At the University of Maine-Fort Kent gym, Marc Lajoie and Caleb Roy each scored 19 points to help the Crusaders beat the Hornets in the play-in game and earn the playoff berth for an Eastern Maine Class D prelim matchup against Washburn.
Nic Lajoie chipped in with eight points for Van Buren and Derek Grivois added seven.
Cody Blair paced Ashland with 25 points and Tyler Levesque added nine.
Ashland 8 13 18 48
Van Buren 12 25 38 53