Hampden Academy team members celebrate with the gold ball after winning the Maine Boys Class A championship basketball game on Saturday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

Neither Bryce Lausier nor Mikey Raye — the two senior leaders of Hampden Academy’s boys basketball team — knew just how bad things were getting during Saturday’s Class A state championship game against York at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

The Broncos trailed 36-25 with 2:41 left in the third quarter after York had scored eight unanswered points to extend its halftime lead and seemingly harness all of the game’s momentum.

But this Hampden team was already battle tested after winning its three North regional tournament games by a combined seven points. And that energy helped the Broncos mount a 23-1 blitz to surge past the previously undefeated Wildcats 65-56 and capture their first gold ball since 2015.

York, which was seeking its first state championship since winning the 1991 Class B crown, ended its season at 21-1.

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

York answered Hampden’s five straight points to open the second half and tie the game at 24-24 with a 12-1 run to build its 11-point cushion entering the late stages of the third quarter.

When Wildcats junior guard Brady Cummins, MVP of the A South tournament, soon went down with leg cramps, Hampden was poised for a comeback.

“I didn’t know we were that far behind,” said Raye, “but until the clock hits 0:00 we’ve still got time.”

Indeed, it took less than eight minutes of playing time for Hampden to turn the double-digit deficit into a 48-37 lead on two Andy Raye free throws with 4:16 left in the game.

“I wasn’t aware we were down 11 but I knew we were down quite a bit,” Lausier said. “We just know how to play from behind and when we’re ahead.”

Andy Raye scored 10 points during the run, including two 3-pointers — the first to get the comeback started.

Lausier added seven points and and two assists and Mikey Raye had four points, three assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot as he led a defensive charge that held York without a field goal for a 7-minute, 55-second stretch until Will MacDonald buried a 3-pointer with 3:46 left in the game.

“We had a lot of runs throughout the season but it was like we hadn’t had one in 12 or 14 days so it was nice to finally go on a run,” Hampden coach Russ Bartlett said.

“We just kind of gritted it out. We never acted like we were down 11. I thought we played the same way almost the entire game and were super consistent defensively.”

Hampden preserved its lead by making 13 of its final 16 free throws. The Broncos were 28 of 34 at the line for the game compared to 14 of 19 for York.

“I thought we had some good opportunities at the rim but weren’t able to finish them,” said York coach Paul Marquis of the game’s key stretch. “We had some good looks we weren’t able to knock down, and offensively what they did created some fouls by us and they were in the bonus early and in the double bonus early.”

Lausier led Hampden with 23 points while Mikey Raye scored 17, Andy Raye had 14 and T.J. Henaghen chipped in 11.

They were the only Broncos to score in the game.

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

MacDonald led York with 15 points, while Cummins added 12.

Hampden made just 6 of 25 field-goal attempts during the opening 16 minutes, and York had a 21-17 rebounding advantage en route to its five-point lead

MacDonald grabbed nine first-half rebounds for York.

Lausier led Hampden with eight points and seven rebounds for Hampden at the break, while Mikey Raye scored six points and Henaghan added five points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

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...