AUGUSTA — The play didn’t come off quite as planned, but the result was all that mattered Monday night in the Western Maine Class C quarterfinal between Madison and Hall-Dale.
With time winding down, Madison senior Dylan Price saw an opening and drove to the basket to score what proved to be the game-winning hoop with 9.9 seconds left to play. Hall-Dale had one last shot to tie the game, but a driving layup by Mike Woods rolled off the rim as the buzzer sounded, giving Madison a 50-48 victory.
The win puts fourth-seeded Madison (13-7) into Thursday night’s semifinal against Boothbay while No. 5 Hall-Dale finishes at 10-9.
Madison trailed 48-44 with just over a minute to play but tied the game on a pair of throws from Dustin West and a layup Derek LeBlanc following a Hall-Dale turnover. A missed Hall-Dale shot set up the game-winning basket by Price.
“We spread it out so I could get some penetration and lucky enough I got into the middle and put it up,” Price said.
Price finished with a game-high 18 points and was the player Madison coach Mike Packard wanted with the ball.
“He’s a good penetrator and that was a good option for us,” Packard said. “We had a plan which he ran and that didn’t pan out for us and Dylan took it upon himself to get that penetration.”
Madison defeated Hall-Dale soundly during the regular season 54-31 but no one put much stock in that outcome.
“(Sam) Shepherd came back and we knew that would help and they didn’t have a good game last time at all,” Price said.
Shepherd, Hall-Dale’s 6-foot-6 senior center, missed a number of games at the end of the season after spraining his ankle. He didn’t start Monday but was a big factor in the game as he finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots. His tip-in at the first-quarter buzzer drew Hall-Dale into a 10-all tie and his layup near the end of the half put his team up 28-24.
Madison took the lead in the third quarter, thanks to a pair of 3s by Price and one apiece by LeBlanc and Austin Kane, who rebroke a bone in his right shooting hand in a scrimmage last week. Kane finished with eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“It’s affecting his ballhandling some,” Packard said. “It didn’t seem to affect his shooting tonight.”
Madison led 42-36 going into the fourth quarter but Hall-Dale had one comeback left. Harry Cheung hit a foul-line jumper to start a 10-0 run that included four points from Shepherd on a steal and a tip-in and four from sophomore Brian Allen on a pair of free throws and a jumper in the lane.
Madison senior Steven Lawrence played a strong game, finishing with seven rebounds, including the final shot from Woods, 10 points and three blocked shots. Hall-Dale got a nice lift off the bench from senior Cheung who scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds and had a key steal with 40 seconds left to play.
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638