AUGUSTA — Nick Morales, a Madison Area Memorial High School senior, knew the technical foul he picked up with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter was a grave mistake. In the fourth quarter, Morales did his best to make up for the mental error.

Morales scored five of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, and junior guard Sean Whalen was a perfect 3 for 3 at the line, lifting the Bulldogs to a 52-47 win over Waynflete in the Class C South semifinals. No. 3 Madison, now 17-3, will face either No. 4 North Yarmouth Academy or No. 1 Winthrop in the regional final Saturday. No. 7 Waynflete ends the season at 15-6.

“That was just awful. I’ve got to understand that, if something happens, I’ve always just got to keep going and not complain about it. It’s the coach’s job to say things to the ref. It’s not mine,” Morales said about the technical, given when he barked at an official over a non-call. “I just tried to pick it up more in the fourth, be a leader, be more vocal, because I would have felt very bad if that would have been a deciding factor in the game.”

With 4:00 left in the game, Morales hit a 3-pointer to tie the score at 42-42, snapping a 6:49 scoring drought for the Bulldogs. Just over a minute later, he made a basket to give the Bulldogs a 44-42 lead. After a three point by Christian Brooks gave the Flyers a 45-44 lead, Madison sophomore Justyn Stintson hit 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Bulldogs a 47-45 lead.

With the score tied with just under two minutes to play, Whalen converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give Madison the lead for good, 50-47. Waynflete had chances to tie, after Morales missed the front end of two one and one chances, but the Flyers turned the ball over with 18.9 seconds left, and after Yai Deng missed a 3-point try with nine seconds to go, Whalen (11 points) made a pair of free throws to ice the game.

“We just kept our composure and took care of the basketball and played tough down the stretch. Justyn Stintson, our sophomore off the bench, hit a big three in a key moment,” Madison coach Jason Furbush said.

Defensively, the Bulldogs felt they were able to apply more pressure in the pivotal fourth quarter.

“When we started pressuring the lanes and started pressuring the ball, they weren’t getting the open looks they had in the first half, even in the third quarter,” Madison senior Mitch Jarvais, who had 16 points and seven rebounds, said. Jarvais spent much of the day at Reddington Fairview Hospital with a migraine, and when told the medication might make him drowsy, was worried he might not be ready for the game. Jarvais’ worries evaporated 17 seconds into the game when he nailed the first of his four 3-pointers.

“They gave me an IV… I took a nap for like two hours, and when I woke up, I was a lot better,” Jarvais said. “I was shocked because I haven’t hit a (perimeter) shot in a game for three or four games now.”

Another key, Morales said, was Waynflete’s decision to switch from a 2-3 zone to man-to-man defense.

“As soon as we saw them go from their 2-3 (zone) to man, we saw blood in the water. That’s what happened against Boothbay (in the quarterfinals). We need to attack, attack, attack, bcause we’re very confident if people play man, we can score,” Morales said.

After Jarvais’ game-opening three, the Flyers went on a 12-0 run, as Madison overcame Augusta Civic Center jitters.

“We started taking 3-point shots we shouldn’t have taken. Once we started attacking, me and Sean Whalen, we started getting in a groove,” Morales said.

Added Furbush: “They’re quick. They’re big. They’re what I expected. Their speed was more than I expected, to be honest.”

Brooks led the Flyers with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Askar Hussein added 10 points.

Furbush said he wasn’t sure how long it’s been since Madison played in the regional final, but the year 1986 stuck in his head. No matter when it was, the odometer reset.

“Since it’s my senior year, I want to go as far as we can,” Jarvais said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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