Maine-Presque Isle started flat, and a talented Maine-Machias team took advantage to take a big halftime lead, then hung on in the second half to preserve the 74-68 win Thursday night.
The Owls seemed ragged from the opening tip, spotting the Clippers an 18-4 advantage at one point before getting some flow on the offensive and defensive ends. Junior Derek Healy provided a spark in the first half on both ends to keep the game at a reasonable striking distance; however, the Owls still trailed 43-20 at intermission.
Halftime seemed to invigorate Maine-Presque Isle to a degree, but Maine-Machias continued to keep their gap despite the efforts of Healy, freshman Kevin Collins, and freshman Maurice Harris. The Owls kept grinding, and managed to get the lead into single digits with just under three minutes to play. At that point, consecutive steals by Healy and Collins, along with made shots from the same pair, got the advantage down to four with one minute to play.
The Owls were forced to foul, and in a key moment did not rebound a missed free throw, which essentially dashed the hopes of the improbable comeback. Harris grabbed nine rebounds for the Owls, and junior Chase Vicaire chipped in four assists.
Due to weather, Maine-Presque Isle will re-schedule the game at Fisher set originally for Saturday, and next play Eastern Maine in Bangor Monday night, with the tip set for 7:30.