HAMPDEN — Junior guard Camryn Bouchard came off the bench and hit four 3-pointers, including one with 2:38 left in the game to give Hampden Academy the lead for good, and the Broncos held Skowhegan to just three points over the final four minutes to earn a hard-fought 56-49 Class A North victory on Friday night.
The Broncos improved to 8-1 and avenged their only loss of the season, 47-38 on Dec. 19, while the Indians fell to 6-2.
Six-foot-3 junior center Bailey Donovan had 16 points and 10 rebounds, both game-highs, during the entertaining affair. Bouchard had 12 points and two steals and senior guard Brooklynn Scott turned in an outstanding all-around game with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists while also holding Skowhegan leading scorer Annie Cooke to 10 points.
Alydia Brillant and Sophia Narofsky combined for 11 points and Narofsky grabbed five rebounds while Brillant had two assists and two steals.
Cooke’s 10 points paced the Indians, who received eight points apiece off the bench from Lindsey Warren and Emma Duffy. Alyssa Everett, Sydney Ames and Maria Dunbar chipped in with six points each. Everett also had a team-high six rebounds and she dished out two assists.
Sydney Reed had five points, three rebounds and two steals. Warren had three rebounds.
The seesaw affair saw the Indians lead by as many as nine in the first half before the Broncos closed out the half with an 11-5 run to pull within 24-21.
Hampden scored the first five points of the second half but Skowhegan answered with six straight to restore a four-point lead.
Cooke had three baskets during an 8-5 run in the fourth quarter that supplied Skowhegan with a 46-44 lead with four minutes to go but HA reeled off 10 straight points and Skowhegan wouldn’t score again until there were just 20 seconds remaining on a Duffy 3-pointer.
A Donovan free throw started the decisive 10-0 run and Scott found Bouchard on the right side for a three-pointer to make it 48-46.
Following a Skowhegan miss, Scott grabbed the rebound and eventually fed Donovan for a left-handed hook shot. On, Skowhegan’s next possession, Donovan blocked a shot and grabbed the rebound.
Scott was fouled and made both free throws with 1:10 left to make it 52-46. Skowhegan turned the ball over and Scott made two more free throws seven seconds later to all but sew up the win.
HA went from player-to-player to a 1-2-2 zone in the final four minutes and it paid dividends for the Broncos as the Indians appeared to be hesitant to shoot.
“We have been working on it,” said HA coach Nick Winchester. “We had used it a little earlier in the game and we got turnovers off it.
“Brooklynn was gassed and I wanted to give her a chance to catch her breath,” added Winchester. “And we want to be able to diversify on defense.”
“You can’t score if you don’t shoot,” said Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc. “They executed better than we did down the stretch. When things got tough, they rose to the occasion and we didn’t.
“Our game plan was to be patient, make them overplay us and get easy baskets but our girls took it a little too far,” added LeBlanc.
He said he hadn’t noticed Bouchard in previous games so they didn’t have a game plan for her.
“That was probably my fault. She airballed her first couple but then she made some so hats off to her,” said LeBlanc.
“I consider shooting to be my role. Even though I’m not always open, when I have a chance, I take it and, hopefully, it works out,” said Bouchard.
“We have depth. We have kids who can come in and do different stuff for us,” said Winchester who also called Scott “the heart and soul of our team. She does so many good things for us whether it be guarding the other team’s best player of running the point.”