It had been four long years since the Camden Hills boys had experienced playoff basketball, and the Windjammers did not disappoint in their return to the regional tournament where, over the decades, they had so much success.

Standing in Camden Hills’ way on Saturday night, Feb. 17 in the Class A North high school quarterfinals was Cony of Augusta, an opponent who likes to turn a game into a track meet.

The No. 5 Windjammers were well conditioned, but the No. 4 Rams, ultimately, made the shots that mattered down the stretch, to secure a 61-57 win at the Augusta Civic Center.

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With the victory, Cony (14-5) advances to the semifinals to face No. 1 Hampden Academy (18-1), a 48-40 quarterfinal winner over No. 8 Brewer (7-12), on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 8:30 p.m. back at the ACC.

Cony and Hampden Academy did not meet during the regular season. The Rams and Windjammers, also, did not meet during the regular season. The Windjammers lost twice to the Broncos — 99-61 and 74-49.

Camden Hills' season wrapped at 11-8.

On Saturday night, Cony led 21-20 at the end of the first quarter, stretched its advantage to 45-41 at halftime and saw the edge fall to one, 55-54, at the end of the third stanza.

For Cony, Jordan Reedy led the team, and all scorers, with 23 points, while Simon McCormick had 16; Ian Bowers, 12; Bryan Stratlon, six; and Dakota Dearborn and Matt Wozniak, two.

Noah Heidorn, as he has all season, keyed the Windjammers with 16 points, while Jesse Fraser added 11; Michael McGeady, 10; John Curtin, nine; Ionut Lodge, four; Michael Kremin, three; Ethan Ford, two; and Daniel Peabody, one.

Camden Hills finished 4-of-6 (66 percent) from the free-throw line, while Cony was 7-7 (100 percent) from the charity stripe.

“We had a couple big misses, and a couple big no-calls [by officials],” said Windjammer coach Jeff Hart. “It made it tough on us.”

“I’m really proud of the way we played,” Heidorn said. “I think there’s no better way, obviously a win, but our guys laid it all on the court tonight, and that’s what I was hoping for.”

Camden Hills and Cony came out of the gate firing. McGeady hit an opening 3-pointer to put the Windjammers on top to start, and from there the contest turned into a tennis match, as the lead fluctuate, like a tennis ball gliding over a net.

The Windjammers pushed their lead to six at the 5:36-mark of the first quarter, off a Heidorn trey.

Cony countered with a 7-0 run, capped by a McCormick three to give the Rams a one-point lead.

The Windjammers switched their defense in the second quarter, which brought the track meet down to a jog.

“We tried to slow them down a little bit,” said Hart, who has led his Windjammers to 500 victories and six state championships in 36 years on the bench. “We were converting, but it was too fast. It was definitely in their hands.”

The foes combined for 19 second-quarter points, but the momentum shifted to the Rams when McCormick drained a 35-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer, to give Cony a six-point advantage.

The Windjammers and Rams traded buckets — and turnovers alike — in the third stanza.

Roddy took over the Rams, as he netted 11 of his 23 points in the quarter, to give the Augusta-based squad the one-point lead heading into the final frame.

Cony stretched its lead to eight, just over a minute in, to 49-41, but Camden Hills sailed back.

With 3:40 remaining, Frasier grabbed a rebound and took the ball the length of the court for a layup. After a Cony missed, Frasier dribbled through the Ram defense and hit another layup, which was followed by a Curtin 3-pointer, to tie the score 53-53.

From that point, however, the Windjammers only scored four points, while the Rams netted eight, including a pair of free throws from McCormick with three seconds remaining, to seal the game for Cony.