AUGUSTA — It was tense in the Carrabec boys basketball team’s locker room at halftime Monday night.

“You sometimes have to have those tough conversations,” said Cobra senior Cooper Dellarma. “We came out, and we tend to play better in the second half, anyway. We turned it on a little bit.”

Whatever the message was, no matter how difficult it was to hear, fifth-seeded Carrabec responded with a big second half en route to holding off No. 4 Waynflete by a 49-46 count in a Class C South quarterfinal at the Augusta Civic Center. Dellarma was at the center of it, scoring nine of his team-high 13 points after the break to lead the Cobras to their second consecutive regional semifinal appearance.

“I challenged them at halftime,” Carrabec coach Erik Carey said. “We worked too hard all year to take possessions off. We couldn’t take possessions off.”

Carrabec (13-6) trailed 21-16 at halftime. They’d not shot the ball particularly well, especially from distance, and they’d been pounded on the glass.

But the final 16 minutes of regulation proved an entirely different story. They opened the third-quarter on a 15-5 run to take a 31-29 lead.


The Flyers (14-5) answered to tie the game through Jed Alsup (11 points, 11 rebounds), but a pair of free throws from Logan Caldwell gave Carrabec a 33-31 advantage with 16.5 seconds to play in the period.

The teams traded buckets early in the fourth quarter, with an Ishan Reese steal-and-layup tying the score at 40-40 with 2:58 showing on the clock.

That’s when Dellarma gave the Cobras the lead for good with a put-back bucket, followed by Caldwell’s coast-to-coast layup off a rebound at the other end for a 44-40 advantage.

“We hit open shots,” Carey said. “We had more quality possessions in that second half. I thought in the first half, our offense didn’t respect our defense. When we just play defense, we can be tough to score on. But when we’re quick, one pass and shot, and they’re coming out blazing, it’s tough for us to get set up.”

After losing the board battle by a 15-8 count in the first half, the Cobras turned it around in the second to out-rebound the Flyers 16-6. And, after missing 13 of 20 first-half shots, Carrabec made 11 of 20 field goal attempts (55 percent) after halftime.


In the final minute, Waynflete cut its deficit to just three at 49-46, but Nico Kirby’s 3-point attempt off an inbounds play with 2 seconds remaining only brushed iron. Kirby led the Flyers with 13 points.

“I’m not going to lie, I was nervous — really nervous,” Dellarma said of the Flyers’ last-ditch effort. “A lot of our games come down to the end. I knew deep down if we did our jobs and played defense, we’d be all right. But you don’t always know until the buzzer goes.”

Junior Desmond Robinson finished with 12 points for the Cobras, all but two of those in the second half. Trenton Smith added nine more on a trio of treys, and Caldwell capped the balanced scoring with eight points of his own.

Reese finished with eight points for Waynflete, which was without the services of both Reese and Alsup in the closing stages after each fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

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