SALEM — By late in the fourth quarter, the fans knew where the Mt. Abram boys basketball team was headed.

“ACC! ACC! ACC!” they chanted.

Thanks to a strong second half, led by Cam Gray’s 25 points, the No. 5 Roadrunners beat No. 12 Hall-Dale 70-57 in a Class C South prelim on Wednesday night.

“We knew this 5-12 (seed) draw just had to be the toughest draw we could have gotten,” Mt. Abram head coach Dustin Zamboni said. “Looking at all the seeds, and Hall-Dale is No. 12. That’s a tough first round.”

Mt. Abram (16-3) will meet No. 4 Old Orchard Beach (16-2) — which made the drive to Salem to scout the game — in a regional quarterfinal game Monday at 7 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center.

“It feels great (to win),” said Gray, a junior guard. “Going back (to the Civic Center) is going to be fun.”


Hall-Dale finished 7-12.

Both teams played a tight first half, trading leads back and forth. A late 7-0 run gave Mt. Abram a 34-28 halftime lead, which Gray punctuated with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that kissed off the glass and into the basket.

“I’ve practiced my trick shots, just happened to hit one,” Gray said.

Mt. Abram’s Cam Gray (33) dives for a loose ball as Hall-Dale defender TJ Wilson (3) gains possession during a Class C South prelim game Wednesday night in Salem. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We had an opportunity with 45 seconds in the first half to make a layup and we missed that,” Hall-Dale head coach Chris Ranslow said. “(Mt. Abram) comes down and makes a layup, and then they make the three at the buzzer, or a little after. That’s a (seven-point swing).”

“In a close basketball game, those are the real separators, those 45 second runs,” Ranslow continued. “You’ve got to be on the right side of that.”

The Roadrunners extended their lead to 56-38 in the third quarter, thanks to an 8-0 run and a late 12-0 run. Gray was able to hit another 3-pointer at the buzzer to keep the momentum up for Mt. Abram entering the fourth.


Hall-Dale refused to go quietly, particularly senior guard T.J. Wilson, who scored a game-high 28 points. Though the Bulldogs outscored the Roadrunners 19-14 in the final period, Mt. Abram’s lead was too much to overcome.

“Our issue wasn’t playing hard enough, we played really, really hard,” Ranslow said.

“Hall-Dale definitely brought it,” Zamboni added. “They out-rebounded us; they’re long, they’re very physical. They definitely came here ready to play.”

Jackson Leach and Matthew Waller each added eight points for the Bulldogs.

Mt. Abram gets the season sweep on Hall-Dale. The Roadrunners beat the Bulldogs 67-48 at home on Dec. 28.

Zamboni said he likes his team’s cohesiveness, a trait that may help the Roadrunners throughout the playoffs.

“When the going gets tough, they stick together better than they have in the past,” Zamboni said. “Some of those games, throughout the season last year, maybe we fold a little quicker… Every game we get just a little bit better with staying together, pass a little bit better, communicate a little bit better, play better defense.”

Kaden Pillsbury had 18 points, while Payton Mitchell added 10 points for Mt. Abram.

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