Monmouth’s Lucas Harmon , left, shoots against Hall-Dale during a Class C South boys basketball semifinal game Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The stage has been set for the Class C South finals, and the teams involved are a mix of both old and new contenders.

In the girls game, it will be No. 4 Madison (17-3) taking on Mountain Valley Conference rival No. 2 Hall-Dale (19-1). Between the two programs, Hall-Dale has had the most recent success, winning a Class C championship in 2022. One of the members of that team is senior guard Hayden Madore, who surpassed 1,000 career points this season.

While Madore is Hall-Dale’s top scoring threat, she has made it a point throughout the season to distribute the ball to her teammates on the floor, and players such as guard Torrie Tibbetts, as well as forwards Jade Graham and KJ Greenhalgh have benefitted from the opportunities.

Hall-Dale had one its best defensive performances in a 48-23 win over No. 3 Richmond in Thursday’s semifinal round. The Bulldogs forced 35 turnovers out of the Bobcats.

“I was really proud of their effort and their tenacity today,” Hall-Dale head coach Laurie Rowe said after the win. “They played the style of basketball we like to play, the run-and-gun. It was really awesome.”

Madison has routinely been a team in the C South playoff mix. However, in a year of transition — Madison alum Adam Rich took over the program this season after Al Veneziano, who had coached the team since 1987, stepped down to take over the school’s athletic director position — the Bulldogs have stepped their game up. Guard Raegan Cowan has consistently been Madison’s top scorer, while Mackenzie Robbins, Jacey Moody, Kylee Furbush, Alison Griffeth and Elizabeth Kelley have each provided offensive support. However, Rich attributes Madison’s success to its defense.


“It all stems from the defensive end,” Rich said. “One those girls start getting going, flowing into the transition, get a couple open looks, it’s off and running for us. The transition game and defense is what we pride ourselves on.”

Hall-Dale girls basketball players cheer on their teammates during a Class C South semifinal game against Richmond on Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The two teams met once during the regular season, a 69-37 win for Hall-Dale on Jan. 31 in Farmingdale. It was the same night Madore scored her 1,000th point.

“We didn’t play well (in the regular season), they took it to us,” Rich said. “From that game on, we’ve learned, and I think we got better and better from that.

“It’s the overall size and athleticism that (is a strength for Hall-Dale),” Rich continued. “They’re able to run and transition, it’s not like their bigs are slow. We have to be aware and get back in transition as well. I think that’s a key that set us apart in the first game. If we can slow down the transition and play them in a half court set, it’s going to be a pretty good game.”

Should Madison win, it would be its first regional title and trip to the Class C final since 2010, when the Bulldogs fell 44-38 to Calais. Madison has never won a Class C girls state title.

The boys game will feature two teams that have never won a regional title. No. 3 Monmouth Academy (17-3) has been battle-tested, coming off one of its most emotional victories of the season, a 73-67 overtime victory over No. 7 Hall-Dale in the semifinal round on Thursday night.


The Mustangs have been led all season long by senior forward Sammy Calder, a Mr. Maine Basketball semifinalist. Calder has been playing at his best in the big moments. In a 51-39 win over No. 6 Winthrop in the quarterfinals, Calder dropped 15 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Against Hall-Dale, Calder scored a game-high 35 points, 18 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime.

“(Calder is) a Mr. Maine Basketball semifinalist for a reason,” Monmouth Academy head coach Wade Morrill said. “He’s the most hard-working, unassuming, quiet kid you’ll ever talk to. But he has a competitive streak like I have never seen. I’ve only coached one player like him in 19 years with that competitive fire.”

No. 1 Mt. Abram (18-2) has steamrolled the competition all season long. The only losses the Roadrunners have suffered all season were 80-69 to Class B Maranacook on Jan. 30 — Mt. Abram beat the Black Bears earlier in the regular season — and to Class C North opponent Mount View, a 60-52 loss in Thorndike on Feb. 5. It’s possible the Roadrunners could see Mount View again in the Class C final, as the No. 7 Mustangs are playing in the C North final against Calais at 6 p.m. on Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The Roadrunners have a 1,000-point scorer of their own in senior guard Payton Mitchell, who has been a tremendous key to the team’s success throughout the season. But a strength of Mt. Abram is its scoring depth. Bryce Wilcox, Cam Grey and Logan Dube have each shown an ability to put up 15 or more points on a given night, if needed.

“We have five guys who can score double-digits on any give night,” Mt. Abram head coach John Chase said. “It’s the luxury we have sometimes.”

Chase said another strength of the Roadrunners has been their defense, which will be needed against Monmouth Academy.

“A lot of people don’t talk about our defense, but that’s always an emphasis,” Chase said. “Just using our defense to trap and then just run the court.

“(Monmouth Academy) is going to be a great game, this is the matchup that we wanted,” Chase added. “This is the one we talked about all week. Obviously, we don’t want to plan too far ahead, but we wanted them on Saturday night.”

The Roadrunners and Mustangs met once during the regular season, with Mt. Abram picking up a 71-66 win on Jan. 23 in Monmouth.

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