BANGOR — Sophomore forward Kyle Bouchard scored 41 points to lead the Houlton Shiretowners to a convincing 72-53 win over the Bucksport Golden Bucks in boys’ Class C quarterfinal action Tuesday at the Bangor Auditorium.
The 6-5 Bouchard was clearly the dominant player on the floor, scoring from inside and out with 17-for-27 shooting and grabbing 15 rebounds.
The top-ranked Shiretowners, with a record of 17-1 entering the game, made a statement early, racing out to a 24-6 first period lead.
But to the Golden Bucks’ credit, they never gave up the fight. After scoring just 18 first-half points and trailing by as many as 28 in the game, they managed to hold their own through most of the second half, outscoring Houlton 35-28 in the final two periods.
A three-pointer by senior Mitchell Burgess with about three minutes to go cut the Houlton lead to 68-50. The closest the Bucks had been since the opening moments of the first quarter.
Junior guard Josh Gray finished with 16 points to lead the Golden Bucks and Burgess and senior guard Sam Stearns had nine each.
Kole Buzzeo was the only other double-figure scorer for the Shiretowners with 11 points.
The eighth-ranked Golden Bucks, who downed Fort Kent 57-49 in a preliminary playoff, finished the season with a record of 9-11.