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Missed chances dog Falcon boys
RUMFORD -- When push came to shove, the Mountain Valley boys' basketball team was victimized by a series of missed opportunities.
The Falcons was in position to strike after having picked up the pace in the second half, but it was Madison that maintained its composure in a 57-51 win at Puiia Gymnasium.
Madison had started out on fire and received balanced scoring, as the trio of Austin Kane, Dylan Price and Steven Lawrence combined for 46 points.
Class B Mountain Valley has struggled early in previous games and couldn't find its groove in front of Madison’s zone defense. Baskets by Dom Haines and Colin Merrill cut the margin to 45-41 with 4:32 left in the game.
“We picked up our defense intensity in the second half,” said Mountain Valley coach Tom Danylik. “I told the team after that if they play like that for the entire game then we'll win games. But you have to credit Madison, they have a good team and are well coached.”
Madson scored five points to open up a 50-41 lead. The Bulldogs made nine of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“They made a big comeback in the second half,” said Madison coach Mike Packard. “But we were able to hold them. Basketball is comprised of streaks and runs.”
Falcons missed their next five shots and didn't score until Ryan Nicols (six points, eight rebounds) made a layup with 1:20 to go. Jake Theriault (20 points, six rebounds) drained two of his four three-pointers in the final minute.
"Jake Theriault was a key for us,'' said Packard. ''We needed to know where he was all the time and try stopping him, but he still scored points.''
The Falcons had trailed by double digits until going on a 15-2 run in the third quarter. Theriault ignited it with a conventional three-point play. Adam Volkernick (six points, six rebounds, four assists) had a free throw and a three-point play. Haines and Ryan Stickney each added baskets to trail 38-33 after three quarters.
Mountain Valley had 15 turnovers, shot 30 percent and missed 10 layups. Madison shot 50 percent and committed 11 turnovers.
“The first four minutes cost us the game,” said Danylik. Madison led 14-2 early on.
“We came out flat, made two of 14 three pointers in the first half and you're not going to win many games shooting like that,” said Danylik.