AUGUSTA — After winning fewer games during the regular season than any other team in the field, the Skowhegan boys basketball team is making up for lost time.

In a matchup of teams that pulled off upsets in the opening round of the tournament, No. 7 Skowhegan continued its Cinderella run this week with a 58-46 win over No. 6 Brewer in a Class A North semifinal Wednesday night at the Augusta Civic Center. The Indians (10-10), who also disposed of No. 2 Hampden in the quarterfinals over the weekend, will face either No. 1 Cony or No. 4 Lawrence in Friday’s regional final.

“That’s huge. That’s a big win,” said Skowhegan junior guard Carter Hunt. “I can’t remember the last time Skowhegan’s been this far in the playoffs. We just had to pound the ball inside and work inside-out. We had to get some guys some open shots and get some guys to step up and hit them.”

Hunt certainly did that. The hot-shooting guard sparked the Indians with a 17-point night from the perimeter, the perfect complement to senior Marcus Christopher’s inside game producing a game-high 18 points and to go alongside his nine rebounds.

Admittedly fighting nerves out of the starting gate, Hunt scored 11 points in the first quarter alone, part of a night in which he connected five times from beyond the 3-point arc. His 3-pointer  from the top of the key as time expired in the opening period handed the Indians the lead — 21-18 — they would not relinquish.

“Once I saw that first one go down, I just knew my shot was feeling good,” Hunt said. “Once other guys saw me making shots, maybe they thought they could step up and make some shots, too.”

“(Hunt) set the tone,” Skowhegan coach Tom Nadeau said. “He made the shots, and that provides confidence. He’s been a pretty good shooter all year. That’s on the kid and his mental preparation the last two games — he’s come right out and hit shots both games.”

By contrast, Brewer (10-10) could get nothing going. With maximizing possessions a staple of their game as they charged into the tournament on the final night of the regular season, the Witches were cold from the floor from start to finish.

Brewer shot just 34 percent for the game (16 of 47), and were further handcuffed with sophomore Dylan Huff — who had a game-high 21 in a quarterfinal win over Mt. Blue — in foul trouble and on the bench for the final 9:37 of the first half.

“We were really trying to switch everything so they weren’t able to come off (screens) and get any open looks,” Christopher said. “We were coming up and hedging high on them.”

Skowhegan extended its lead with Huff and other Witches limited through foul trouble, taking a 34-26 advantage into halftime. While holding Brewer without a field goal for a stretch of 6:12 in the third, the Indians went to work via Hunt (two threes) and Chase Carey (eight points).

In the final period, Skowhegan made 10 of its 11 free throw attempts to see out the victory.

“Coach is always preaching to us that foul shots are going to win or lose a bunch of games over the course of a year,” Christopher said. “That’s something we work on regularly, and it paid off tonight.”

Trevor Pearson finished with 15 for Brewer, all but five of those in the first half. Huff closed the night with 14 points.

The loss snapped Brewer’s run of five straight wins against Class A North competition, dating back to a win at Cony on Jan. 22. For Skowhegan, it gave the school a pair of teams in the regional finals this week, with the undefeated Skowhegan girls already having punched its ticket to the A North final with a win over Messalonskee on Tuesday.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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