BANGOR — Camden Hills Coach Jeff Hart’s first trip to the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor was anything but enjoyable.
After winning five regional titles since 2004 at the old Bangor Auditorium, Hart’s second-seeded Windjammers lost their debut in the new venue for the Eastern Class B boys’ basketball tournament, falling 71-62 to No. 10 Ellsworth in the quarterfinals Friday.
Ellsworth freshman Bryce Harmon led the way with 20 points.
“Camden is a tough club, we just outbattled them tonight,” said Ellsworth Coach Peter Austin.
“Hats off to them (Ellsworth), but we could not have played any worse tonight,” said Hart.
Camden Hills (15-4) started with a lackluster first quarter, making only two field goals, and yet Ellsworth led only 12-9.
Then, two and half minutes into the second quarter, Camden Hills’ leading scorer, Colin Morse, picked up his third foul and had to sit the rest of the half after scoring only two points.
Nick Bagley, a sophomore, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Ellsworth a 20-14 lead with three minutes left in the half.
But the Windjammers hung in with Morse on the bench. Jayson Kuhn stole the ball at midcourt with two seconds left and made a layup to give Camden a 24-23 lead at halftime.
“We were lucky to be where we were,” said Hart. “We were not good in the first half, so to be ahead at the half it was like ‘OK, maybe we can get over the hump’. But not to be.”
In the third quarter, Camden got three consecutive baskets from center Connor Graffam to extend its lead to 34-27. The quarter ended with a lob play to John Hall, and the Windjammers led by three heading into the fourth quarter.
But Ellsworth (11-9) began the final quarter with a 7-0 run, and Morse picked up his fourth foul with six minutes to play.
“We weren’t together … and we didn’t rebound,” said Hart. “You are not going to win many games that way.”
Ellsworth spread the floor and forced Camden Hills to foul. Harmon went 14 for 15 from the foul line, including 8 for 8 in the fourth quarter.
“I just focused on the rim and they went in,” said Harmon. “It’s probably the best foul shooting I’ve done all year.”
Nick Bagley added 19 points for Ellsworth. Camden Hills was led by Chandler Crans with 16 and Kuhn with 13.