The Hampden Academy boys basketball team survived a trio of close calls to win its second Class A North championship in three years.
Coach Russ Bartlett’s 20-1 Broncos, who outscored their first three tourney opponents by a combined seven points, would like to get off to a quicker start in Saturday’s 3 p.m. state final against York at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena.
Throughout the North tournament, Hampden rallied late in each contest to extend its title run.
Bryce Lausier, a 6-foot-4 senior guard and Mr. Basketball finalist, was the offensive key to each of those late charges against No. 8 Mt. Blue of Farmington, No. 5 Brewer and No. 2 Cony of Augusta in the final.
He is backed by a rangy lineup including 6-7 sophomore T.J. Henaghen, 6-3 senior Mikey Raye, 6-5 junior Brayden Cole, 6-1 junior Andy Raye and 6-4 freshman sixth man Landen Gabric. The Broncos yielded 52.0 points per game in the regional.
Hampden last won a state title in 2015.
York (21-0) remained unbeaten and won its first regional championship in 21 years by knocking off Falmouth 52-34 in the A South final.
Coach Paul Marquis’ Wildcats were led by 6-5 junior swingman Brady Cummins. He was named tourney MVP after scoring 17 points in the final and 21 during a 59-57 semifinal ousting of three-time defending state champion Greely of Cumberland Center.
York, which fell to Falmouth in last year’s regional semifinals, won its most recent state championship in 1991 while in Class B.