Despite being down a point at halftime, the Hampden Academy girls basketball team rallied to upset Windham 46-39 in the Class AA North quarterfinals at Windham High School on Wednesday night.
The Broncos, who entered the tournament as the fifth seed, will move on to face No. 1 Oxford Hills (18-1) in the AA North semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 3:45 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Oxford Hills defeated eighth seed Portland 56-33 in an AA North quarterfinal game Wednesday night.
No. 4 Windham ends its season with an 11-8 record.
Windham took a one-point advantage into halftime with a 20-19 lead over Hampden. By the end of the third quarter, Hampden rallied to take a 29-25 lead.
Hampden Academy’s Bella McLaughlin had a key steal followed by a layup with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter to make it 33-25.
But Windham charged back, using a field goal, a 3-pointer and a steal that was converted into a layup to close up the score at 33-32.
It was the closest Windham would get the rest of the way, as McLaughlin sank two free throws in the final seconds to seal up the victory.
Windham won the only regular season meeting 43-38 on Jan. 27 in Windham.
The teams had been going in opposite directions entering Wednesday’s game.
Windham had won seven of its last nine with the only two losses being a pair of 12-point setbacks to second seed and defending state champ Cheverus of Portland.
The Broncos lost five of their last eight regular season games and averaged just 33.8 points per game in those five losses.
Hampden was 13-5 a year ago and the number three seed. HA reached the semifinals where it lost to Cheverus.
Windham had the same regular season record last season, 11-7, and was the fifth seed before losing to Bangor in the quarterfinals.
The Eagles had to replace All-State guard Sarah Talon, who is playing for the University of Maine.
HA’s Bella McLaughlin came into the game as AA North’s leading scorer during the regular season, averaging 20.3 points per game, while the Eagles didn’t have anyone among the division’s top 11 scorers.
Windham’s leading scorer was Abbey Thornton, who was averaging 9.6 points per game to put her in a 12th place tie with Bangor senior guard Emmie Streams.
Thornton and Streams will both be attending the University of Maine in the fall to continue their athletic careers. Thornton is going to play soccer for the Black Bears and Streams is going to play basketball.
The Broncos did have another player in the top 10 in scoring in Lucy Wiles, who was ninth with an 11.4 ppg average.
Windham’s Kylie Garrison (9.5) and Stella Jarvais (8.6) were 14th and 15th, respectively.
The Providence College-bound McLaughlin also led AA North in steals with 4.2 per game and Thornton was fifth (2.6).