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

Desjardins finished with a game-high 32 points and came within two rebounds of a triple-double, but 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 Class D South semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.  

Forest Hills (17-3), the 2019 and 2020 Class D state champions, 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 came against Class C competition. “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, to open up the floor for the rest of the Tigers. Daigle dominated the paint with 10 of his 18 points in a second quarter that watched Forest Hills take a 23-15 lead through the first period and extend it to 45-28 at halftime.

Desjardins ended with a 5-of-13 day 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, but it was the Tigers’ 37-26 rebounding edge that decided the contest.

In all, Seacoast Christian committed 25 turnovers due in large part to difficulty infiltrating paint. The Guardians trailed 64-39 after three quarters and by as many as 38 points late 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 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 their a shot at their third state title in four seasons after losing 2021 to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It means a lot, hopefully we can win that 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.”

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