Seniors help power Laker boys to finale win over Patriots

MARK MACDOUGALL made the most of his start on Senior Night, scoring 14 points in a win over Gray-New Gloucester. (Rivet Photo)

MARK MACDOUGALL (#14) made the most of his start on Senior Night, scoring 14 points in a win over Gray-New Gloucester. (Rivet Photo)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Normally, a coach and fellow teammates don’t smile when a player is whistled for a technical foul.

But, when exchange student Adam Falk was hit with a technical midway through the fourth quarter last Thursday night, Lake Region Coach J.P. Yorkey couldn’t help but grin.

Teammates chuckled.

Falk was in shock. He had no idea why the officials had called the foul after he slammed the basketball after being bumped by a Gray-New Gloucester player while fighting for a rebound.

Until this year, Falk hadn’t played basketball before. So, he truly did not know his response was unsportsmanlike.

After teammates explained why the foul had been called, Falk was a little embarrassed.

When game officials learned Falk is a newcomer to the game, one referee wore a smirk, just for a few seconds.

Falk, however, had the last laugh on Senior Night. The rookie center scored 11 points and collected 12 rebounds to lead the Lakers to a 60-50 victory over Gray-New Gloucester in the season finale at Nutting Gym.

“It was another great senior night. All five seniors started and they played well as a group,” said Coach Yorkey, as the Lakers finished 5-13. “Adam continues to amaze all as this is his first season ever playing basketball. He clogged up the middle on our 2-3 zone, blocked and altered shots, rebounded very well, ran the floor and was effective on offense, as well.”

Lewis Morton played solid defense, rebounded and made good reads on offense, while Mike Mageles had another good shooting night, scoring 17 points, including connecting on three 3-pointers.

A surprise was guard Mark MacDougall, who made the most of his start and extended playing time by scoring 14 points.

“Mark played well at both ends of the floor. He didn’t surprise us as we have seen him improve quite a bit this year in practice,” Coach Yorkey said. “It was nice to see him come out and play for his entire senior season as he missed a few seasons of basketball along the way. He’s an accomplished runner and had opted to run indoor track a few years.”

Senior Mike Triglione closed out his high school career with 9 points, “doing a little bit of everything.”

“He’s had a nice run as a three-year starter on varsity,” Coach Yorkey said.

Triglione has been selected to play in the Western Maine Conference Senior All-star game next month and he will also be honored as a member or the WMC All-Academic team.

“Its a great group of kids who do work hard, are committed, and do get along well with each other,” Coach Yorkey added.

With MacDougall scoring 5 straight points, the Lakers jumped out to a 9-2 first quarter lead. The game tightened in the second as the Lakers’ offense sputtered, scoring just two field goals over the first six minutes. Gray-NG tied the game at 17-17 as Brandon Thibeault (11 points) drained a 3-pointer and Sam Johnson converted a turnover into a lay-up.

The Patriots took a brief lead when Justin McKenna (10 points) netted a 3-pointer from the right corner. The Lakers fought back in the closing minute as Mageles swished a trey and later added a foul shot for a 21-20 LR lead at intermission.

MacDougall provided a spark to get the LR offense cranking in the second half, scoring seven straight points, including a steal that resulted in a lay-up, to put the Lakers up 31-20. Mageles, who has been a sniper from behind the arc late in the season, pumped in two 3-pointers as the Lakers took a 40-30 lead into the final eight minutes.

The Lakers appeared to put the game away with 2:36 left, going 6-of-8 from the foul line and Mageles completing a 3-point play for a 52-36 lead.

But, the Patriots had other ideas about going out quietly. Over the final 2-plus minutes, the Patriots scored 14 points as Thibeault knocked down two 3-pointers, the second coming with 22.7 seconds to make it 54-40.

LR closed the door as Sam Smith and Nate Smith each sank a pair of foul shots over the final 11 seconds. For the game, LR was 15-of-20 from the charity stripe — out scoring the Patriots by 7.

LR scorers included Nick Hall 4 and Jack Lesure 1.

The Lakers enjoyed a 33-29 rebounding advantage as Triglione hauled down 7 boards. But, LR lost the turnover battle, committing 20 miscues to the Pats’ 14.

Gray-NG was led by junior Will Shafer who scored 16 points and collected 8 rebounds.

As the Lakers enjoyed their chance to ring the victory bell, Coach J.P. Yorkey turned his thoughts to next season and how his club can turn things around to battle for a playoff spot.

“To improve, we need a big commitment from all of our players this summer and some need to do a better job in the classroom with their academics,” Coach Yorkey said. “We have a nice group of underclassmen, who are getting older, taller, stronger and more experienced. It is amazing how much some of them have improved in the past calendar year (and how much they’ve grown!). If they keep working hard as a group, the future will be bright.”

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