AUGUSTA — Mt. Blue almost completed the comeback of the Eastern Maine Class A boys basketball tournament, but Brian Fickett’s layup with three seconds left enabled Hampden to hold on for the 46-44 win.

Hampden, now 20-1, will play in the state championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland. It’s Hampden’s first regional title since 2006.

Mt. Blue ends the season at 16-5.

Fickett’s winning bucket came off a pass from the baseline, after Mt. Blue had erased a double-digit deficit in about five minutes.

Down 12 points, 42-30, with five and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, Mt. Blue rallied to tie the game at 44-44 when Cam Sennick hit a free throw with 30 seconds left.

After Fickett’s layup, the Cougars called timeout to set up their inbounds play with 3.4 seconds left, but Blake Hart’s fullcourt pass went out of bounds.

After Fickett missed the front end of a one-and-one try with 2.2 seconds left, Nick Hilton’s halfcourt shot was wide right of the rim, setting off a Hampden celebration.

The Broncos played the final 2:48 without star guard Christian McCue (14 points), who fouled out on a charge.

The Broncos controlled the boards throughout the game, outrebounding Mt. Blue 38-19. Logan Poirier had 11 rebounds for Hampden.

Hampden never trailed in the first half. The Broncos scored the first eight points of the game, and led 15-6 after one quarter.

A Matt Palmer basket pushed Hampden’s lead to 11, 17-6, early in the second quarter, before the Cougars mounted a small rally.

A Cam Sennick layup with just under three minutes to play cut Hampden’s lead to 19-16. The Broncos closed the first half with a 6-0 run and led 25-16 at the break. Sennick and guard Eric Berry each had 14 points for Mt. Blue.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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