Presque Isle Fights Off Second Half Deficit to Earn Comeback Victory Over Southern Aroostook

The boys varsity basketball team mounted a fourth quarter comeback Saturday to earn their sixth win of the season by the score of 73-66 over Southern Aroostook.

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

Saturday’s contest at Presque Isle High School between Presque Isle and Southern Aroostook proved to be perhaps a tougher matchup than the Wildcats anticipated facing off against a Class D opponent.

The Warriors, led by junior Hunter Burpee, opened the game on a 8-2 run before the Wildcats realized their perimeter shots were not falling and began to work the ball inside. From there both teams would trade baskets and the lead throughout a very physical and foul heavy first half that ended with a 40-38 advantage for the home team. Presque Isle, on the latter half of a back to back, came out of the locker room for the final 16 with less intensity than in the first, allowing a few too many good looks for the Warriors, which they gladly took advantage of, sinking their opponents into a 12 point hole early into the fourth quarter. 

It would take a monster effort in the final four minutes from junior Xavier McAtee and the Presque Isle defense to claw them back into the driver’s seat, but lo and behold, with McAtee’s ninth and tenth points of the quarter, the Wildcats were up 73-66 with 25 seconds to play, which is how it would stand, as they improve to 6-3 on the year headed into the final week of regular season play. 

“I’m proud of the way our team played, especially in the second half,” McAtee said following the game. “We didn’t give up and we showed them that we wanted it more and came back to win.”

He had 26 points, 9 rebounds and 7 steals on the afternoon, while sophomore Malachi Cummings had 23 and junior Noah Yarema finished with 11.