Wells High was beaten soundly by top-seeded Yarmouth twice in the boys’ basketball regular season. When it counted most, however, the Warriors found a winning formula.

No. 3 Wells scored inside against the taller Clippers, kept Yarmouth’s outside shooting in check and pulled off a 41-38 upset in the Class B South championship game Saturday afternoon at Cross Insurance Arena.

“We came in here better mentally, and then we just put it on the floor and played great,” said Wells center Deandre Woods, who scored a game-high 16 points. “We’re seniors, we’ve been in these spots a lot.”

Wells will play for Class B state championship for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 1983-84. Wells Coach Troy Brown played on the Warriors’ last championship team, and noted that he was “the 12th man on a 12-man team.”

“My kids are relentless,” Brown said. “They never stop playing.”

Wells (16-5) will play Mt. Desert Island (18-3) in at 7:45 p.m. Friday at the Augusta Civic Center. Four of the Warriors’ starters were key members of the football team that beat MDI 44-0 to win the Class C state championship in November.

Woods and regional tournament MVP Cameren Cousins (13 points, 12 rebounds) led the Warriors with a strong inside presence against Yarmouth, outplaying the Clippers’ big-man tandem of Nolan Hagerty (six points, five blocks) and Alek Medenica (14 points, eight rebounds).

“They came out with more confidence tonight, especially Woods knocking down some shots early, which were shots he did not even look for the first couple games we played,” said Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith.

Yarmouth (18-3) made 10 3-pointers in a 91-63 win at Wells and got 36 points from Medenica in a 69-52 home win.

“We were trying to shut them down the whole time,” Cousins said. “On offense, we wanted them to get in foul trouble, to get into them and get us to the line.”

Cousins made 7 of 10 free throws. Wells was 12 of 18 as a team. Yarmouth made 3 of 6 free throws.

Wells had a surprising 23-14 lead at the half, in large part because Yarmouth was 1 of 12 on 3-point attempts and Medenica was held to 3 points.

Yarmouth was also hurt by an early injury to senior sharpshooter Gibson Harnett. While driving the baseline, Harnett pump-faked and got two Wells players in the air. They came down on top of him, causing a gash on the top of Harnett’s head.

Harnett was taken to the hospital. He returned to the arena with about three minutes remaining but remained in street clothes.

“He is the guy who stretches the floor for us, and when he went out it handicapped us tremendously as an inside-out game. We just did not have that outside threat or presence. It made it very difficult for our bigs to get off,” Smith said.

With the 6-foot-6 Hagerty taking a turn at point guard, Yarmouth had a strong third quarter and took a brief lead on a Medenica 3-pointer. The game was tied 27-27 entering the fourth quarter.

Wells regained control with a 9-2 run. Cousins made 5 of 6 free throws and Woods scored inside.

Medenica and Hagerty then combined for a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 36-35.

Wells reserve Matt Sherburne made two free throws with 41 seconds left. A Medenica 3-pointer missed and Cousins got the rebound and was fouled. He made the first and missed the second, but Owen Berry retrieved the loose ball near the free-throw line. He was fouled and made both free throws for a 41-35 lead with 11.6 seconds left.

Najee McQueen (9 points) hit a 3-pointer for Yarmouth with 6 seconds left, but Wells was able to get the ball inbounds and run out the clock.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig