HAMPDEN, Maine — Whenever the Hampden Academy and Bangor High School girls basketball teams square off, it’s guaranteed to be an intense battle with points hard to come by.
It was no different on Monday night but senior forward Emma Haskell nailed a contested 3-pointer with 2:10 to go to give the Broncos a 37-35 lead and then blocked an Abbie Quinn shot and grabbed the rebound as the Broncos hung on for a 39-36 Class AA North win at the Hampden Academy gym.
Senior guard Taylor Gardner sank two of four free throws in the waning seconds to sew up Hampden Academy’s 10th win in 13 games and sixth in the last seven.
It also avenged a 29-26 loss to Bangor on Dec. 28.
The Rams fell to 8-5 while losing for the third time in their last four games.
Bangor had taken a 35-34 lead on Laela Martinez’s 11-foot jump shot from the right of the key.
But Haskell rolled off a screen and hit her fifth 3-pointer of the game from beyond the top of the key.
“We did what we were supposed to do [on that play],” Haskell said. “I had confidence that the shot was going in. I’ve been shooting real well lately. I have a lot of confidence.”
“Emma has been good for about three weeks now when it comes to shooting the basketball,” said Hampden Academy coach Nick Winchester. “She has a ton of confidence. She hit a huge shot that was similar to that one against Windham.”
Hampden Academy beat Windham 53-35 last Friday night.
Haskell then preserved the lead on Bangor’s next possession by coming up behind Quinn and blocking her shot from underneath the basket and chasing down the ball.
Bangor was eventually forced to foul and Gardner expanded the lead with her two free throws as she hit the front end of one-and-ones.
Martinez had an open three to tie it but it glanced off the rim. Bangor’s Mimi Quinn corralled the rebound and was fouled with 3.3 seconds left.
She made the first one but missed the second, which she needed to do in order for her team to grab the rebound and try to tie with a basket.
Gardner snared the rebound to end it.
Haskell finished with a game-high 17 points thanks to 5-for-7 shooting beyond the 3-point arc. She also grabbed four rebounds. Providence College-bound junior guard Bella McLaughlin, who was returning from COVID-19 protocols, scored six points in limited minutes and she also had three rebounds.
Lucy Wiles had six points and two assists, Lauren Voteur had five points and five rebounds and Gardiner finished with five points and three rebounds.
Junior center Abbie Quinn’s 13 points, seven rebounds and two steals paced Bangor. Sophomore sister Mimi Quinn added seven points and a game-high nine rebounds. Martinez contributed seven points and two steals, Taylor Coombs produced four points and four steals and Emmie Streams finished with five steals, three rebounds and two points.
Hampden Academy scored the game’s first five points and had another five-point lead at 9-4.
But the Rams rallied to tie it 12-12 in the second quarter and nobody led by more than four the rest of the way.
Abbie Quinn’s free throw and her basket in the paint off a Lily Chandler pass gave Bangor its biggest lead of the game at 24-20 midway through the third period but Haskells’s three, Wiles’ 7-foot runner in the middle of the paint and McLaughlin’s layup off a Gardner pass supplied Hampden with a 27-24 lead.
Mimi Quinn’s putback off a Streams miss capped the scoring in the third period and made it 27-26.
The lead see-sawed in the fourth quarter before Haskell gave Hampden Academy the lead for good.
“We played very good team defense. We all stepped up,” said Haskell about the Broncos, which utilized both a man-to-man defensive set as well as 3-2 and 2-3 zones.
“It was a physical, hard-fought game,” said Bangor coach Jay Kemble, whose team was in a full-court, man-to-man press all night. “Both teams play tough defense and that makes it difficult to make shots.
“But these are the types of games that make us better,” he added.