VARSITY MAINE Boys’ basketball: Windham storms by Bonny Eagle
The Eagles break the game open in the first four minutes of the final quarter for a 63-40 victory.
BY BRAD SPIEGEL SPECIAL TO THE PORTLAND PRESS
STANDISH — The Windham boys’ basketball team has two pure scorers in Nick Curtis and Mike Gilman. Not only are they difficult to guard but when one is having a tough shooting game, the other can take over.
Curtis stepped up with 20 points, six assists and four rebounds Friday night when Gilman managed only 12 points as the Eagles outlasted Bonny Eagle 63-40 in an SMAA boys’ basketball game.
“There aren’t too many teams in the state that will have two 1,000-point scorers (like Curtis and Gilman),” Scots Coach Mike Francoeur said.
“That’s indicative of how well they play and how many shots they are able to get up. (Eagles Coach) Chad (Pulkkinen) has some kids who can score. He has a good problem to have.”
Windham (5-1) – whose only loss came to two-time defending Class AA state champion Portland – struggled to get its offense going in the first half.
In its last three games – all victories – the Eagles averaged 69 points per game. But this time the score was just 24-24 at halftime.
The low score was a testament to the defense applied by the Scots (2-3), who have allowed an average of just under 45 points per game.
After the break the Eagles came out more patient, finding open teammates and playing unselfish ball.
“At halftime Coach yelled at us and we got our heads back together,” Curtis said. “We then worked together, passing the ball a lot. That was it.
“We emphasized passing the ball and not taking (a shot on) the first look.”
Zach Maturo, who finished with 11 points, scored the first points of the second half for Bonny Eagle but Windham then went on a 15-4 run over the next 4:33 to open its largest lead at 39-30.
Dierhow Bol (eight points, team-high six rebounds) got the Eagles rolling with a three-point play following an offensive rebound, and after a missed 3-pointer by Bonny Eagle, Curtis scored on a layup and hit one of his five 3-pointers for a 32-28 advantage midway through the quarter.
William Hendrix (team-high 12 points and team-high seven rebounds) hit two free throws to bring Bonny Eagle within two points, but Windham recorded the next seven points for the nine-point bulge.
The run came when Andrew Wing nailed a 3-pointer in transition, and Gilman added two free throws followed by a twisting layup.
“In the first half we were rushing our shots – we had one pass and then a shot,” Pulkkinen said. “When we were patient in the second half we got a lot of great shots and not just good shots like we were settling for in the first half.”
Curtis helped ice the game early in the fourth quarter when Windham stretched a 42-35 lead after three quarters to 20 points midway through the period. He opened the fourth with a 3-pointer and assisted on two 3-pointers by Mitch Budroe before Nathan Watson scored on a fast-break layup and Cory Hutchison had an offensive rebound putback.
“We had them where we wanted them in the first half. Then we came out in the second half and hit a roadblock,” Francoeur said. “When you only score 16 points in 16 minutes (in the second half) at this level against a team of that quality, it doesn’t take long to get away from you.”