HAMPDEN, Maine — The Bangor boys basketball team has experienced a rough-and-tumble winter filled with long road trips and imposing Class AA competition.

But the Rams came up big Friday night, ending Hampden Academy’s seven-year, 62-game home winning streak with a 57-47 victory over the Class A Broncos.

“I don’t think the kids even realized it until after the game, to be perfectly honest,” said Bangor coach Carl Parker of the record his team snapped. “But obviously it’s a great win for the kids.”

Hampden had not lost at home since dropping a 58-48 decision to Mt. Blue of Farmington on Jan. 18, 2010, and the Broncos had never been defeated in their current gym, which opened in 2012.

“I told the kids that at some point it was going to come to an end and that I was going to be there for it,” said Hampden coach Russ Bartlett. “But there’s very few people who can say they’ve gotten to be part of something like that, and everybody in that locker room can say they were part of 62-straight home wins.”

Bangor (4-10) also avenged a last-second 51-50 loss to the Broncos on the Rams’ home court, Red Barry Gymnasium, on Dec. 30, 2016, behind a game-high 27 points from sophomore guard Damien Vance and a 10-point, 13-rebound effort off the bench from senior center Ian Nagle.

“Damien’s a very good offensive player,” said Parker. “He’s got good explosiveness, he can shoot the ball a little bit, and Ian playing well inside opened up some of that stuff because they had to be somewhat conscious of Ian, and Damien took advantage of it.”

Vance, who was injured midway through the third quarter of the earlier game against Hampden with the Rams holding a 16-point lead, relied primarily on his mid-range game and ability to drive through the interior of the Broncos’ defense for his offense, which included 17 points after a first half that ended with the teams locked in a 25-25 stalemate.

“I was very disappointed when I did get hurt, and I was hoping we’d win that game,” said Vance, “but I was coming out tonight ready to play hard.”

Senior guard George Payne added nine points for Bangor, and freshman guard Henry Westrich contributed nine points and six rebounds.

I think they felt the game at Bangor slipped away from them, so they were really geared up to play,” said Parker. “We got a lot of help from our bench tonight, just about every kid who got into the game contributed in some way.”

Junior center Ian McIntyre paced 12-2 Hampden with 17 points and nine rebounds but managed just 12 field-goal attempts as Nagle and Co. collapsed their defense around the Broncos’ big man.

Hampden also was hurt by the absence of freshman guard Bryce Lausier — the team’s top 3-point shooter — who was sidelined with a broken left wrist suffered during practice Monday.

“We didn’t make many perimeter shots tonight,” said Bartlett, “but I thought the shots we took were good shots.”

Junior guard Johnny Wolfington added 12 points, and sophomore guard Kory Winch scored 11 for the Broncos.

Bangor used its defense to pull away, holding Hampden without a field goal for an eight-minute span late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.

The Rams scored 15 unanswered points during that stretch, with a step-back 3-pointer by Vance snapping a 35-35 tie and giving Bangor the lead for good at the end of the third quarter.

Vance scored 10 points overall during the run, with his two free throws and a drive through the lane extending the Bangor lead to 48-35 before McIntyre finally countered with two free throws with 2:25 left in the game.

By the time McIntyre scored from the lane to end the Broncos’ field-goal drought, the Bangor lead was still 51-40 with 1:29 to play, and Payne buried four-straight free throws to put the game away.

“I was real proud of the way we played, we just didn’t make enough shots, and we didn’t defend well enough to win tonight,” said Bartlett. “Bangor outplayed us, they earned that victory.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...