HAMPDEN, Maine — Much of Hampden Academy’s most recent success in boys basketball — the two Class A state championships in the last three years, the four consecutive regional titles — can be linked in part to four seniors who have been on the Broncos’ roster since they were freshmen.
But while Nick Gilpin, Brendan McIntyre, Jake Black and Conor Moore have been instrumental contributors to a Hampden juggernaut that has won 70 of 73 games since the start of the 2012-13 season and gone unbeaten at home during that span, one of their classmates has quietly ascended to equal billing as the Broncos’ Class of 2016 approaches its final tournament run.
While Gilpin, McIntyre and Black all labored through varying degrees of ankle injuries, Chasse scored a career-high 18 points as the Broncos secured a 55-46 win to improve their record to 7-0 entering Monday night’s makeup game at Camden Hills of Rockport and a Tuesday night home encounter with Cony of Augusta.
“It shows that our team has a lot of toughness and can overcome a lot of adversity,” said Chasse of the win. “It just shows that we’re a pretty good team.”
Chasse — who earned All-Class A North honors in soccer this fall while helping Hampden reach the regional final in that sport — scored eight straight Hampden points beginning late in the first period of its contest against Brewer to extend an 11-10 edge to 19-13 by early in the second quarter.
He showed off his offensive versatility in the third quarter by scoring from the low post off a feed from Black, then feeding sophomore guard Johnny Wolfington for the first of his two 3-pointers to help Hampden regain control after Brewer had rallied from a 10-point deficit to within 32-31 midway through the period.
Chasse scored eight more points in the final period, including a 4-of-4 effort from the free-throw line.
“He’s super steady and could start for anybody in our league,” said Hampden coach Russ Bartlett. “When I always refer to our bench guys doing a good job, I never refer to him because I kind of feel like he’s a starter. He’s the guy who can fill in for everybody; he knows everybody else’s job.”
Chasse’s job against Brewer also included a defensive assignment against high-scoring Brewer guard Carter Smith, whom Chasse helped limit to six points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field.
“Maybe the thing that went a little more unnoticed tonight because of his points was that he guarded Carter Smith,” said Bartlett, “and I think he did a heck of a job.”