Fifteen first half turnovers spelled doom for the Boothbay Seahawks in the Feb. 21 Class C South boys quarterfinal clash with Mt. Abram. The Roadrunners’ full and half court zone trapping pressure ran over the Seahawks by racing out to a 22-8 first quarter lead. Boothbay slowed the Roadrunners down a bit in the second quarter outscoring them 18 to 14, and trailed by 10 at halftime.
Not a bad situation for a team which began the game getting beat badly in the transition game after all those turnovers. But the second half, it only got worse, and Mt. Abram’s pressure only intensified as the Roadrunners scored 51 points in the final 16 minutes, and eliminated Boothbay, 87-58 at the Augusta Civic Center.
Boothbay’s entry into this year’s tournament was one of the season’s few bright points. The Seahawks finished 5-13 and in 15th place in the Heal point standings. Boothbay routed Wiscasset in the opening preliminary round and stunned No. 2 Old Orchard Beach to advance to the tournament.
Boothbay drew No. 7 Mt. Abram which completed one of its best seasons in recent history. The No. 7 Roadrunners finished 11-7 including two wins over Boothbay. On Feb. 2, Mt. Abram beat Boothbay, 58-45 which was close for the first half. So the Seahawks’ third chance at beating Mt. Abram occurred at the best possible time. Unlike for long stretches this season, the Seahawks had all five starters playing after the team struggled with COVID-19. Boothbay had won its previous two games including one of the greatest come-from-behind wins in school history.
Against OOB, the Seahawks trailed by 19 in the second half before scoring an upset victory. Coach Dan Hallinan attributed his team’s victory to “focus and execution.”
But round three versus Mt. Ararat resulted in the Roadrunners exploiting the Seahawks’ main weakness. “Pressure is our Kryptonite,” Hallinan said. “We were well-prepared and they threw nothing at us that we didn’t expect. (Mt. Abram) plays well together plus their quickness and athleticism makes it tough on anyone.”
The Roadrunners’ tough defensive effort made scoring difficult, but Boothbay’s Kayden Ames and Gryffin Kristan led the team in scoring with 14 apiece. Other Seahawk scorers were Matt Sullivan, nine, Ryan Amaral, eight; Connor Wenners and Lucas Hardwick, four each; Sam Page and Giovanni Warren, two each; and Ashton McLellan, one.
With a tough season coming a to a close, Hallinan appreciated his players’ efforts. “I told them before the game how proud I was of them. In November, they were kids, and now they turned into young men. I couldn’t be more proud,” he said.
Boothbay’s season ends with a 7-14 mark. Mt. Abram advances to Thursday’s semifinal against No. 3 Dirigo.