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Bethel atop MV Rec League
REGION -- The Bethel Bobcats barely retained the top spot in Mountain Valley Rec Basketball Action due to the point differential tie breaker.
Second place Laid Back Installers (4-1) knocked off an undermanned Bethel team (4-1), 87-85, in what turned out to be a closely fought contest. LBI had a 15-point lead early in the second half, but due to cold shooting and foul trouble, found themselves in a back and forth game at the end.
Jon Benjamin (26 points) hit some key free throws down the stretch for LBI to put the game away, despite a desperation three pointer by Bethel at the buzzer. LBI also got good scoring from Eric Canwell (21 points), Chris Baxter (14 points) and Brian Canwell (10 points). Bethel's big man, Matt Newell was difficult to stop inside and finished with a game-high 30 points. Wade Osgood helped with 15 points, August Reese added 12 and Terry Collins with 10 points.
In other action, Black Bear Industries (2-3) almost doubled up The Thundercats (0-5), 86-47. Black Bears received a balanced scoring attack, led by Ryan Conrad with 18 points. Josh Albee was next with 15 points followed by Myles Whitlock and Kevin Prevost with 13 points and Craig Jacques with 11. The Thundercats' Brandon Milligan hit three threes and had a game-high 19 points, while Tom Leclerc chipped in with nine.
Third place Hotel Rumford, also 4-1, ran away with a 109-55 victory over Archies (1-4). Hotel shot over 50% from behind the arc, with Kevin Gallant (28 points and 8 threes) leading the way. Aaron St. Pierre had 25 points and 3 threes, Chris Willard had 20 points and 4 threes. Scot New helped with 12 points and Dan Thibeault with 10. Archies' Brett Archibauld led with 13 points and cousin Mike Holmquist added 11.
A week earlier, the Bethel Bobcats shook off some early game emotions and gutted out a solid 101-83 victory over Hotel Rumford.
Hotel was playing without big man, Issac Stickney, but Bethel lost one of their big men early in the game also. Thus both teams were evenly matched. Bethel led most of the game by double digits and withstood a second half comeback by The Hotel, spurred on by a desperate trapping defense, which led to costly turnovers to bring the game within reach.
However, that was overcome in the closing minutes with clutch shooting from the line and the floor by The Bobcats. Bethel was led by Wade Osgood with 26 points (8-9 from foul line), Ryan Savage 22 points (4 threes), Matt Newell 15 points (3 threes)and Sean Caddigan 12 points (7-8 from the line). Hotel Rumford got balanced scoring from Chris Willer with 19 points (12-15 from the foul line), Aaron St. Pierre's 18 (13-15 from the line), Craig Milledge with 15 points and Kevin Gallant with 13 points (4 threes).
In the first game, Black Bear Industries secured its first win of the season outpacing Archies, 115-94. UMF basketball alum Eric Taylor was everywhere on the court and couldn't be contained, scorching the nets for 63 points mostly on inside moves and drives to the basket. Josh Allbee had 12 points in support along with 11 each from Kevin Prevost and Myles Whitlock. Archies, in defeat, had five players in double figures. Brett Archibald led with 21, Jarrod Chessie 16 (5-5 from three point range), Mike Holmquist 13 and 11 each from Nate Archibauld and Kenny Armstrong.
The other game saw Laid Back Installers blow out The Thundercats, 102-36. Chris Baxter was immense inside with 40 points for LBI. Jon Benjamin helped with 20 points, while Brian Canwell had 13 and JT Taylor 10. Tom Leclerc had a nice game for The Thundercats with 15 points.
On Sunday, Black Bear Industries and Hotel Rumford are paired at 10 a.m. At 11:30, Bethel Bobcats and The Thundercats claw at each other. At 1 p.m., LBI and Archies renew their acquaintances.