AUGUSTA — Lucas Harmon is a muscular dude. If anyone can carry a heavy load, it’s him.

The Monmouth senior carried the Mustangs in the fourth quarter as they earned the first boys basketball regional title in school history with a 46-43 win over Mt. Abram in the Class C South final Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Monmouth (18-3) will face C North champion Mt. View (16-6) in the Class C championship game next Saturday at 8:45 p.m. in Augusta.

Saturday’s regional final featured two teams with sour tastes from the past two C South tournaments. Mt. Abram’s previous regional final appearance was in 1970, and last year the Roadrunners suffered four close losses to eventual Class C champion Dirigo, including in the semifinals.

Third-seeded Monmouth, meanwhile, was playing in its third consecutive regional final, having been bounced by two-time defending state champion Dirigo twice.

The Mustangs finally did it.


“It’s huge,” Monmouth senior Sammy Calder said. “I mean, losing two times in a row to the same exact team feels horrible. And to finally do it, it feels great — and the first-ever Monmouth Academy team do to it.”

Harmon scored all eight of Monmouth’s points in the fourth, the final three coming after the top-seeded Roadrunners (18-3) erased a 10-point deficit and tied the game at 43-43.

Monmouth’s defense held Mt. Abram’s (18-3) high-scoring offense in check for much of the game. The Mustangs led by as many as 11 points in the second half and were ahead 43-33 with less than four minutes remaining in the game.

The Roadrunners finally found an offensive rhythm. Cam Grey made a 3-pointer, Chase Ross hit a free throw, Bryce Wilcox stole the ball and took it to the hoop for a layup and Payton Mitchell scored a pair of baskets, the second tying the game with less than a minute to play.

The next time down the court, Harmon drove the lane toward the hoop.

“I just remembered going up with it and just thinking, ‘You can’t miss this.’ And, ‘Don’t get blocked. You can’t miss this,’” Harmon said. “Really, that’s all I was thinking.”


He made it, putting Monmouth up 45-43 with 36 seconds remaining. He also was fouled on the play but missed the free throw.

“All year long, that kid’s been eating up rebounds,” Calder said. “And he really pulled through today, rebounds, points. He’s just been big all year.”

The Mustangs made another stop and Harmon was fouled again. He made one of two foul shots to extend the lead to three points with 13 seconds left.

Mt. Abram had two chances to tie the game, but neither shot dropped.

“I felt like our mojo, right there in the fourth quarter, we started kind of kicking it together there,” Roadrunners coach John Chase said. “And it’s just, one bucket didn’t fall, one little thing could have changed and the whole thing could have changed.”

Harmon finished with 14 points. Freshman teammate Levi Laverdiere led the Mustangs with 16 points.


Calder, a semifinalist for the Mr. Maine Basketball Award, scored only five points, but still played a brilliant game. He set up the Mustangs post players, particularly Harmon and his freshman brother Jacob Harmon, on a handful of back-door cuts for buckets in the second half.

“I really think that Sammy’s ability to initiate offense without being the offense was really the story of the game,” Morrill said. “He just did a great job of finding the open man for the easy shot.”

Calder also had nine rebounds and several assists. He was named the Class C South tournament’s most outstanding player after the game.

“We knew they were going to put pressure on Sammy in the last part of the game, and they pressured him the whole game,” Lucas Harmon said. “Sammy’s a great passer, he’s a great player, so he’s able to find us on those open cuts and spoon feed us those baskets.”

Harmon added: “Five points? It doesn’t matter. He was dishing out the ball, he was keeping the defense off of us, he was giving opportunities.”

Monmouth’s defense came up big, limiting Mt. Abram to 43 points after giving up 71 in the teams’ first meeting — a 71-66 Roadrunners victory on Jan. 23 — and only a couple of days after allowing Hall-Dale to score 67 in the Mustangs’ 73-67, come-from-behind overtime win in the semifinals Thursday.


Morrill wasn’t happy with Thursday’s defensive effort, and he discussed it with the team in Friday’s practice.

The defense in Saturday’s game couldn’t have been much better.

“It was just making sure we were pinching gaps and closing out on shooters, and taking charges, because we knew we could take charges on most of their guys, so we were focused on that,” Calder said.

Mitchell was Mt. Abram’s top scorer with 17 points, including 12 in the second half after foul trouble limited his playing time in the first two quarters. He also had 12 rebounds. Cam Grey contributed 13 points. Mitchell and Grey are the only two seniors on the Roadrunners’ roster.

The quest for an elusive regional final will resume next winter, Chase said.

“The last time we’d been here was 54 years ago. So it took a battle to get back here,” he said. “But we talked about how we’re not done yet. I know we lose two great players, two great senior leaders, but I feel like we have the talent, and I told them next year we’re going to be right back here fighting for it again.”

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