Mariners sail to 4-0 record, double up PanthersGrover nets 22 points as Oceanside keeps Midcoast rival MVHS winless
Rockland — There was not much difference between the Oceanside and Medomak Valley girls high school basketball teams last season.
In fact, with matching records at the end of the regular campaign, a coin flip decided each team's playoff position, with the Panthers earning the seventh seed and the Mariners the eighth.
That scenario was on the minds of the Mariner players and coach Teel Foster Tuesday night, Dec. 18 as the hosts put a regular-season game against Medomak Valley out of reach early and stormed to a 4-0 record by doubling up the visitors 52-26.
Oceanside jumped to a 19-5 lead in the first quarter, extended its advantage to 31-8 at halftime and led 41-15 after three quarters.
Kennadi Grover tossed in 22 points to key the Mariner offense, while Emily Gould and Brooke Dugan each added eight; Phoebe Ferraiolo, four; and Emma Davis, Makenna Brooks, Ashley Gardner, Hannah Plourde and Danessa MacDonald, all two.
For the Panthers (0-4), Amanda Hendrickson-Belloget tallied nine points, while Sami Griffin added eight; Hannah Marks, Elise Wallace, Taylor Simmons and Justice Barrows, all two; and Hannah Heald, one.
The Mariners made 10-of-12 foul shots (83 percent), while the Panthers were 5-of-8 (62 percent).
Coach Foster said her players remembered the eight-point loss it was dealt by the Panthers at Waldoboro to start last season.
"That game decided our season," she said. "We lost that game and then it came down to a coin toss [with Medomak Valley for playoff seeding]. So that was a huge reminder for us to say, 'Hey, make a statement now so it doesn't come down to a game at the beginning of our season to make the end of our season.' "
The Panthers won their home prelim playoff game last year and advanced to the Eastern Class B quarterfinals at the coveted Bangor Auditorium, while the Mariners lost their home prelim postseason game against determined John Bapst of Bangor, which ended Oceanside's season.
"We got outplayed, outcoached [and] outworked [tonight]," said Medomak Valley coach Randy Hooper of Tuesday's game with Oceanside. "Except we did start playing a little harder midway through the third quarter and in the fourth quarter we played harder, but it's the same issues we've been having."
The issues Hooper eluded to are the team's inability to stop the opposition from going on scoring runs, which the Mariners did by rattling off 10 straight points to start the game.
"I haven't done a very good job with this group so far," the veteran said. "I have to do better and we're going to start [Wednesday, Dec. 19] at practice at 2 o'clock."
Hooper said Grover was nearly impossible for his team to contain Tuesday.
"Her will is more than everybody on our team combined right now," said Hooper of Grover, a former standout for Georges Valley High School and now a standout for Oceanside. "We're going to get better, but [Grover] just wants the basketball more than anyone on our team wants it. You've got to tip your hat to her."
Grover, Plourde and Dugan each scored within the first two minutes to put Oceanside ahead 6-0, while Grover went coast-to-coast on a steal and Plourde popped in an offensive rebound to put the hosts up by 10 points before Barrows stopped the bleeding for the Panthers with a short-range jumper.
While the Mariners dominated play from start to finish Tuesday night, the play of the game came in the first quarter by the Panthers, when Simmons pulled down a rebound and, from a sitting position on the court, made a terrific pass to teammate Griffin, who buried a 3-point shot to slice Oceanside's lead to 12-5.
Both teams have another Midcoast rivalry game to look forward to later in the week, with the Panthers set to host Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, while the Mariners will travel to Rockport to face Camden Hills.
"It would feel nice to be 5-0 and be the best team in the Midcoast," said coach Foster of the team's upcoming showdown with the Windjammers. "We're ready."
Oceanside 61, Lincoln Academy 50
At Newcastle Dec. 14, the Mariners earned their third straight win with an 11-point triumph over the Eagles. Lincoln Academy led 12-7 after the first quarter and 22-20 at halftime, while the two teams were knotted 34-34 after three quarters. Oceanside then went on a 27-16 run over the final eight minutes to finish the game.
Grover and Plourde both scored 16 points to lead the Mariners, while Ferraiolo added nine; Gould and Davis, both six; Lily Vachon, four; and Dugan and Gardner, both two.
For Lincoln Academy, Jen Genthner netted 14 points, while Leslie Sandefur and Hayden Campbell each added 12; Taylor Oliver, three; Marissa Look, Danielle Pinkham and Danielle Pierce, all two; and Olivia York, one.
The Mariners were 22-of-31 (71 percent) from the foul line, while the Eagles were 18-of-25 (72 percent).
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.