Calhoun, Bridgeton Fall At St. Thomas More

A Quinnipiac recruit has a great game at the tournament in Connecticut ...

OAKDALE, Conn. -- Jean-Francois Beaulieu Maheux connected on a pull-up three pointer with four-tenths of a second to play, lifting Montmorency Junior College to an improbable 72-71 victory over Bridgton Academy on Friday night at the Pride's Corner St. Thomas More Basketball Invitational.

Bridgton, which led by as many as 11 points in the second half, could never put the game out of reach. That ultimately proved their undoing against a scrappy Canadian contingent.

After Montmorency closed within 71-69 on a pair of free throws from Beaulieu Maheux with 42 seconds left, Bridgton worked the shot clock down to the single digits before passing the ball down low to St. John's bound forward Qa'rraan Calhoun (six points).

Calhoun couldn't finish along the baseline, but guard Jarvis Hill (10 points) tracked down the long rebound and dove on it, forcing a held ball with 6.5 seconds to play. The Wolverines retained possession, and needed just to inbound the ball to force Montmorency into a fouling situation.

However, Bridgton wing Tyrone Hanson fired a bounce pass that was intercepted by 6-5 Nomades center Pier-Luc Jacques. Montmorency worked the ball up the floor quickly via the long pass to Beaulieu Maheux (19 points), who opted for a difficult pull-up trey over a higher percentage two point shot to send the game into overtime.

When the shot sank through the twine with less than a second left, the Montmorency players erupted with excitement. The Nomades clinched the win by intercepting the ensuing Bridgton entry pass just past the halfcourt stripe.

"I give them credit for making the defensive play that they had to make and for taking the pull-up three pointer to win it," Bridgton Head Coach Whit Lesure said. "I think Tyrone was concerned with the five-second count on the inbound pass, so part of the blame goes on my shoulders, because we had no time outs left and that's game mismanagement."

Lesure said he had hoped to get the ball to guard Keaton Grant off the in-bounds play and force Montmorency into fouling him. Hanson's turnover scuttled those plans and ultimately led to defeat, although a key foul call earlier in the half seemed to shift the game's momentum in the Nomades' favor.

With 4:36 to play, Grant (12 points) drove through the lane and scored on a runner to seemingly put the Wolverines up 72-62. But the officials whistled Grant for what appeared to be a highly questionable offensive foul, keeping the margin at eight points.

Montmorency climbed right back into the game moments later, via a midrange jumper from 6-9 post Ali Kanaan and a trey from 6-6 Quinnipiac bound swingman Etienne Labrecque (20 points). With 3:47 to play, Bridgton found itself clinging to a slim 70-67 margin. Despite three Montmorency turnovers and some big offensive rebounds from Calhoun and forward Matt Pilgrim (16 points), all the Wolverines could manage over the final three minutes and change was a single free throw from Eastern Michigan bound wing William Cooper (11 points).

Grant gave Bridgton its largest lead of the second half at 66-55 via a terrific athletic finish that resulted in a three-point play with 10:28 remaining. However, the Wolverines mustered just five points the rest of the way.

Ironically, Bridgton fell behind 11-0 to start the game, but finished the first half strongly, grabbing a 44-37 lead at the break. The slow start and the stumbling finish proved costly for the Wolverines, who will battle instate rival Maine Central Institute on Saturday for third place honors.

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