By Don Perryman, Of the NEWS Staff - BANGOR - Dexter's Travis Patterson felt the Tigers would win their Class C Eastern Maine boys basketball tournament semifinal encounter with Penquis Valley of Milo. Forget the seedings. Forget that Penquis was the top-seeded team and that his Tigers were ranked number four. He felt his team would win.But not by 34 points.
The Tigers rode Patterson's 22 points and the inside game Friday night of sophomore Chris Rabideau to a 66-32 win over the Patriots at Bangor Auditorium.
The 14-6 Tigers will meet third-seeded George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill Saturday at approximately 9 p.m. in the championship game.
"I didn't expect this at all. I expected a close game," Patterson said. "If we were going to win it would be by about five or six. I didn't expect 30 points."
The Tigers went into the game confident because they had split during the regular season with the Patriots.
"We were really on a roll coming into this game," Tigers center Rabideau said. They were number one in the season but we knew we had a shot because we beat them once."
The game basically ended in the third quarter over a four- possession period midway through the quarter. During that time, 17-3 Penquis turned the ball over five times with Dexter scoring on four of the possessions. Two of the turnovers came directly following timeouts called by Patriots coach Tony Hamlin to calm his team down.
It was a killer stretch for Penquis. What had been a manageable deficit turned into 20 points in almost the blink of an eye.
Patterson played a big role in the surge.
"I had a pretty good third quarter. I was able to make some shots. Rabideau was getting pretty good position in there and making layups," Patterson said.
Patterson scored nine points in the quarter and without a starter over 6-foot-1 the Patriots really had no answer for the 6-2 Rabideau who scored four of his nine points in the quarter. By the end of period the Tigers had opened up their lead from seven points to 24 at 52-28.
Senior Brian Hersey also was a headache for Penquis, scoring 15 points on a variety of moves through the lane and connected on 5 of 8 shots from the floor.
In fact, Dexter shot a sizzling 55 percent from the floor, hitting 25-of-45 shots and 14-of-17 free throws.
Early in the fourth quarter, Hamlin had resigned himself to the fact that the Patriots' season was coming to an end and watched much of the quarter with a bemused look on his face.
"Patterson's able to score any time he wants to. Those guys are peaking at the right time. When you have a franchise kid like Patterson and you need two, he's going to get you two," Hamlin said.
Justin Allen topped the Patriots with eight points.
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