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Hampden’s First Lead is the Final Score in the Region Finals

After being fouled on deep 3-pointer, Zach McLaughlin hit all three free throws to give the Broncos their first lead at 44-43 with just 17 seconds left. On Messalonskee’s next possession Ryan Parent got an open lane to the hoop but his layup came high off the glass and McLaughlin ended up with the rebound and was quickly fouled. McLaughlin missed both free throws with just three seconds left but Drake Brunelle’s half court heave missed the mark.


Hampden Academy tied the game twice early, but Messalonskee had control of the score for almost the entire the game. The Eagles went on a 8-0 run early in the third quarter to go up 30-20 but the Broncos closed the last five minutes of the quarter on a 12-4 run. Messo went up 42-36 with more than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, but scored only one point the rest of the way.

Merrick Smith finished with a team high 23 points and 15 rebounds, but no one else scored more than six points for Messalonskee. Second leading scorer Ty Bernier finished scoreless for the Eagles as well. Messo had the advantage on the boards, 30-26, but didn’t help themselves from the free throw line, finishing just 3-10 in the game.

McLaughlin, the KVAC’s leading scorer, finished with a game high 25 points for the Broncos. JJ Wolfington added 10 points and was a force on contesting rebounds, especially late, as Hampden fought back for the region title. The Broncos finished 8-12 from the free throw line, going 5-7 in the second half.