Mariners, Tigers split games in historic night for OceansideSchool present new sports banners, coach Breen earns 100th coaching win
Rockland — It was a special night for Oceanside High School on Friday, Dec. 27, as the Mariner basketball squads hosted Gardiner in the final games of 2013 for all the involved teams.
Now in its third year of existence, Oceanside unveiled and unfurled, before a large crowd, four new Mariner athletic banners, which will be hung in the east gymnasium.
In only three years, the Mariners have two Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B titles (girls basketball and softball), an Eastern Class B championship (softball), a state Class B championship (softball) and a 1,000-point career scorer for girls basketball (2013 graduate Kennadi Grover, with 1,118 points).
Grover, who was on the girls basketball and softball teams last year, along with numerous other players from the squads, attended Friday night and helped display the banners at midcourt for all to see between the varsity contests.
Oceanside athletic director Jim Leonard said the time was right to hang the banners and that the ceremony “went very well.”
“We wanted to do it at a time where we could get the girls back and this seemed like the right time,” he said. “It worked out great. A lot of the kids from last year's team came back, we were able to get [former girls basketball] coach [Teel] Foster back. It's just more of the moving forward and the progression into our new identity as Oceanside High School.”
Leonard said the Rockland District High School and Georges Valley High School banners, the two schools that consolidated to form Oceanside High School, will be taken down. Those banners displayed championships won by those schools and appeared at opposite ends of the gymnasium near large murals of a Buccaneer and a Tiger. The murals will stay.
As far as Friday's regular-season games were concerned, the Mariners earned a split as the boys posted an 84-63 win and the girls dropped a 68-64 decision. Additionally, Oceanside boys coach Matt Breen earned his 100th career victory. He also coached previously at RDHS.
Oceanside jumped to an early 10-2 lead and never trailed en route to their sixth straight victory. Oceanside led 28-9 before Gardiner scored five straight points to end the first quarter, including a 3-pointer banked in by Tiger Seth McFarland at the buzzer to make the score 28-14.
The Mariners took a 46-36 cushion at halftime and extended their advantage to 67-49 after three quarters.
Nick Judge poured in a game-high 29 points to lead Oceanside, while Hunter Grindle tallied 18; Isaiah Stone-Patterson and David Gould, both 13; Nick Mazurek, eight; Keenan Hendricks, two; and Jarrod Leonardi, one.
McFarland scored 18 points to lead Gardiner, while Brad Weston added 17; John McKelvey, eight; Kevin Frankhauser, six; Joe Harnett, five; Brandon Douglas, four; Alex LaPointe and Ed Weymouth, two; and Jordan Lamb, one.
Free-throw shooting accuracy continued to be one of Oceanside's strong points as it has been for the majority of the season as the squad netted 21-of-23 (91 percent) from the charity stripe. The Tigers made 11-of-20 (55 percent) from the foul line.
The win also gave coach Breen, who guided Rockland seven years and is in his third year coaching Oceanside, his 100th career win.
“[Assistant coach] Darren [Randall] and I had talked about it and he said, 'Geez, I bet you are getting close,' ” said Breen of the milestone. “So we looked at one point [this season] just to see where we were and we saw we were getting close.”
Breen, a 1,000-point career basketball scorer at RDHS and former Husson College (now University) standout, said he was happy with the accomplishment.
“It seems like it's been a long time,” he said. “But we've had good kids. They're all good kids that work hard and it's made it enjoyable. It's definitely made my job enjoyable being able to work with those kids because they all have great attitudes and show up and work hard everyday.”
On Friday, Oceanside jumped to a comfortable first-quarter lead as the hosts connected on 5-of-10 3-point attempts, with Judge netting two and Stone-Patterson, Gould and Mazurek each one.
Gardiner went on a 9-0 run between the first and second quarters before Grindle connected on a hoop for Oceanside to make it 30-18. The Tigers cut their deficit to 10 points at halftime before the Mariners went on a 21-13 run in the third quarter to pull away.
“We played well in spurts,” said Breen. “We had a few letdowns here and there where maybe a team gets hot and hits a few shots if you don't put them away when you have the opportunity, and the kids have done a good job of that so far.”
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Oceanside (6-1, 14.8457 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.
Both teams went on several lengthy scoring runs during the game, but the Tigers hit their free throws down the stretch to prevent the Mariners from pulling off the comeback. Gardiner led 19-10, 37-28 and 56-45 at the quarter breaks, though Oceanside held a six-point lead midway through the second quarter.
Emily Gould netted 20 points to lead Oceanside, while Makenna Brooks and Brooke Dugan added 13; Ashley Gardner and Kalyn Grover, both five; Payton Billingsley, four; Lily Vachon, three; and Brianna Dugan, one.
For Gardiner Ally Day tossed in 20 points, while Savannah Vinton-Mullens added 12; Abby Dunn, eight; Morgan Carver and Emalee Couture, both six; Nicole Chadwick, five; Lauren Chadwick, three; and Camden Cone, two.
The Mariners were 16-of-27 (59 percent) from the foul line, while the Tigers were 17-of-29 (59 percent).
Oceanside made a valiant comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring the visitors 19-12 and pulled within two points after Gardner completed a three-point play under the hoop off an out-of-bounds play.
However, the Tigers, which converted only two field goals in the final stanza, held on, largely, due to Day's foul shooting. The steady senior netted 10-of-12 from the charity stripe in the game, including 8-of-8 in the fourth quarter to help the visitors pick up their fourth win.
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Oceanside (4-3, 11.3580 points) is fourth, while Presque Isle (8-0, 23.5494 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.
Also on Friday night, Oceanside High School raised banners for 2012-13 championships at the east campus and also hold a heritage sale of athletic uniforms from Georges Valley and Rockland District high schools.
Between games, Oceanside recognized special sports accomplishments from the 2012-2013 school year. Championship banners were presented honoring the girls basketball team's Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship as well as the softball squad's league, regional and state Class B championships. Additionally, Grover's 1,000-point hoop scoring career was recognized.
Members of the title teams were recognized and honored during the ceremony.
Additionally, following the boys game there was a heritage sale in the cafeteria. Athletic uniforms from Georges Valley and Rockland District high schools were available for sale.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Oceanside Boosters Bleacher Fund Campaign. Through the boosters, corporate donations and student fundraising, the bleacher fund has raised more than $4,000 toward the goal of $26,000 to recover the bleachers in the Oceanside east gymnasium.
To learn more about individual or corporate donations, see a member of the boosters at the games or contact the boosters by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Sports Director
594-4401, ext. 116
Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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