Pine Tree: 51
The past two weeks the Hyde boys’ varsity basketball team has been on the road and unintentionally playing the role of storm chasers—it always seems like we are going into or running away from the realities of winter in Maine. The Phoenix are nearing the end of their season long eight game road trip and going into this matchup were winners of the first five away from Hyde. After a short drive to Freeport to play Pine Tree, the Phoenix would have to focus again, fully aware that a big matchup against Class C Old Orchard Beach was on the horizon.
Early on, the Phoenix were plagued by turnovers. Six miscues in the first quarter which led to baskets by the hardworking home team. After a quick timeout, it was evident the Phoenix had to get back to their trademark pressure defense and rebounding. The boys responded with three consecutive steals and layups on the other end. Junior Forward Andrew Palermo, sixth man extraordinaire, played his best game of the season. When the team lacks energy and focus, # 00 always brings his best. Palermo was active on both ends, crashing the glass and finding his teammates with quick outlet passes. Palermo took over in the second quarter, scoring 12 of his season high 22 points to help the Phoenix build a twenty point halftime lead.
Early in the third, Pine Tree converted on back to back triples to hang tough in the matchup. But the Phoenix controlled the game inside, with strong efforts from forwards Shamar Jack and Greg Kidger. An unsung hero in the game was junior guard Nolan Lowder. Lowder earned the start in the game and played his role very well: diving on loose balls, rebounding on both ends and playing tough defense. Despite a late charge by Pine Tree, the Phoenix eased to a twenty point win, their tenth in a row.
The Phoenix were paced by Palermo ( 22 points, 8 rebounds ), Antoine Montgomery ( 16 points ) and Kidger ( 8 points, 8 rebounds ). Next up is a matchup against Old Orchard Beach, tomorrow! Big game for the Phoenix as the regular season comes to a close next week.