Defending regional champion Panthers dethroned by EaglesLate 3-pointer lifts No. 10 Ellsworth by No. 7 Medomak Valley in prelim playoff
Waldoboro — There are many uncertainties in high school basketball, but one thing became perfectly clear at the conclusion of the preliminary boys basketball playoff game between No. 7 Medomak Valley and No. 10 Ellsworth on Tuesday night, Feb. 11:
In Eastern Class B this year, there will be a new champion.
Ellsworth’s Griffin Nightingale snapped a 44-44 tie with a devastating 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left in regulation and the defending regional champion Panthers could not respond as the Eagles pulled off the 47-44 upset.
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The Eagles (10-9) move on to the quarterfinals, where they will face No. 2 Camden Hills (15-3) on Friday, Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The Windjammers and Eagles do not face each other during the regular season.
On Tuesday, the Panthers (10-9) led 11-10 after the first quarter, while the Eagles led 27-20 at halftime and 36-33 after three quarters.
Nicholas DePatsy led Medomak Valley with an 18-point effort, while Zach Little added eight; Micah Williamson, seven; Michael Wadsworth, five; and Hunter Baughman, Colton Spear and Zach Starr, two.
Nicholas Bragley netted 14 points for Ellsworth, while Steven Mahon added 12; Nightingale and Bruce St. Peter, eight; Derek Look, four; and Bryce Harmon, one.
The Panthers were a perfect 9-of-9 (100 percent) from the charity stripe, while the Eagles were 5-of-8 (62 percent).
“We played hard [and] we defended,” said Medomak Valley coach Nick DePatsy. “We just didn’t hit some shots [and] we got some looks we couldn’t knock down. They’re very athletic and there a team that’s hungry. They didn’t make the tournament last year and they knew what we had done, so we had a target on our back. They played hard, they executed and the kid hit a big three with three seconds left. Not much you can do.”
Medomak Valley led by as many as six points in the first half, while Ellsworth led by as many as eight points in the second half before the hosts went on a run toward the end of the third quarter, spearheaded by a 3-pointer from DePatsy with 12 seconds left in the stanza.
Trailing by three points heading into the fourth quarter, DePatsy buried a pair of field goals to give the hosts a 37-36 lead before Bragley netted a trey with 4:50 left to give the visitors a 39-37 advantage.
The Panthers tied the game when Starr found Williamson underneath the hoop on a pin-point entry pass with 3:45 left.
Bragley later put Ellsworth back up by three points with a shot from beyond the arc, but the Panthers responded as DePatsy converted a 3-point play with 3:04 remaining in regulation.
After Wadsworth and St. Peter traded free throws to tie the game 44-44, the Panthers milked a great deal of time off the clock with less than two minutes to play, only to have a 3-pointer by Wadsworth miss its mark.
Ellsworth then called a timeout with 39 seconds left and eventually got the game-winner from Nightingale with 3.3 seconds left on a trey from the corner.