Calais Blue Devils

Senior veteran captain Joel Leeman looks for an opening inside. (Photo by John Rogers).

The 2013 Calais Blue Devils entered the Eastern Maine Class C basketball tourney at the Bangor Auditorium for the final time at the facility that had provided 57-years of basketball tournament action for the fans of Central, Eastern, and Northern Maine. The fifth place Devils squared off against the fourth place Sumner Tigers and the teams had split on the season. In the first encounter at Sumner the Blue devils battled from behind and took a 59-57 win at the horn off a Devan Hall jumper, while at home in the next to last regular game the Tigers turned the table on a flat Devils squad winning 51-50 on the buzzer. 

This quarter-final started the opening frame with neither squad earning much of an edge; Calais took a 2-point lead with 47-seconds off a Kyle Johnson basket for their first lead in the game. Calais’ tough defense began to show in the second and Kyle Johnson got the offense fired with a foul-line jumper at 7:41. At the 3-minute mark Hall hit a 3-pointer and Tyler Niles hit 2-soft shots at the glass to put the Devils up 20-15. At the horn the Devils went to the lockers sporting a narrow 23-19 advantage.

The Calais defense was turned up a notch in the third with a trapping defense at mid-court that caused the hosts to make 19-turnovers while Calais had only 11 in the game. Kyle Johnson got the team off to a great start getting a hoop & foul shot. Tough “D’ stopped the Tiger offense while Calais jumped to a ten-point lead. Sumner made one last run and was able to get within 6-points in the third, and got to within 5-points opening the fourth.  

This game was not to be denied Calais as Devan Hall had a layup at 5:03 and two free throws at 4:22 to put the Devils up 44-33; and then at 3:42 and 2:28 Newell made two hoops and the lead extended to 48-34. The Blue Devil guests took the quarter-final win over Sumner in solid fashion, 50-35. 

Devan Hall paced the Calais attack scoring 24-points, a great 8/11 on free throws, and 50% from the field; Kyle Johnson had a superb game with 11-points, 8-rebounds, 4-assists, and 2-steals. Tyler Niles grabbed 12-boards, with 3-assists, 2-steals, and 7-points. Turnovers caused by tenacious defense gave Calais a 19-10 advantage; Calais made 19-11 baskets over Sumner and both teams earned 11-points off free throws. Sam Smith paced the Tigers with 11-points and 9-boards and Tylor Martin had 9-points in the loss.

In the same bracket the Shiretowners from Houlton easily took out the eighth seeded Bucksport team 72-53 as standout Kyle Bouchard exploded for 41-points and 15-rebounds in the win. Friday evening the 18-1 Shiretowners hosted the Blue Devils in “C” semi-finals. The Blue Devils ran into a Shiretown squad with a hot hand despite an early box & 1 defense by Calais that later went to a tough man with a trap while playing slow-down ball, the hosts clawed an 8-4 margin after one and played to a 17-4 lead with 3:19 left in the second frame, only to have Tyler Niles hit a hoop at 1:56 and Devan Hall a free throw at 1:40 to get to 17-7. Bouchard closed the half with a basket and a 19-7 Houlton lead.

This Calais team played one of their best games on the season never giving an inch to the big & very talented East leaders. The pressure showed in the third when Calais took advantage of a 13-2-point run that had Calais within 3-points, 25-22 with a little over a minute to play, but Shires responded with 6-points to keep their margin and the eventual victory.

Devan Hall had another fine game scoring 14-points with 4-steals, and 2-rebounds, Kyle Johnson netted 8, had 3-steals, and pulled down 8-rebounds, and Tyler Niles had 8-rebounds with 5-points. Bouchard continued to pace his team with 18-points, 10-boards, and 2-steals. Kyle Buzzeo had 11-points & 6-boards, Guiod had 11-points, and Swallow 8-points, and 5-boards in the win.