For the Hampden Academy boys basketball team, playing in the Eastern Class A championship game has become second nature. On Saturday, the Broncos will play in the regional final for the fourth straight year.

Lewiston, on the other hand, is in the regional final for the first time in a generation. The last time the Blue Devils played this late in the season was in 1991, when they lost the Western Class A championship game to Biddeford.

No. 4 Lewiston (13-7) and No. 2 Hampden (18-2) will play for the regional title Saturday at 4:15 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. A win gives Hampden its fourth consecutive trip to the Class A state championship game. Lewiston has not played in the state game since 1966.

“They’re used to being here,” Lewiston coach Tim Farrar said of Hampden. “This is another great team we’re playing.”

Hampden and Lewiston played once in the regular season, a 50-45 double overtime win for Hampden.

“We played Lewiston once, and it was a grinder,” Hampden coach Russ Bartlett said.


Lewiston beat rival Edward Little of Auburn in Wednesday’s semifinal, 55-45. Senior Isaiah Harris led the Blue Devils with 15 points, while 6-foot-10 center Trevor Irish added 13 points. Harris, the defending Class A champion in the 200-meter sprint and 800 (in which he holds the state record) will compete in track and field at Penn State next year, but isn’t ready to see his basketball career end yet.

“Basketball is still (Harris’) first love. He’s one of our leaders, but we’re not one guy,” Farrar said.

Lewiston guards Ace Curry and Ryan Bell are quick, strong defenders who can score as well.

Hampden has experience in defending a player with a size advantage, like Irish. The Broncos played Messalonskee three times, and had to defend 6-foot-8 Mr. Basketball semifinalist Nick Mayo.

“Obviously, Trevor’s size is a concern,” Bartlett said. “We have to defend really well together. We have a plan, and everybody has to know what their jobs are.”

Hampden is led by junior Nick Gilpin, one of the best guards in the state. Gilpin was among the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s leading scorers and rebounders, and led the league in assists this season. Gilpin scored 17 points in Hampden’s semifinal win over Messalonskee.


“Nick Mayo probably had the best overall season, but nobody’s playing better right now, in the last month, than Nick Gilpin,” Farrar said. “He’s tremendous, and we’re going to have to figure it out.”

Brendan McIntyre and Ian McIntyre can score for the Broncos, and Jake Black is a 3-point threat.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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