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Lewis leads Lawrence boys to big point worthy victory over Bangor

January 3, 2013
By Ryan Kimball of RK Sports Productions

Bangor - Junior guard Xavier Lewis scored 13 of his game high 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lawrence Bulldogs to a victory over the Bangor Rams at Bangor High School on Wednesday night.

Lawrence jumped out to an early 15-7 lead in the first quarter, but it turned into a dogfight for the rest of the night. The Bulldogs led 17-11 after one.

“I had to be extra focused because I knew that everyone was coming for me on the court and in the stands. I knew I had to get mentally ready more than physically,” said Lewis when talking about playing in a hostile environment.

Bangor turned up their defensive pressure in the second quarter limiting the Bulldogs to seven points. The Rams outscored Lawrence 15-7 in the quarter. Junior center Connor Adams and senior point guard Alex Campbell each scored six points to give Bangor a 26-24 halftime advantage.

Lawrence boys basketball coach Mike McGee said “I give a lot of credit to Bangor because we jumped up on them by eight and by six again in the second half.” McGee continued “Every time we thought we had them they made a run to get back in the game.”

The Bulldogs regained the lead back in the third quarter. Six players scored in the quarter for Lawrence. Despite, Lewis getting shut down other players stepped up helping the Bulldogs to a 39-35 lead entering the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was a period of big shots by both teams. Lewis hit several clutch shots for the Bulldogs scoring all their points in the final quarter.

Lewis said “I knew I had to step up for my team.” Lewis continued “I was the only scorer on the court so I had to take over.”

The Rams answered with pressure shots of their own. Campbell hit a three-pointer with 1:45 to go in the game to give Bangor a 49-47 lead.

Lewis responded with a step back three with 1:30 left to put Lawrence on top 50-49.

“He made big shots down the stretch, kept his cool and composure. I think he matured a lot tonight with this crowd,” said McGee about Xavier’s performance.

With 52 seconds to go in the game, Lewis missed two free throws, which would have extended the lead to three. Senior forward Spencer Carey came up with a big rebound helping the Bulldogs remain in possession.

McGee said “Spencer had two big offensive rebounds on the missed foul shots.” McGee added “I thought he did some nice things in the leadership role.”

Lewis talked about Carey’s play “He had two key rebounds in the fourth quarter that really won us the game.”

Lewis stepped to the line with 36 seconds in the game and redeemed himself making two clutch free throws to ice the game for Lawrence.

“On those last two I focused a lot more took my time and put them in,” said Lewis.  
The Rams had the final possession of the game, but the Bulldogs played great defense and forced a bad shot.

Lawrence had seven players score in their win. Carey scored 13 points, Aaron Lafrance added four, Nick Noiles and Robbie Liberty each added three, and Jason Bushaw and Mason Travers each chipped in with two points.

Lewis said “Everybody stepped up and it was a good team effort.”

Adams led Bangor with 19 points. Campbell scored 17 points, Sean Tocci added seven, Matt Cosgrove had four and Nick Ashey and Hunter Boyce each chipped in with two points.

McGee said “Coach Kohtala has done a fantastic job. McGee added “They only have one kid back from last year and we have nine seniors.”

The Bulldogs shot 58 percent (11-19) from the free throw line. The Rams shot 71 percent (10-14) from the charity stripe.

“I was proud of the way our kids handled the adversity in a hostile gym,” said McGee.

Lawrence will host Oxford Hills on Friday January 4th while Bangor will host Cony.

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