AUGUSTA — With one shot, Courtney Dunton gave herself and every Hampden Academy basketball fan what will certainly be a cherished tournament memory.

Dunton’s running jumper at the buzzer gave the Broncos a 42-40 win over Nokomis in the quarterfinals of the Class A North girls basketball tournament Friday night at the Augusta Civic Center. Dunton said it was the first buzzer-beating, game-winning shot of her life.

“It feels pretty good,” Dunton, a senior, said. “We practice buzzer-beaters, what we’re going to do with three seconds left. It wasn’t exactly how it was drawn up, but it went in so we’ll take it.”

No. 5 Hampden (11-8) will play either Lawrence or Skowhegan in the semifinals on Wednesday. No. 4 Nokomis finishes 13-6.

Dunton’s game-winning shot came after Olivia Brown made a pair of free throws for Nokomis to tie the game at 40-40 with 3.6 seconds left. Brown had a chance to tie the game from the line with 26 seconds left but missed both. However, she grabbed her own rebound to keep the Warriors chances alive.

On the ensuing inbounds play, Dunton took a pass from Bailey Donovan, who was at midcourt, took a dribble, and fired her shot from just beyond the foul line.

Nokomis coach Michelle Paradis thought the clock did not start immediately when Hampden touched the inbounds pass, but stressed that wasn’t the biggest factor in the final play.

“We have young kids who have never been put in this experience before. So we had token defense,” Paradis said.

Dunton’s shot overshadowed a Nokomis comeback. The Warriors trailed by as much as 11 points in the third quarter, and by seven at the start of the fourth. Chelsea Crockett’s 3-pointer with 2:03 to play tied the game at 37-37.

“We’ve done this all season long, where we’ll get down and come back. They’re resilent. They really are. They’re a great group of kids,” Paradis said.

Trailing 12-10 after one quarter, Hampden took the lead in the second by going inside to the 6-3 freshman Donovan. Donovan scored eight of her 12 points in the second quarter, helping the Broncos take a 21-20 lead into the half.

These teams split a pair of regular season games, and a good start was key, Dunton (11 points) said.

“When we played them there (at Nokomis), we were down 14-0 in the first quarter. We just wanted to get off to a good start. They’re a good team. They fight right to the end,” Dunton said.

The win helped the Broncos erase the memory of last year’s tournament exit, a one-point quarterfinal loss to Bangor.

“We lost by one (in the tournament) last year, and we replay that in the back of our minds. We didn’t want to go out with a loss tonight,” Dunton said.

Brown led Nokomis with 16 points. Gabby Lord had 10 rebounds for the Warriors.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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