The top-seed Central Aroostook Panthers withstood an early run by the upset-minded Stearns Minutemen and cruised to a 72-48 Class C North quarterfinal victory in Bangor on Tuesday.

The Panthers found themselves down early in the contest, but rattled off 21 straight points on their way to a 38-23 lead at halftime. Although Stearns played hard, they were unable to catch Central Aroostook in the second half.

Senior captain Brayden Bradbury led the Panthers with 22 points. Joshua Thomas added 11 points.

Senior Bennett Dunston led the Minutemen with 13 points. Cole Kenyon added 11 points. Senior Jacob Kowalski added 9 points.

Stearns finishes the season at 10-10.

No. 1 Central Aroostook (15-4) will play No. 4 George Stevens Academy (17-2) in the Class C North semifinals at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

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