AUGUSTA, Maine — Bryce Lausier and the Hampden Academy boys basketball team knew they would face considerable defensive pressure in Wednesday night’s Class A North boys basketball semifinal against hard-pressing Cony of Augusta.

So the Broncos decided to shoot over the top of it.

Lausier, a sophomore guard, made six of Hampden’s nine 3-point goals in the game as coach Russ Bartlett’s top-ranked club built an early lead and went on to defeat the fourth-seeded Rams 58-43 at the Augusta Civic Center.

The win avenged a loss by then second-seeded Hampden to No. 7 Cony in last year’s quarterfinals and advances the 18-2 Broncos to Friday’s 8:45 p.m. regional championship game against No. 6 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro.

“My teammates do a good job of getting me the ball when I’m feeling hot,” said Lausier. “I put a lot of work in this summer just because of how we lost to Cony last year. It put a lot of motivation in me to go out and get a lot better and assert myself this year.”

Lausier, who led Hampden in 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage during the regular season, shot 6-of-9 from beyond the arc overall, and Hampden made seven 3-pointers in the first half alone in building a 35-27 lead that Cony did not seriously threaten after intermission.

“He got it going and I think we did a good job of finding him when he got open,” said Bartlett. “He’s got the shooter’s mentality that when he knocks one down you think he’s going to hit three in a row and he did a great job of that tonight.

Lausier finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Kory Winch had 17 points and nine boards and Tommy Raye scored 13 points for Hampden.

Senior center Ian McIntyre, while limited to five points, also hauled down 10 rebounds and blocked four shots for the Broncos.

Senior forward Jordan Roddy scored 12 points for 14-6 Cony before leaving the game in the third quarter with a leg injury. Sophomore guard Simon McCormick also scored 12 points while Ian Bowers had six points and 10 rebounds for coach T.J. Maines’ club.

Raye scored seven points, including two 3-pointers, in the first quarter to help stake Hampden to an early 18-13 lead.

Lausier hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter, then made his first two shots of the second half — both beyond the arc — and Winch followed with a runner from the lane as the Broncos used that 8-0 run to extend their eight-point halftime edge to 43-27 in the opening minutes of the third quarter.

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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...