Yarmouth needed its stars to lead the team to victory Friday evening in a Class B South boys’ basketball quarterfinal, and senior Stevie Walsh and juniors Evan Hamm and Matt Gautreau were up to the task.

And as a result, the defending Class B state champions lived to play another day.

Walsh picked up where he left off a year ago by draining clutch 3-pointers, Hamm produced a double-double, and Gautreau’s ability to control play at point guard was invaluable, as the trio combined for 56 points in a 68-59 victory over Maranacook at the Portland Expo.

Yarmouth (15-4), the No. 2 seed, won its 11th straight game and advanced to meet No. 6 Lincoln Academy in the semifinals Tuesday evening.

“When they’re locked in and committed to helping each other, it’s the ‘one more’ mindset is what we have,” said Ilunga Mutombo, the Clippers’ first-year coach. “It was tough, but this is playoffs. There are no easy games in playoffs. Every win is earned.”

The seventh-seeded Black Bears (10-10) held an early 8-6 lead before Yarmouth got back-to-back 3s from Gautreau, followed by one from senior Nate Hagedorn and another from Walsh to go up 19-13 after one quarter.


Walsh then started the second quarter with consecutive 3s, and it appeared the Clippers were poised to pull away.

“Playing here last year definitely helped my confidence,” said Walsh. “Sometimes it takes awhile to get used to shooting with no wall behind the hoop, but having experience playing here helped me be focused coming into the game.”

Hamm, who nearly had a double-double in the first half, scored three late points to stretch Yarmouth’s advantage to 35-22 at halftime.

“They didn’t let us run in transition and score like we usually do, so my teammates opened up the floor and I just found the gaps,” Hamm said.

A Walsh layup early in the third gave the Clippers their biggest lead, 39-24, but the Black Bears climbed back within nine, 48-39, on a hoop from Brayden St. Pierre late in the quarter.
Maranacook then cut the deficit to 50-44 with 6:49 left on a putback from Robbie Vivenzio, but Walsh set up Justin Dawes for a layup, then Hamm stole the ball and converted a three-point play.
Gautreau, who was momentarily sidelined because of a calf cramp, added a pair of late layups to help clinch it.

“It’s playoffs, so it’s human nature to want to be out there. It’s win or go home,” Gautreau said.

Walsh finished with 22 points, while Gautreau and Hamm (15 rebounds) each added 17.

The Black Bears were paced by 17 points from St. Pierre and 16 from Keagan McClure.

“I’m proud of the effort,” said Maranacook Coach Travis Magnusson. “The good thing about our team and our program, we don’t ever quit. Yarmouth’s a good team. They’re so athletic. That was the difference. They were a little bigger, stronger and quicker than us.”

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