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LBI, Hotel Rumford survive
RUMFORD -- Upset minded Archies gave all LBI could handle and The Bethel Bobcats pushed Hotel Rumford to the limit, as both winners had to finish well to get to the championship of The Mountain Valley Rec League.
Archies (3-11) had upset Black Bear Industries the week before and had played their best basketball as of late. Bethel (10-4) finished third this year, but with any luck and a complete roster could have possibly finished first. LBI (12-1) finished first and had easily beaten Archies in both of their regular season games. Hotel Rumford (11-2) finished second and had split with Bethel in the regular season.
LBI and Archies started off the day. On paper, it seemed like a one-sided game, however Archies matched LBI's energy and stayed even most of the first half and were only down three at half time. It seemed anticipatory that LBI would go on one of their patented runs and put the game out of reach, but it never really happened. They did, however, hit a few threes down the stretch that they were missing earlier and stretched their margin of victory to 15 at the end of the second half for an 87-72 victory. Chris Baxter led the winners with 24 points and 3 threes. Eric Canwell also notched 3 threes and 20 points. Brian Canwell was next in scoring with 14 point (10 from the line) and Joe Gaudreau hit 4 threes for 12 points to round out their top scorers. Archies got solid games from Mike Holmquist with 25 points and Brett Archibauld with 20 points. Jarrod Chessie helped out with 12 more.
Next Hotel Rumford and Bethel squared off in a tough fought, physical game that saw the victors pull away in the end for another 87-72 final. A game that was within two points at half time and with four half way through the second half, Hotel pulled away in the last four minutes when Bethel seemed to run out of gas, although a missed TJ Savage and Sean Caddigan could have made a difference.
Bethel actually took a short lived lead with 13 minutes left in the second half. However foul trouble for Bethel's Matt Zetts was a deciding factor. Big Matt was the their top scorer with 23 points and a surprising 6 threes, but he lost valuable minutes while nursing five fouls. Hotel's Andy Shorey, Jr. with Andy, Sr. in attendance, had a huge game with 28 points and a control of the paint. Craig Milledge was next with 18 points and was everywhere on both ends of the floor. Kevin Gallant rounded out the top scoring for Hotel with 5 threes/15 points. Ryan Savage helped Zetts with 17 points for Bethel and Wade Osgood had 16 more.
On Sunday at noon, LBI hosts Hotel Rumford for the league championship. Both teams are evenly matched, with LBI being a more run and gun style team and Hotel Rumford having a more deliberate offensive style. Each team have deadly long range shooters and both teams can get after it on defense.