There was no shame in Wednesday night’s result at Augusta Civic Center, a 65-35 verdict that was more indicative of No. 1 Hampden’s impending coronation than an indictment of No. 5 Lewiston’s performance or its season.

The Blue Devils tackled the challenge as well as anybody in this top-heavy KVAC campaign, in fact, trailing only by 10 points midway through the third quarter before the Broncos (20-0) ripped off the doors.

“Coach (Russ) Bartlett talked about wanting to slow the game down a little bit,” Hampden junior Zach Gilpin said. “I think they got into our heads. We made some turnovers and they got a couple of easy buckets.”

No matter. Hampden scored 21 straight points in the next eight minutes to make it 61-30 in frighteningly short order.

“I thought we looked a little tired (before that), which was a little bit of a concern, and the second thing was us they sped us up and got us out of our comfort zone,” Hampden coach Russ Bartlett said. “The turning point I thought was Matt Palmer’s almost-slam on the follow.”

Palmer’s near-dunk on a putback supplied the first points of the devastating run. Brian Fickett added a layup and a traditional 3-point play off textbook entry passes from Palmer and Gilpin before quarter’s end, and the Broncos were on their merry way.

Seven more Palmer points etched the exclamation point in the fourth.

Lewiston (13-7) scored only five points in the final 12:25 as the exploding deficit forced the offense into desperation mode. The Devils were 5-for-26 from the field in the second half and 12-for-53 (23 percent) overall.

Tyler Norris scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half and made five steals to lead Hampden, which meets No. 3 Lawrence for the championship at 8:45 p.m. Friday.

“I had the hot hand, and I just kept getting touches and executing for my teammates,” Norris said. “That’s what it’s all about is whoever’s got the hot hand at the moment, and tonight it was me.”

Gilpin added 12 points and Fickett provided 11 off the bench for the Broncos, who have not won a game by fewer than 11 points this winter.

Abdi Hussein led Lewiston with 10 points. Adam Poliquin chipped in eight. Hampden and defensive stopper Cam Scott held the Devils’ leading scorer, Josh Thomas, to five.

“I thought we were reactive, and that’s easy for me to say. I think it was just them. They’re really good,” Lewiston coach Tim Farrar said. “The scary thing is next year they might be better. At the Class A level to have the chance to dominate the way they do, they’re as good as any team I’ve coached against.”

Norris’ first-half flurry staked Hampden to a 34-20 lead. The Broncos’ dizzying efficiency in the first quarter and an extended Devils’  cold snap were pivotal.

Lewiston landed early leads of 3-2 and 6-5 on 3-pointers by Poliquin and Thomas before the Broncos went on a binge of a baker’s dozen without a response.

Gilpin commenced the march innocuously with two free throws. His freshman brother Nick’s subsequent steal and coast-to-coast layup hinted at how Hampden would hammer the accelerator as the quarter unfolded.

“I think on any given night it could be anybody’s night. Tonight it was Tyler obviously. The other night it was Matt Palmer’s night,” Gilpin said. “We can usually tell at the beginning of the first quarter.”

Norris nailed four straight shots — a layup, a 3-pointer, a drive and an elbow jumper — with two Nick Gilpin free throws for good measure to furnish an 18-6 lead with 2:45 left in the period.

Steven Patrie broke the spell by hitting one of two free throws, but the Devils’ field goal drought exceeded five minutes before Ben Howell’s bucket off a Thomas steal.

Palmer’s offensive rebound set up Fickett’s buzzer-beater for a 22-12 advantage.

That deficit reached 27-12 when Lewiston missed its first 10 field goal tries of the second quarter. Zach Gilpin and Matt Martin each hit from the outside to cap Hampden’s 10-for-15 start.

Poliquin and Hussein each hit 3-pointers for Lewiston, the latter trimming the margin to 11 points with just over a minute left. Norris answered with another 3-ball.

“I’m as proud of my kids as any coach in America,” Farrar said. “We’ve advanced Lewiston basketball to a level where we beat Bangor for the first time in school history (in the quarterfinals). We moved out of the Eastern Maine quarterfinals for the first time in history. There’s nothing to feel sorry about for the Lewiston Blue Devils.”

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