SKOWHEGAN — On Friday night, Evans Sterling put the Mt. Blue boys basketball team on his back.

Sterling, a senior guard, scored 35 points — including all 17 of his team’s points in the fourth quarter — to lead the Cougars to a 70-58 win over Skowhegan in front of a packed house at the Finley Gym.

“It was a heated environment, (Skowhegan) was all talking,” Sterling said. “We had to take over. I think we came out and did that. Defensively, we just went off. Everybody made plays out there and that’s how we won.”

Carter Norton scored 17 points and Nolan Leso added 11 points for Mt. Blue (7-0), which entered the game at the top of the Class A North standings.

Adam Fitzgerald led Skowhegan (3-5) with 21 points, while Jackson Hight added 13.

Skowhegan’s Trevor Austin looks to pass while Mt. Blue’s Tucker Fitch (2) defends in a boys basketball game Friday in Skowhegan. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

With Mt. Blue up 53-50 entering the fourth quarter, Sterling found another gear, making five baskets and seven free throws to help secure the victory. The 6-3 Sterling was strong on the defensive end as well, collecting five blocks. Sterling entered the game as the third-leading scorer in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, averaging 23.4 points per game.


“Evans just gets that look in his eyes, and just decides that we’re not losing tonight,” said Mt. Blue head coach Troy Norton. “He’s been developing this (killer instinct) during the season. He did the same thing against Camden Hills (a 72-42 win on Dec. 30). We were down at halftime, he scored 28 in the second half and basically put us on his back. He’s just playing at an unbelievable level.”

Mt. Blue entered the second half with a 39-37 lead, but the teams traded leads back-and-forth throughout the quarter. Fitzgerald, a sophomore guard, scored seven of his 21 points in the third, including a 3-pointer. Hight helped keep Skowhegan in the game in the second quarter, knocking down three 3-pointers.

“We’re continuing to turn the ball over and it leads to points for other teams,” Skowhegan head coach Tom Nadeau said. “You can look at it as inexperience, youth, whatever it is. But at some point, you’ve got to turn that page and move on, otherwise it’s going to be a struggle. We keep on shooting ourselves in the foot.”

“We knew Skowhegan is always tough, doesn’t matter what the records are,” Norton said. “They’re well coached and they play hard. We knew it was going to be a tough game.”

Ryan Donoghue scored five points and had seven rebounds for Skowhegan.

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