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Hotel Rumford/Ranor prevail for title
RUMFORD -- In what proved to be a very competitive and well played game, second seed Hotel Rumford/Ranor outlasted top seed Laid Back Installers, 67-52.
These two teams, based in Rumford and Mexico, split the two regular season games and were the most competitive teams throughout the season. As an apparent even match up, Hotel used experience, patience, deliberate style offense and a strong defense to wear down a banged up LBI group, who were missing high scoring Owen Jones. Hotel was also hobbled a bit and did sport the oldest team in the league.
Defense and intensity were displayed from the start as both teams battled back and forth for the first 30 minutes in a virtually deadlocked contest. The half time score was tied at 33, even though both teams averaged in the high 90's during the year. Andy Shorey, Jr. and Eric Canwell led their teams respectively early on. In the end, ball control and discipline made the difference, as Hotel/Ranor gradually took over the game as the second half wore on.
Hotel's Chris Willer (former Valley High of Bingham star) had an outstanding game offensively and defensively and led his team with 19 points. Shorey had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Kevin Gallant added 10 points, 4 rebounds and no turnovers. Veterans Scot New (6 points, 6 rebounds) and Dan Thibeault were integral and contributed solid minutes.
LBI was led by Eric Canwel l(15 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block), who had a great first half but was slowed down in the second. John Benjamin contributed 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, while Chirs Baxter helped with 11 points (3 threes), 8 rebounds and a block. JT Taylor also was a factor with 9 points, several rebounds and 3 assists.
The league will next host their invitational tournament on March 22-24. They will also contribute donations to the Mountain Valley Athletic Boosters and the Mountain Valley Middle School PTO in appreciation for use of the facilities throughout the year.