The Erie BayHawks finished off the regular season in record fashion by defeating the Maine Red Claws, 115-113, in front of a franchise-best crowd of 5,770 fans Saturday night at Tullio Arena. The BayHawks’ 32-18 record is also a franchise high for wins.
Blake Ahearn led the Erie charge with 29 points and 10 assists including a 6-for-12 performance from three-point range, but it was DeShawn Sims who got Maine off to a hot start, dropping in 17 of the Red Claws 36 first quarter points and helped Maine muster a one point lead at halftime, 58-57.
The game remained tight until the five-minute mark of the third quarter when the BayHawks went on a 15-4 run to finish out the frame. However Erie surrendered the lead in the fourth after enduring a Maine run in which they outscored the home team 21-11 to take a one-point lead with four minutes to play.
In the next possession Erie’s Jermaine Beal answered with a three-pointer and the BayHawks never looked back. Erie shot 5-for-7 from the foul line in the game’s final minutes to seal the win and head to the post-season winners of their last three.
Erie received double-digit contributions from four players in addition to Ahearn: Tasmin Mitchell (22), Erik Daniels (18), Ivan Johnson (15) and Nate Linhart (14).
Maine, finishing the season 18-32, and was lead by Sims with 33 and five other other players notched double-digits: Stephane Lasme (18), Craig Winder (16), Magnum Rolle and Antonio Anderson (15 apiece), and Jamar Smith (10).
Erie finishes the regular season fifth overall in the league with the post-season set to start later this week. First round matchups and game dates are scheduled to be announced on Sunday.