Shane DeWolfe of Greely had already missed three free throws in the fourth quarter when Hampden Academy called a timeout with 5.5 seconds to play in a tie game. DeWolfe had one more free throw left, one chance to put his team ahead.

At stake? The Class A boys’ basketball championship and finishing the Rangers’ second straight undefeated 22-0 season.

In the end, DeWolfe’s second free throw bounced around the cylinder, then fell through, producing the winning point Thursday night in a 47-46 victory at Cross Insurance Arena.

“The timeout actually calmed me down,” DeWolfe said. “I got a chance to talk to my assistant coach, Elbie (Murphy), and he came up and whispered to me, ‘This is the easy one.’ Both of them felt good when they left the hand. Sometimes you just don’t make them.”

“It went up and it looked short from where I was standing, and luckily he got a good roll,” said Greely Coach Travis Seaver.

Kory Winch’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer came up short, and Greely began celebrating a championship that Hampden nearly snatched away in the second half. It came less than two hours after the Greely girls also had beaten Hampden to win their state title.

“It’s amazing to go two seasons without losing a game,” said Greely senior center Jack Kane. “It’s just the best feeling.”

That feeling nearly soured in the fourth quarter. Hampden (20-2) already had cut 10 points off what had been a 17-point lead for Greely in the second quarter, using a strong closing run before the half and a slight edge in the third quarter. Winch (15 points) twice cut the lead to one on drives to the basket.

Both times DeWolfe, known more as a playmaker, scored at the rim to give the Rangers some breathing room. He was the only Greely player to score in the fourth quarter.

“It was just kind of the flow of the game. And I didn’t want to lose, honestly,” DeWolfe said. “Throughout the season in different games everyone has stepped up, and luckily tonight it was my turn.”

But it was DeWolfe who missed the front end of a 1-and-1 that set up Winch’s hanging baseline jumper with 37.1 seconds to play that made it 46-46.

“They put a good run together at the end of the game and we started pressing a little bit,” said Greely’s Zach Brown. “It got to our minds that we could actually lose this game after being up pretty much the whole game.”

Brown led Greely with 16 points, and Kane scored 14 with 10 rebounds. DeWolfe scored all 11 of his points in the second half.

Hampden locked down on defense in the second half, shutting down Kane, who had dominated inside in the first half with 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocks while going against a Mr. Maine Basketball finalist, Ian McIntyre, who finished with eight points and seven rebounds.

The trend continued in the fourth quarter, and the only Ranger that seemed to find space was DeWolfe, working off the dribble.

“I was proud of the way we came back in the second half,” said Hampden Coach Russ Bartlett. “DeWolfe made some great leadership plays for them late, I thought. You know, they made just enough plays to beat us.”

As both teams struggled early with their shotmaking, Hampden had an early 4-0 lead, but Greely led 11-7 after one quarter.

Greely took control in the second with a 15-0 run, taking a 29-12 lead, fueled by baskets off turnovers and the persistent play of Kane inside and Brown’s ability to get out in transition.

Hampden closed the second quarter on a 7-0 streak in 1:11 on a Winch putback, a 3-pointer from Bryce Lausier and a half-ending layup by Winch after his steal.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.