PORTLAND, Maine — Senior guard Shane DeWolfe’s free throw with 5.5 seconds left lifted Greely of Cumberland Center to a 47-46 victory over Hampden Academy and the Rangers’ second straight Class A boys basketball state championship at the Cross Insurance Arena on Thursday night.
Coach Travis Seaver’s club capped off a second straight 22-0 season with the win, while Hampden concluded its season at 20-2.
“It is just the best feeling in the whole entire world,” said DeWolfe, whose sister Anna led the Greely girls team past Hampden earlier in the evening to kick off the Rangers’ championship sweep. “Last year was amazing and this year feels even better now that I’m closing out my senior year going 44-0. It’s incredible.”
Hampden trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half and was down 40-33 entering the fourth quarter but rallied behind junior guard Kory Winch, who scored six of his team-high 15 points in the game’s final eight minutes.
Winch’s floater from the right baseline tied the game at 46-46 with 35 seconds left before Greely worked the clock down.
The Rangers called time with 17.7 seconds to go, then worked the ball to DeWolfe along the left side of the lane.
DeWolfe was fouled by Winch with 5.5 seconds left and missed the first of his two free throws.
Hampden called timeout, but DeWolfe came out of the break and bounced his second shot off the rim and in to give Greely a one-point lead.
“I missed the front end and that took a toll on my mind,” said DeWolfe, “but I knew it was all in my hands to win this game and I just stepped up, luckily.”
The Rangers then applied defensive pressure as Hampden’s Johnny Wolfington brought the ball up court. Once the senior guard crossed half-court he passed to Winch on his right, but Winch’s long 3-point attempt fell short as time expired.
“I tried to call timeout the last possession but wasn’t loud enough, that was definitely on me,” said Bartlett. “Initially we hoped to push the ball up and keep the floor open and not call timeout, but when they turned Johnny twice I ran down to (referee Brad) Campbell but I wasn’t loud enough.”
“I wish we could have gotten a cleaner look at it, but it is what it is.”
DeWolfe scored all seven of Greely’s seven points in the fourth quarter, and finished with 11.
“He made some great leadership plays late, I thought,” said Bartlett of DeWolfe. “They made just enough plays to beat us.”
Zach Brown led the Rangers with 16 points — 11 in the first half — while 6-foot-8 center Jack Kane added 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Winch added eight rebounds for Hampden while Ian McIntyre had eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks and Bryce Lausier also scored eight points.
Hampden scored the game’s first four points, but Greely scored the next nine and built its lead to as much as 29-12 thanks to a big first half by Kane, who amassed 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots before intermission.
Hampden then scored the final seven points of the half as Winch scored twice inside around a 3-pointer by Lausier to close within 29-19, and a 3-pointer by Winch to open the second half rallied the Broncos within 29-22.
“I was real proud of the way we played in the second half,” said Bartlett. “We made too many mental mistakes in the first half in our rotations defensively like we were too amped and not thinking and dug ourselves quite a hole.
“But I liked the way we finished the second quarter, and defensively we really locked down in the second half.”