AUGUSTA — The second boys basketball championship in Greenville High School history didn’t come easily. When the Lakers remember it in the future, that fact should make the win all the sweeter.

Ahead by nine points early in the fourth quarter, Greenville saw Woodland chip away and pull within a point. Woodland had a chance to win in the closing seconds, but Gavin Gardner’s baseline 3-pointer went off the back of the rim into the hands of Greenville’s Devin Boone, giving the Lakers a 47-46 victory in the Class D final at the Augusta Civic Center.

Greenville won its first state title in 1954.

“We came out firing and toward the end, we just couldn’t make our shots. It was really close there at the end. That last shot, it felt like it was forever in the air,” Boone, who led the Lakers with 15 points and 10 rebounds, said. “I thought it was going in, but it bounced off the back side of the rim and flew up, so we got lucky.”

The win gives Greenville a measure of redemption after losing the Class D state final last season to Machias. The Lakers opened this season with back-to-back losses, before rolling out a 20-game win streak to claim the title. Woodland ends at 18-4.

“(The state game loss) left a sour taste in our mouth. We knew we had this coming year to basically redeem ourselves and win it this year,” Boone said. “The first two games, we just couldn’t make our shots. Everything was bad. Defense was rough, but after that second game, once we got our first win in, it all started clicking together.”

On Saturday afternoon, Greenville led 43-38 with a minute and a half to play. Justin Warden’s basket and free throw cut the Dragons’ deficit to 43-41 with 1:20 to play. Nick Foley’s two foul shots pushed Greenville’s lead back to four, and a Warden layup with 54 seconds left made it a two-point game, 47-45.

With 34 seconds left, Connor DiAngelo’s layup on a pass from Boone gave the Lakers four points of breather room. A Drew Hayward bucket with 24 seconds left once again pulled the Dragons within two points. With 7.3 seconds left, Foley missed the front end of a one and one try, setting up Gardner’s potential game-winning shot.

The Lakers never trailed, opening the game with an 11-0 run. Woodland pulled within four points numerous times, only to see Evan Bjork (12 points) or Foley (14 points) make a three to push the Lakers lead back up. Team chemistry was important to Greenville’s run, Boone said.

“A lot of the guys have played (together) since they were younger. Me, I didn’t get the chance. I came in my junior year, but having the team play together basically since they were in kindergarten, that helped them a lot in team chemistry. Then putting me in, it all came together and we fit pretty well,” Boone said.

Sabre Lee Phelps led Woodland with 13 points. Warden added 10 points, seven coming to help the Dragons rally in the fourth quarter.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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