooper Flagg (and Nokomis in the 2022 regional final),” said Brewer’s Brock Flagg, who finished with12 points. “This means the world to me. I can’t even put it into words.”

After stumbling out of the starting gate in this tournament, Brewer (20-1) outscored its opponents by a nearly 2-to-1 margin (190-86) since trailing No. 8 Camden Hills at halftime of its quarterfinal round game.


The Witches were on from the outset on Friday against Skowhegan (14-7).

Brewer raced out to a 20-6 lead after one quarter, with Saunders hitting for nine in the period and Flagg adding seven more. The Witches began the night by making five of their first seven attempts from the field and used a 13-0 run that overlapped the first and second quarters to lead 27-6 with 6:12 to play in the first half.

“They played exceptionally well tonight,” Skowhegan coach Tom Nadeau said. “They came ready to play tonight, and we didn’t.”

Even with a a 24 of 42 shooting night at the offensive end of the floor (57.1 percent) that saw 10 different players crack the scoring column, Brewer’s defense might have been better.

Skowhegan managed single digits in both the first and second quarters and couldn’t manage more than 10 in either the third or fourth.

The Witches kept the River Hawk trio of Adam Savage and twins Kyle and Collin LePage in check. Collin LePage finished with a team-high eight points, while Savage and Kyle LePage had just seven each.


“I think our defense is what starts us all,” Brewer coach Ben Goodwin said. “If you take some of the guys that played defense tonight — the whole team, some of the guys off the bench — they take a lot of pride in playing defense. I think they showed that tonight. In the last couple of games, I think they showed that.”

Skowhegan won the rebounding battle and had only four turnovers in the second half, but they connected just 30.2 percent of the time from the field for the night.

“We picked a bad night to have an off night,” Nadeau said. “They pressured the ball, nothing we weren’t prepared for. We just weren’t getting the good looks. They did a good job of disrupting our offense, and we didn’t do a good job of adjusting.”

“Once shots start falling, our defensive intensity picks right up,” Saunders said. “We execute the X’s and O’s to perfection, what Coach Goodwin tells us to do. We just go out there and try our absolute best every time.”

After leading 32-13 at the break, the Witches added 18 in the third quarter to run the lead to 50-23.

Saunders drilled a 3-pointer as time expired in the period to put the exclamation point on quarter No. 3 and render the fourth a mere formality.

“I was talking to (Saunders) on the bench, and I said to him, ‘What if I told you before the playoffs we were going to win one game by 10, one game by 50 and one by 40?’” Flagg said. “‘Would you have thought Camden Hills was going to be the 10?’”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.