Shipbuilders squeak by Seahawks in Unified league opening game

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 1:00pm

The Morse High School Shipbuilders beat the Boothbay Region High School Seahawks, 58-57, in a nail-biting Unified Basketball league season opener, Thursday afternoon, Feb. 8. The game entailed several lead changes in the second half and with one minute left in the game, the score was tied 54-54.

Seahawk Eddie Carpenter and Shipbuilder Sam Lambert tipped off the match-up with first possession going to the Seahawks. Sophomore Chloe Joneth took the first shot of the game, which was rebounded by Carpenter for a score. The Shipbuilders offense was superb, leading them to a comfortable 30-22 lead at the half.

Shipbuilders, coached by Charles Bingham, were down about a dozen players but still brought a robust 26-player team. Seahawks were down five players due to illness, having only nine dressed out for the game. Coach Dennis Dacus aggressively substituted players from the Seahawks thin bench to keep the team fresh, a coaching decision that helped the Seahawks rally in the second half.

Players Anthony Angelico and Joneth eased into power forward and small forward positions respectively, while Austin Orne worked magic in the low post, scoring several lay ups and rebounds for the team. Carpenter, shooting from the top of the key, and Matthias Fanslau, shooting from the corner, ignited the three-point game, allowing the Seahawks to close the points gap quickly.

Both teams took turns leading with each possession. With 18.5 seconds remaining, Carpenter nailed a three-point shot to give the Seahawks a one-point lead. Fans erupted in cheer, but it wasn’t enough to win the game. Lambert was able to make one final drive to the basket and secure the win for the Shipbuilders as time expired.

Seahawks have two games next week, starting with another home game against Gardiner Area High School on Monday at 3:30. On Wednesday, they play Oak Hill on the road. They are scheduled to play seven games through March 12, with additional home games on Feb. 27 versus Lincoln Academy and Mar. 8 versus Cony High School.

Seahawk cheerleaders welcomed players for both teams as they were individually introduced prior to the game, and the national anthem was sung by Sophia Mansfield. Walt Gorneau was referee.

Unified basketball is a community-level extension of Special Olympics Maine Unified Championship Club which promotes social inclusion, leadership, and friendship for both student athletes with and without disabilities.