Alex Campbell’s fourth 3-pointer of the day delivered a crushing blow to Brunswick High School’s upset bid on Saturday.
Bangor’s Campbell nailed a jumper from the left side of the 3-point arc with nine seconds remaining to force overtime, then the Rams scored the last nine points of overtime to earn a 53-48 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference boys basketball win.
The overtime victory was made more improbable in that the Rams (4-1), who had to overcome a 42-38 third-quarter deficit to rival Brewer the night before in a 56-49 decision, never led or tied in regulation until Campbell’s 3-pointer.
Brunswick nearly won it at the end of regulation, but a Ryan Black lay-in bounced off the rim to leave the score knotted at 44-44.
Brunswick (3-3) also scored the first four points of the extra period, only to see the Rams get a key 3-pointer from Sean Tocci and two free throws each from Hunter Boyce and Campbell to help pull out the win.
“It’s a make-miss league,” said Brunswick coach Todd Hanson. “I felt it was our game to win, but they made some big baskets and we did not.
The Dragons, who posted a Friday night win over rival Mount Ararat of Topsham, held a 43-37 advantage over Bangor midway through the final quarter.
“We certainly had our opportunities,” Hanson said. “And, when they called timeout with 20 seconds to go [in regulation], I thought it was too much time left to foul them. We were defending the ‘three’ well … I didn’t get a good look at his [Campbell’s] shot, but they said he was way out there. Still, I thought we played very well against a Bangor team that really likes to shoot the threes and we defended the perimeter well.”
In a deliberate first half, spiced by turnovers and errant passing, Brunswick posted an 8-0 lead on a Blake Gordon put-back with 2:23 left in the first quarter.
Bangor didn’t get on the board until with 1:29 left on a Campbell 3-pointer. He finished with 20 points.
Brunswick led 10-9, 21-17 and 35-28 at the quarter breaks with Gordon (seven points) and center Brad Smith (five) leading the first-half charge.
The second half was more physical, but Brunswick hiked its lead up to 29-19 in the third period, prompting a Bangor timeout. The Dragons were sparked by reserves Brett Lancaster and Alex Bandouveres, while the Rams got continued strong play from Campbell (22 points) and center Conner Adams (14 rebounds, 10 points).
A Campbell 3 just nine seconds into the fourth quarter cut Brunswick’s advantage to 35-31 and an Adams drive with 6:15 left made it 37-35. Two Hunter Boyce free throws cut the margin to 38-37, but the Dragons regrouped behind Gordon, Bandouveres and Derek Devereaux to put on a 5-0 run for that 43-37 lead.
Gordon wound up with 15 points, while Smith had 10 and alike number of rebounds and Bandouveres seven points and five rebounds.
Boyce chipped in with six points and five rebounds.