AUGUSTA — Mason Desjardins got his points Wednesday afternoon, but it was what the rest of his teammates did that put Forest Hills in position to win a fourth straight Class D South boys’ basketball title.

Desjardins finished with 32 points and came within two rebounds of a triple-double, while Cooper Daigle and Blaine Nadeau combined for 37 points and 16 rebounds as the top-seeded Tigers rolled to an 83-52 win over No. 4 Seacoast Christian in a regional semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.  

Forest Hills (17-3), the 2019 and 2020 state champion, will play No. 2 Valley on Saturday for the South championship.

“Mason’s going to do what he does, but it’s the other guys who have to do their part to really make teams play us,” said Forest Hills Coach Anthony Amero, whose team’s only losses this winter have been against Class C opponents. “Our whole goal is that we don’t want to win games because we’re more athletic. We want to win games because we’re a better basketball team.”

Desjardins came out firing with 15 points in the opening quarter, including a pair of deep 3-pointers, opening up the floor for the rest of the Tigers. Daigle dominated the paint with 10 of his 18 points in the second quarter as Forest Hills stretched a 23-15 lead after one quarter into a 45-28 halftime advantage.


Desjardins was 5 of 13 from beyond the arc.

“Hopefully, that opens things up and (the defense) steps out to open things up,” said Desjardins, who added 12 assists and eight rebounds. “I try not to take dumb shots. If they start going in, that opens things up for everyone else. I hit a couple, and then Cooper hit a bunch of layups inside because (Seacoast) had to take that extra step.”

Despite 16 points apiece from Seth Vega and Eli Cardinal for Seacoast (7-13), the Forest Hills runaway started in earnest in the third quarter. Nadeau’s short-range jumper heated up and he finished with 19 points, and the Tigers controlled the boards with a 37-26 rebounding edge.

Seacoast Christian also committed 25 turnovers. The Guardians trailed 64-39 after three quarters and by as many as 38 points in the fourth.

“I’ve just got to try and help move the ball around and do my thing in the post,” said Daigle, who had 18 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. “I think (rebounding) is a big advantage. I can get up there and grab it, and I can either turn and huck it to a teammate or get it to one of the guys to take it down there. Sometimes, I’ll take it myself.”

“Mason did a good job of not forcing it and finding other guys,” Amero added. “Cooper moves very well without the ball. For a big kid, a strong kid, he’s constantly moving. We’re not running a set for him, so it’s tougher to guard him. Last year, it was tougher for him to understand concepts, but he’s watched a lot of film and we’ve worked with him. Now you can see it – he’s open a lot. … That’s a credit to him being smart and going and getting the ball, because we’re not setting him up. He’s just getting open.”

The Tigers are now one win away from a shot at their third state title in four seasons, not including the canceled 2020-21 tournament.

“It means a lot. Hopefully we can win (Saturday) and then go win a state championship,” Daigle said. “I feel like as a team, that’s our thing. My brothers played a lot, and it’s kind of a tradition for all of us to try and make it as far as we can in basketball.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.