BANGOR, Maine — Junior Morgan Thompson hit a driving layup with 7.8 seconds remaining Thursday afternoon to give second-seeded Schenck High School of East Millinocket a thrilling 54-52 victory over No. 3 Hodgdon in their Eastern Maine Class D girls basketball semifinal at the Bangor Auditorium.
Schenck (17-4) takes on top seed Washburn (20-0), a 87-42 winner over Machias on Thursday, in Saturday’s 9:05 a.m. regional championship game.
Resilient Hodgdon, which trailed by 10 at the half, wound up 16-5.
Mariah Wiley’s fifth 3-pointer of the game and fourth in the second half tied it for Hodgdon with 15 seconds left but Thompson took the inbounds pass from her cousin, Kristin Thompson, and went the length of the floor to lay it in.
“Kristin inbounded it real quick, which was big, and Mackenzie Bell set a huge screen for me,” said Thompson. “The girl defending me couldn’t stay with me and I knew that. I had been doing the same thing all night. I just went to the hoop.”
Hodgdon coach Vaughn Farrar said he wanted to call a timeout before Schenck inbounded the ball but he didn’t have any left.
Wiley was fouled with 3.3 seconds left but her first free throw rattled in and out and, on her second attempt, there was a lane violation on the Hawks as they tried to crash the boards.
A disconsolate Wiley said she thought her free throw was going in.
However, if it wasn’t for 1,000-point scorer Wiley and Lacey McQuarrie, the Hawks wouldn’t have even been in position to force overtime. Wiley had 14 second-half points and McQuarrie had 13 as Hodgdon erased an 11-point third-quarter deficit.
Wiley hit all four of her 3-point attempts in the second half.
Thompson finished with a game-high 22 points, nine rebounds and four steals and Ashley Leavitt contributed 16 points. Kristin Thompson had nine points and 11 rebounds.
Lacey McQuarrie had 19 points, five rebounds and four assists for Hodgdon and Wiley finished with 17 points and four rebounds. Jennah Steamer contributed 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Leavitt, known primarily for her defense, also did a nice job covering Wiley after she had hit her first three 3-pointers of the second half.
“I just tried to face-guard her and make sure she didn’t get the ball,” said Leavitt, who got caught up in a staggered screen which allowed Wiley to nail her game-tying 3-pointer.
“This was one of the best games Ashley has ever played,” said Kristin Thompson, who had nine of her points and eight of her rebounds in the second half.
“I couldn’t have gotten those shots off without the screens,” said Wiley, who added, “I didn’t come out ready in the first half but I knew I had to step up in the second half and that’s what we did together.”
“I’ve got no complaints,” said Farrar. “They gave it all they had.”