AUGUSTA — Waynflete School has typically played a strong boys’ basketball schedule in the Western Maine Conference, against bigger schools.

That helped Saturday night when all looked lost for the Flyers.

After watching its game-long lead disappear in the last seconds of regulation and falling behind in overtime, Waynflete regrouped to beat Winthrop 43-41 in the Class C South boys’ basketball championship game Saturday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

“The resiliency of this team is what you saw,” said senior guard Milo Belleau.

Belleau, who missed two free throws late in regulation, made two free throws with 1:05 left in overtime to give the Flyers a 43-39 lead.

Winthrop had one last chance to tie or win in the closing seconds but missed a 3-pointer, and Belleau blocked a final shot after an offensive rebound by the Ramblers.


Belleau was one of the three Flyers to score 11 points, along with Yai Deng and Will Nelligan.

Fourth-seeded Waynflete (19-2) advances to the state final Saturday in Augusta against George Stevens Academy.

The Flyers will be making their second trip to the championship game in three years. They lost 58-56 to Houlton in 2014.

No. 2 Winthrop, which last reached the title game in 2008 (beating Calais), is done at 17-4.

Ramblers guard Jacob Hickey led all scorers with 18 points, 11 of them in the fourth quarter. He was named the regional’s outstanding player.

In a game featuring smothering half-court defense, Waynflete led from the start and was ahead by as many as 12 points in the third quarter and 30-22 to begin the fourth.


A fast-break layup by Hickey made it 33-28 with 1:30 left, and Waynflete couldn’t close out the victory at the free-throw line, making only 3 of 8 shots in the quarter.

A Hickey 3-pointer cut the deficit to 35-33. Waynflete then missed two free throws, and Hickey drew a foul on a drive to the basket and made the tying free throws.

“It was really frustrating,” Belleau said. “You have to stay positive, but it was definitely tough.”

In overtime, the Ramblers quickly jumped out to a 39-36 lead.

“I was worried that, instead of being too nervous, we were down, too passive,” Waynflete Coach Rich Henry said. “We were talking about trying to regroup in overtime … Thankfully we’ve been in a couple of close games over the course of the regular season, against some really good opponents. That is something we could draw upon.”

Waynflete’s only two losses came to Class B South finalists Yarmouth and Lake Region. The Flyers have a win over Class A South champ Falmouth.


Waynflete point guard Abel Alemeyo cut the deficit to 39-38 when he drove in for a basket. After a Winthrop miss, Belleau drove into the lane and then kicked the ball out to Nelligan for a 3-pointer and 41-39 lead with 1:25 left.

Belleau then rebounded a Winthrop miss, was fouled and hit his free throws.

“Making the first one helped,” he said.

After a basket by Hickey, Waynflete turned the ball over with 33 seconds left.

Winthrop again worked the ball to Hickey, who took a contested 3-pointer. Winthrop 5-foot-9 guard Bennett Brooks rebounded and quickly put up a shot, which the 6-1 Belleau blocked.

“I knew I had the length and got a good touch on the ball,” Belleau said.

Winthrop started the game by scoring on its first three possessions, working the ball inside. Waynflete quickly fixed that hole in its defense, and the Ramblers did not score again in the first quarter until Hickey heaved a shot from just inside the half-court line, swishing it at the buzzer to tie the game at 9-9.

Winthrop played aggressive defense and Waynflete countered by moving the ball, orchestrated by Alemayo. Outside shots by Nelligan (two 3-pointers) and driving jump shots by Belleau helped open up the inside. There, Deng dominated. He scored six points in the second quarter as the Flyers built a 22-13 halftime lead.

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