Bangor's Ryan Ford gets the ball knocked out of his hand by Hampden's Zach McLaughlin at Bangor High School on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Credit: Adam Robinson / BDN

The Hampden Academy Broncos picked up a boys basketball win over Bangor behind a big scoring night from Zach McLaughlin on Wednesday night, defeating the Rams 70-34.

McLaughlin scored nine points in the first quarter and exited the game for the last time with four minutes left in the fourth and a game-high 27 points.

Hampden Academy (8-7) coach Russ Bartlett, who on Monday collected his 300th career victory in a win over Skowhegan, said that the Broncos and McLaughlin play better when the star junior “lets the game come to him.”

“I kind of just let my teammates get involved before I look for my shot,” McLaughlin said. “JJ [Wolfington] and Landon [Gabric] create for me, same thing with [Brandon] Butterfield, he’s leading the league in assists. I think the game comes to me a lot easier when I find my teammates first.”

Broncos’ forward Wolfington scored 10 of his 18 points in the first period.

Wolfington scored twice around the basket and then hit two 3-pointers, one from the left corner and one from the top of the arc. His scoring outburst to start the game opened things up for McLaughlin and others.

“The first game of the year he had nine assists and was 4-of-5 from the floor, and after about the fifth game we told him we needed him to be more aggressive,” Bartlett said. “The assists have gone down a little but his scoring has gone up. He’s getting good shots in the middle, can score from the perimeter and he’s done a great job.”

Bangor’s Matt Holmes scored seven points in the first period to pace the Rams (2-13). Holmes finished with a team-high 12 points on Wednesday.

The Rams had a 9-8 lead midway through the first quarter but Hampden took the lead back with a Wolfington 3-pointer and never looked back.

McLaughlin added 10 points in the second quarter while Gabric nailed two triples as part of a 19-point second frame for the Broncos. Bangor was held to four points.

Wolfington added eight points in the third quarter.

“I love to see my boys scoring,” McLaughlin said. “I like to see well-rounded wins and that’s what we’re doing. Dogging-out some wins, five games in the 70s and we’re playing awesome basketball. We played as a team today and everybody shot the ball great.”

Ryan Ford of Bangor scored four of his eight points in the fourth quarter.

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is a native of Auburn, Maine, and graduate of Husson University and Edward Little High School. He enjoys sports, going on runs and video games.