AUGUSTA – Over the last decade, Hampden Academy has been one of the most successful boys basketball programs in the state, and a two-year run of losing in the regional tournament is a long dry spell.

On Friday night at the Augusta Civic Center, the Broncos snapped that two-year skid in a big way, beating Medomak Valley in the Class A North championship game, 43-21. The win gave Hampden its fifth regional title since 2012.

“That really drove us, not being here for a while, being upset the last two years.,” Hampden co-captain and Mr. Maine Basketball semifinalist Ian McIntyre said.

Top-seed Hampden is now 20-1, and will face either Westbrook or Greely in the Class A state final. No. 6 Medomak Valley ends the season at 13-8, after upsetting Skowhegan in the quarterfinals and rallying from a 16-point second half deficit to beat No. 2 Nokomis in the semis.

Hampden trailed for just 27 seconds. After Medomak Valley’s Nathan Emerson hit a 3-pointer 20 seconds into the game, Hampden’s Tommy Raye answered with a three with 7:13 left, sparking a 14-0 Broncos run.

The Panthers spent most of the first half trying to slow the tempo, but turnovers ended too many first quarter possessions, allowing the Broncos to quickly build a double digit lead.

Defense was the key to Hampden’s fast start, McIntyre said.

“Medomak is a team that beat the three seed and beat the two seed. They showed they can play,” McIntyre, who was presented the Al Halladay Award as the tournament’s most outstanding player, said. “We had to come out and give them our best effort. I feel like we did that tonight, holding them to 21 points, which is frankly phenomenal in Maine basketball when it comes to defense.”

The Panthers cut Hampden’s lead to five points, 14-9, on an Ethan Reed basket with 4:17 left in the second quarter. The Broncose pushed the lead back to seven points, 19-12, at the half, and opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run to push the lead to 30-14. Hampden’s Kory Winch scored 10 of his game-high 14 points in the third quarter.

McIntyre added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Broncos. Reed led Medomak Valley with five points. Gabe Allaire grabbed nine boards for the Panthers.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

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