AUGUSTA — For years, they were an also-ran, a program second to their many great boys basketball counterparts in the Mountain Valley Conference and Class C West/South at large.

These Mt. Abram Roadrunners have long been on a quest to change that. Now, they’re a game away from reaching a place they’ve never been — and taking home some elusive hardware.

Mt. Abram strolled to a workmanlike 70-33 victory over Carrabec in the Class C South semifinals Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. The win put the Roadrunners, who will face Monmouth Academy on Saturday, within one win of their first-ever regional title and state final berth.

“It’s been more than 50 years (since we were in a regional final),” said Payton Mitchell, whose team advanced to its first regional championship game since the school opened in 1970. “We’ve been close the past couple years with some great teams, so to finally get here, it feels great.”


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Mitchell led the way for Mt. Abram with 23 points and eight rebounds. Cam Frost-Grey added 14 points and five rebounds and Bryce Wilcox notched 13 points and six rebounds. 

Top-ranked Mt. Abram (18-2) got rolling early, going up 8-0 in under three minutes before a putback by Cooper Dellarma got Carrabec on the board. The Roadrunners then got back-to-back 3-pointers from Logan Dube and Mitchell as part of a nine-point quarter by the latter to take a 20-5 lead into the second.


“It’s always about our defense, we feel like,” said Mt. Abram head coach John Chase. “A lot of people don’t talk about our defense, but that’s always our emphasis: Using our defense to trap and just run the court. … We did a good job of doing that early on.”

Mitchell kept it up in the second quarter, bookending a Desmond Robinson 3-pointer with a pair of layups. Then, with Mt. Abram leading fifth-ranked Carrabec (13-7), Frost-Grey made three consecutive layups to power the Roadrunners to a 32-11 lead en route to a 38-16 advantage at the break.

Mt. Abram’s Cam Frost-Grey shoots against Carrabec during a Class C South boys basketball semifinal game Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Will Lawrence hit a layup and 3-pointer out of the break to put Carrabec back within 20, but Mt. Abram immediately hit back as Mitchell and Wilcox fueled a 14-0 run that gave the Roadrunners a 54-21 lead. Mt. Abram then held the Cobras to four points in the fourth quarter to seal a lopsided victory.

Lawrence had 13 points and four rebounds for Carrabec, which also got seven points and eight boards from Robinson. The Cobras, despite the loss, have also built some momentum as a program with quarterfinal wins at the ACC in back-to-back years after going nearly 50 without one.

“We did not bring a single starter back this year, so for these boys to do what they did, we’re leaving here with our heads held high,” said Carrabec head coach Erik Carey. “We just came right into a buzzsaw tonight. Mt. Abram is just so good. … They’ve got length, and they’ve got speed, and they expose your weaknesses.”

The regional final matchup with Monmouth is the one Chase wanted. The two were tabbed as the teams to beat in the MVC and Class C South this year and neither one has disappointed. The Roadrunners beat the Mustangs 71-66 in the lone regular-season game between the two Jan. 23.

“This is the game we wanted,” Chase said. “This is the matchup we wanted; it’s the one we’ve talked about the whole week. Obviously, you don’t want to plan too far ahead, but we wanted Monmouth on Saturday night. … It’s going to be a great game, I think.”

“They’ve got great players, they work hard, and they rebound really well as a team,” added Mitchell. “They’re a good basketball team, and they’re coached well. We have to be ready for them because it’s definitely going to be a great game.”

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