AUGUSTA, Maine — Senior forward Marcus Christopher scored 28 points and freshman guard Levi Obert made three straight 3-pointers during a decisive third-quarter run as seventh-ranked Skowhegan stunned No. 2 Hampden Academy 68-63 in a Class A North boys basketball quarterfinal at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday.
The win advances Skowhegan (9-10) to Wednesday’s semifinal against No. 6 Brewer, a 71-60 winner over No. 3 Mt. Blue of Farmington in the day’s first A North quarterfinal.
Hampden, the defending regional champion, played its first game without senior guard Kory Winch, one of the leading scorers in Class A North throughout the winter until being dismissed from the team a week ago for disciplinary reasons.
“Obviously them not having Winch hurt, that makes a big difference for them,” said Skowhegan coach Tom Nadeau. “But at the same time they’re good, they’re well coached and we had to show up ready to go in order to be competitive.”
Hampden (14-5) led 42-41 with three minutes left in the third quarter before Obert came into the game for the first time in the second half, and over the next 90 seconds he buried three 3-pointers from the right wing — all off kick-out assists from Christopher.
“He’s a kid that can shoot the ball, he always has been,” said Nadeau of Obert. “He’s a kid that has a knack for hitting big shots and he’s made a few this year, but none that big.”
Christopher added a jumper from the lane to that 11-0 Skowhegan run, giving the Indians a 52-42 lead with 57 seconds left in the period.
“We always know that people are going to load up when I put the ball on the floor,” said Christopher, “so guys have to be ready to shoot and Levi stepped up big for a freshman.”
Hampden was left to play catch-up the rest of the way, and while the Broncos closed within two points twice in the fourth quarter behind 15 points in the period by junior guard Bryce Lausier, Skowhegan preserved its lead by making 10 of its final 14 free throws.
Christopher also had eight assists and five rebounds while shooting 7 of 9 from the field and 11 of 14 from the free-throw line in addition to drawing the defensive assignment against Lausier.
Lausier finished with 27 points while Mikey Raye and Ross Webb each added 13 for Hampden.