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Old Town ends magical run with first gold ball since 1991

BANGOR-- The Old Town Coyotes boys basketball team got hot at just the right time.

Old Town ends magical run with first gold ball since 1991
Jeff Hoak

The Coyotes jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back as they rolled to a 64-39 victory over the Poland Knights in the class B state championship game on Friday evening at Cross Insurance Center.

Old Town (18-5) finished the season with 10 consecutive wins.

Eric Hoogterp recorded 26 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocks to lead the Coyotes.

Garvey Melmed won the BDN class B Eastern Maine tournament MVP.

Melmed was held to eight points as he only attempted two field goal attempts. He was fine with Hoogterp doing his thing and being MVP of the state title game.

"He (Hoogterp) loves a great crowd, he got on fire early and he didn't stop,"Melmed said. "I will step back a little bit and let him shoot his shots. As long as we get that win, we got it and now we are on top of the world."

Hoogterp scored seven first quarter points as the Coyotes held a 13-7 lead. Old Town took a 24-13 lead on a Melmed three pointer with 3:16 remaining in the second quarter.

Adam Richardson made a layup late in the second quarter to give the Coyotes a 28-18 halftime lead.

Poland came back from a 19 point deficit in their regional final victory against Greely. The Knights showed that fight early in the second half.

Poland scored the first five points of the third quarter, including Caleb Martin nailing a three pointer with 6:11 remaining to cut the Coyotes lead to 28-23.

The Knights could not cut the deficit closer than five the rest of the way.Old Town put the game away with a 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter.

Mitchell Cole scored 14 points for the Coyotes.Cole got the starting nod with Zack Bartlett out with a serious hand injury.

"Mitch Cole has been waiting on the bench. Zach Bartlett had been a starter for us, he went down with a serious injury,"McDormand said. "Mitch was ready, he is really not a bench guy. If we had a six starters he would be a starter. He had a great tournament."

The Coyotes started believing a gold ball was a possibility as the tournament went on and they continued playing good basketball.

The tournament run started with a preliminary win over Waterville. The Coyotes lost to Waterville in a 2013 prelim game.

"The prelim game was a little stressful because we had to play Waterville,"Old Town coach Brian McDormand said. "They pounded us last year. We are a different team, we had a game like this against Waterville."

Hoogterp added, "I think it was after our prelim game when we beat Waterville by 30, I thought we had a chance to go all the way."

Bartlett came into the game late in the fourth quarter and the Old Town crowd and bench erupted when he scored a basket.

Old Town played against MDI exactly two weeks ago in the first high school tournament game ever played at Cross Insurance Center.

The Coyotes defeated MDI 57-44 in that quarterfinal game..

"We came in and we beat MDI, who beat us twice during the season. Getting over the hump, it was my first time in nine tries we beat MDI since I have been coaching at Old Town,"McDormand said. "We saw some of the upsets and we were believing. We split with all those other teams. We were not really looking at this early in the year. We won 10 in a row to end the year, I think we are as strong as any team around."

The Coyotes knew coming in that they would need to slow down Martin.He scored 26 points in the regional final victory over Greely. Martin was able to get 17 points, but only six in the first half.

"We had to shut down #40 (Martin), he is a good player. He had 26 points against Greely,"Hoogterp said. "We knew if we shut him down we would be alright and that is what happened."

The last state title for Old Town came in 1991, when they won the class A state championship.

"Last five home games of the season, we had a five game winning streak. Coming into the playoffs we knew that we had a good team,"Melmed said. "We beat Waterville pretty handily, we had a good run, played some good teams and came out on top."

Old Town out-rebounded the Knights 31-18.

Poland finishes the season 13-9.

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