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Falcon boys' pull out 61-54 OT win
RUMFORD -- Adam Volkernick made six free throws in overtime as the Mountain Valley boys' basketball team pulled out a 61-54 win against Mount Abram in Puiia Gymnasium.
Jake Theriault (29 points) had forced the extra session by sinking two free throws with seconds left in regulation. Ryan Nicols added 10 points.
Mountain Valley had struggled to its groove in front of the Roadrunners' zone defense.
“We could not throw it ocean for about three and half quarters quarters,” said Mountain Valley coach Tom Danylik. The Falcons were just 2 of 17 overall on threes, including one for 11 in the first half; but they enjoyed a 26-4 advantage on free throws.
“We were getting good shots but nothing was falling, especially from the three. Mt. Abram played well. We went to a 2-3 zone made a run over the third quarter,” he said.
In the final minutes, the Falcons were aggressive going to rim and led by one point with 22 seconds remaining. It was Mt. Abram's ball out of the timeout and Ian James (24 points) shot a deep three pointer for a two-point lead with 14 seconds remaining. MV called a timeout and set up to have Theriault with the ball up top and set two staggered ball screens. The senior drove to the baseline and was fouled before the shot with four seconds left. The Roadrunners were in the bonus and Theriault made both.
On the inbounds, Volkernick stole the ball out by the arc, turned around and a shot hit the front and back rim. During overtime, Milo Jodrey tipped it to Volkernick (nine points), who made a layup and foul shot. Mt. Abram hit a three to tie it.
"We then became really aggressive and attacked the basket well," said Danylik. ''We went up four and they started to foul with (approximately) a minute left. MA left Volkernick open on the press breaker each time and he was ice from the line."
"I am pleased with the progress,'' said Danylik, in accessing the team performance. “We sometimes fall into the mindset that we only rely on the three and that gets us in trouble. Our formula for success is defensive, rebound the ball, and get out in transition."
Theriault is driving to the basket and has worked on his pull up game. Ryan Nicols, Dom Haines, Sean Murphy and Volkernick have all contributed on different nights. The bigger players -- Ryan Stickney and Jodrey -- have been clearing space and rebounding the ball.
"We are looking for consistency on both ends of the floor," said Danylik, while knowing team has not played a complete 32 minutes yet this year. ''We have a really tough stretch (host Dirigo in regular season finale Friday) and hopefully we can find that consistency and have confidence going into the playoffs."