AUGUSTA — Through nine straight wins, the Cony High School boys basketball met its challenges, turning a lagging season into one that reached the brink of a Class A North championship game.

This time, the Rams met a challenge they couldn’t overcome.

Down early and without star guard Jordan Roddy late, No. 4 Cony saw its season come to an end, falling 58-43 to No. 1 Hampden Academy in the semifinals at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Broncos (19-1) were in control throughout. Bryce Lausier knocked down six 3-pointers, Tommy Raye was dominant inside and Hampden never trailed, looking every bit the top seed without a single loss to Class A competition on their ledger.

But the Rams’ saw their hopes at a comeback dashed when Roddy left with a sprained ankle midway through the third quarter, casting Cony against the tournament’s giant without its top scorer.

Roddy and Simon McCormick — who scored all of Cony’s eight points in the third quarter in Roddy’s absence — had 12 points apiece to lead the Rams (14-6), while Ian Bowers added six points and eight rebounds.

Lausier led Hampden with 18 points and added seven rebounds, while Kory Winch scored 16 with seven rebounds, Raye had 13 and Ian McIntyre grabbed nine rebounds.

“I was really happy with the way we responded today,” Hampden coach Russ Bartlett said. “We had a lot of guys step up today, and I thought we played great.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Lausier had been anticipating this game, and this opponent in particular.

Then the sophomore played a central role in bringing them down.

Lausier knocked down six 3-pointers, while Hampden rode his hot hand to bury the Rams early. He buried three from beyond the arc in the third quarter, and four of Hampden’s seven in the first half, to lead the Broncos to a 35-27 lead at the break.

He then delivered Cony two more haymakers to start the second half, knocking down back-to-back threes to put the Broncos ahead 41-27.

“I was trying not to think,” he said. “I was just trying to keep shooting and help the team win.”

If Lausier was thinking about anything, it was payback — Cony eliminated the second-seeded Broncos in the quarterfinals last year.

“I was really excited going into the game. I think there was a lot of motivation this summer from losing last year to playing them again,” he said. “That was talked about a lot in the locker room, how we can’t let that happen like we did last year.”

Maines said that Cony’s focus was on limiting forward McIntyre, who was held to five points, but that he knew a side effect was leaving the Hampden shooters with space.

“You’ve got to hope they don’t make them,” coach T.J. Maines said. “In the first half Saturday night they didn’t make shots, and tonight they buried them. That’s hard to come back from.”

LOSING RODDY: The climb back became harder after Roddy went down.

The senior guard was Cony’s brightest spot in the first half, driving the lane and knocking down fadeaways and runners en route to 12 points. But he stepped on Lausier’s foot while performing a crossover after corraling a loose ball, and went down with 4:17 to play. He couldn’t put weight on the ankle and was forced to leave with Cony trailing 43-30.

“That was hard, and when that happened I think we pressed a little bit,” Maines said. “You say ‘Just keep going.’ You don’t even worry about it. It’s next guy up.”

Still, the players knew how daunting the comeback became without Roddy.

“It was tough,” senior forward Jake Dacus said. “We tried and we tried, but him not being there … just his presence on the court, it was tough for us.”

Roddy finished with the 12 points in his final game with the Rams.

“We’re not in the same place without him,” Maines said. “Jordan Roddys don’t come around all the time.”

STREAK ENDS: With nine straight wins, Cony made the improvement from floundering 5-5 team into one of the class’s hottest teams.

The run ended Wednesday, but Maines gave his team credit for the ride.

“I don’t know if I’ve had a team improve and grow as a group as much as this year’s,” he said. “I’m really proud of where we’ve come from and where we’re at now.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

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Twitter: @dbonifantMTM