AUGUSTA — It was Maine high school basketball at its finest.

Fending off Mount View throughout the fourth quarter, the Monmouth Academy boys basketball team managed to hang on and take a wild 52-50 victory in the Class C final Saturday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

It’s the first Gold Ball in program history.

“It feels crazy,” said Monmouth senior forward Sammy Calder, who led the team with 17 points. “It feels even better to get it right after (winning a state title in) soccer. Just to keep the ball rolling. Three Gold Balls (for the school) after 12 months. It’s insane.”

It also capped a dramatic postseason run for Monmouth (19-3), which won all four postseason games by a total of 23 points. Monmouth beat Mt. Abram 46-43 in the Class C South final after needing overtime to edge Hall-Dale 73-67 in the regional semifinals.


Kyle Palleschi scored 13 points for Monmouth, nine of which came in the third quarter. Bingham Abbott added eight points.

“I don’t think I could put into words how proud I am of this team,” Monmouth head coach Wade Morrill said. “This day marks the 104th day of basketball in a row. Our boys grind. I don’t think a lot of people thought we could be here. I think we’ve been counted out most of the year, really. We had to prove it every night. We adapted that mindset every night.”

Wyatt Evensen led Mount View with 18 points, while Noah Hurd added 16. Mount View, which came out of C North as the No. 7 seed, finishes 16-7.

It was a game of runs in the first half.

Mount View went on a 12-0 run in the first quarter. But Monmouth responded with an 11-0 run of its own late in the second quarter. Hurd and Evensen each scored nine points in the first half, while Calder led Monmouth with eight points.


Monmouth went on a 7-0 run in the third quarter and outscored Mount View 18-11 in the period. But Evensen and Hurd scored seven points early in the fourth quarter, tying the game 45-45 with four minutes to play.

“Me and Luke (Harmon) were just trying to calm the guys down, and then I tried to calm Luke down,” said Calder, who also had seven rebounds. “I just told the guys to keep their heads, try not to do any stupid turnovers, don’t do anything too crazy. Just play our game and play as hard as we can on defense.”

“(The message was) just breathe,” Morrill said. “We don’t need to be in a rush, we’re not in a rush. The game is won with good shots, not quick shots. We just had to make sure we got good opportunities to score every time down, not making foolish passes. Noah Hurd and Wyatt Evensen are great defensive players. They’re on the ball, they’re tough, they’re quick, they anticipate so well. So, we just had to stay calm, take care of the basketball, take good shots only. Then we had to tighten up the gaps on defense and close out the shooters and finish the possession with the rebound.”

Baskets by Calder, Abbott and a free-throw by Jacob Harmon helped give Monmouth a 52-50 lead. On Mount View’s last possession of the game, Hurd found Evensen, who dribbled to his right, took a shot at the side of the basket, but it bounced off the glass.

Mount View reached the state final — its first since 1987 — by battling the back half of the regular season, entering the C North playoffs in the preliminary round and then dominating the competition on its way to a regional title. It was the final game for six Mount View seniors, including Hurd and Evensen.

“There’s so much to be thankful for,” Mount View head coach Brandon Hurd said. “As I told the boys in the locker room (after the game), I’ve been there. It hurts. Time will heal it. We’re going to pick our heads up, enjoy what we did. The seniors, we’re thankful for them. There are kids coming back who have the opportunity to erase that feeling. The blueprint was laid by the seniors. Hopefully it continues going forward. But what a great season, what great senior leadership. I’m appreciative and thankful for them all.

Wyatt Bennett added 14 points for Mount View.

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