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Beaulieu, Giberson lead Fort Fairfield boys to regional championship

Beaulieu, Giberson lead Fort Fairfield boys to regional championship

Bangor- The communities of Fort Fairfield and Washburn were both looking for something neither has seen in a long time on Saturday morning at the Cross Insurance Center, seeing their high school boys basketball team win a regional championship.  Fort Fairfield ended the drought for one of the two towns, claiming their first regional title since 1988 with a 55-41 victory over Washburn in the Class D Eastern Maine championship game.

Wasburn pulled ahead early in this one on the play of Cameron Bragg, who had 8 first quarter points and the Beavers led by as much as 8 at 14-6.  Fort Fairfield kept it close behind the play of their senior forward Hunter Beaulieu with 5 points in the opening frame but Washburn took an 18-13 into the second period of play.

Robbie Watson exploded early in quarter number two, he hit back to back three pointers during an 8-0 run and scored 8 points in a row to put Fort Fairfield on top 21-18.  But a late quarter three pointer by Noah Farley and a basket and free throw from Bragg had the Beavers back up 26-25 at the break.

The second half was all Fort Fairfield outscoring Washburn 30-15, including 10-4 in the third period behind 4 more points from Beaulieu and 4 from Chris Giberson.  Washburn went cold shooting the ball in the second half as the Tigers pressure defense seemed to bother the Beavers.  Another 8 points from Beaulieu, 6 from Giberson and 5 from Isaac Cyr helped lead a 20-11 fourth quarter in favor of Fort Fairfield and secured the 14 point victory.  Solid foul shooting down the stretch put the game on ice as the Tigers shot 12-15 from the line in the final period (including 6-6 for Giberson) and overall 15-19 from the charity stripe in the contest while Washburn shot only 8-14 in the ballgame.

Coach Logan McLaughlin after the game, “Most of the year we played man to man defense, played a little zone.  This game I kinda wanted to mix it up a little bit, keep them off balance.  We started in a 3-2 zone, went to man to man then went to the 1-3-1 zone, in the first half I was kinda feeling it out see what would work the best, so the 1-3-1 was working great so we will start with that in the second half the boys never had to come out of it, they worked hard. When asked on Washburn only getting 4 points in the third quarter, McLaughlin said, “They couldnt penetrate or get the ball inside, not that they werent working hard, we just kept them off balance which is exactly what we wanted, it worked great.”

Washburn, who finishes at 18-3, Bragg had 15 points, Jarrett Olson had 11 and Noah Caron also chipped in 10. For the Tigers of Fort Fairfield, who improve to 18-4, Beaulieu finished with 19 points (12 in second half) Giberson had 16 and Watson finished with 10.

Fort Fairfield will now face Western Maine Champion Forest Hills (21-0) in the state title game next Saturday at 2:45 pm at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Maine Para-Athlete Josh Kennison Brings Home a Bronze Medal From the IPC Athletics World Championships

Maine Para-Athlete Josh Kennison Brings Home a Bronze Medal From the IPC Athletics World Championships

orway, ME (August 2, 2013) – Josh Kennison, elite para-athlete from Maine, won the bronze medal in the 100m T43 sprint at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, on July 22. Kennison finished the race in 11.93 seconds, earning the first world championship medal in his career.

Nearly 1,100 athletes from 99 countries competed in the IPC Athletics World Championships July 19 through 28. Kennison was one of six competitors in his division for the 100m sprint, placing third just behind fellow American Blake Leeper who placed second. The winner of the race, Alan Fonteles Oliveira of Brazil, set a new world record with a time of 10.80. Kennison also competed in the 200m sprint, placing fifth with a time of 24.12. He qualified for the World Championships at the US Paralympic Nationals in San Antonio, Texas, and is now focusing on training for the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

“This was my first world meet, and I was just excited to go across the world to compete. Bringing home a medal was a plus,” Kennison says of his time in Lyon.  “I’m excited to get back into training in a few weeks and get ready for the 2014 season.”

Kennison’s future goals include becoming the best US sprinter in his class, medaling at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships and also winning a medal at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.  For now, Kennison will take some time off from training to visit Camp No Limits, an organization he has been involved with since 2005 that supports children and families with limb loss. Kennison also works with the Never Say Never Foundation to provide support for amputees, and is a recipient of the 2010 Amway Hero Award.
Despite being born without feet, arms, tongue or half of his jaw, Kennison never let anything stand in his way. After becoming a member of the USA Paralympic Track Team, he won four medals at the 2010 Endeavor Games, and broke the world record for the long jump with a distance of 5.54 meters at the 2013 Desert Challenge Games. Even more remarkable than his athletic prowess is his positive spirit.

When asked about what words he lives by, Kennison remarked, “You can do anything you set your mind to as long as you have the right mindset.”

On Friday, August 16, 2013 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., fans can connect with Kennison at Norway Savings Bank located at 261 Main Street in Norway, Maine where he will be signing autographs. Norway Savings Bank is proud to sponsor Josh Kennison, and looks forward to seeing him continue to excel in the future.

Josh Kennison’s results from the World Championships are available for viewing at http://www.paralympic.org/events/lyon-2013/live-results. For more information about the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, please visit http://www.paralympic.org/Events/Lyon2013.

EMCC basketball heading to national championship

EMCC basketball heading to national championship

By Matt Schilmoeller

Bangor, ME— If you have not had the chances to watch the Eastern Maine Community college (EMCC)  men’s basketball team play yet then you are seriously missing out.

They are playing well enough to be ranked #1, both in the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) as well as #1 in the division II rankings for the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).

They have had some tough games where they have played and came back to win from behind.The athletes on the men’s basketball team have bought into the whole commitment instilled onto them by their coaches to do better; not only in the classroom, but on the court as well.

“In the past it used to be where they would have a sign up sheet in the cafeteria to recruit for a team,” athletic directer Kent Corey said. “There has been an increase in the amount of fans due to how well the team is doing.”

This group of players have been held accountable whether it’s on or off the court.

“Everyone is held accountable whether it’s on the court or off it,” coach Steven Rich. “The reason for the success was that they bought into the comradely as a team and because of this the team’s defense and being able to work as a team increase.They still have yet to put together a ‘full game’ and need to work on being more consistent both on the offensive and defensive end.”

EMCC finished the regular season  with an overall record of a 18 wins and 4 losses. They are heading to the USCAA (United States Small College Conference Athletic Association) National championship in Uniontown PA where they are going in as an ‘at large’ bid during the week of the 6th -10th of March. Let’s hope that the Emcc Golden Eagles Succeed down in the tournament and bring the national championship back to the Bangor area.