Oceanside's talent, depth, experience could equal playoff success
Rockland — The following is a synopsis of the 2012-13 Oceanside High School boys varsity basketball team:
Coach/years coached current team: Matt Breen, eighth year (first six years with Rockland, last year with Oceanside)
Last year's record/playoff information: 11-7, 10th in Eastern Class B. The Mariners defeated No. 7 Winslow 69-57 in a preliminary playoff before falling to No. 2 Medomak Valley 65-39 in the quarterfinals.
Roster: Seniors Shea Davenport (6-foot-2-inch forward), Tyler Gilson (6-6 center/forward), Sam Meklin (6-5 center/forward) and Matt Zable (6-2 forward); juniors David Gould (6-foot guard), Hunter Grindle (6-foot guard), Nick Judge (5-11 guard) and Isaiah Stone-Patterson (5-9 guard); sophomores Phil Atwood (6-1 forward) and Eli Thorbjornson (5-9 guard); and freshmen Nick Mazurek (6-3 forward) and Keenan Hendricks (6-1 guard/forward).
Outlook: The Mariners are among the favorites to vie for the regional championship, returning many key pieces from last year's squad, including starters Meklin, Gilson, Davenport and Stone-Patterson. Gilson was lost to an injury at the end of the regular season last year, while Hendricks and Mazurek are both talented freshmen and also will likely see a significant workload for the Mariners.
Breen said Judge also will start at the small forward spot with Grindle out for a few games with a bone bruise, but "those two are competing for that spot."
Stone-Patterson, who has been the team's shooting guard in the past, will take over the point guard responsibilities for Oceanside. Breen said the most signficant hindrance his team has seen "finding a balance between balancing [Stone-Patterson's] offense and distributing the ball."
Which of course, is a good problem to have.
"We've got a lot of key pieces, but we've got a long way to go," said Breen. "We went to the tournament last year but we've still got to win one game up there first. It's the same thing as it always is. If you don't defend and you don't shoot the ball well, you're not going to win.
Davenport, at 6-4, can shoot from beyond the arc and play in the paint, while the duo of Gilson and Meklin, at 6-6 and 6-5 respectively, likely will cause matchup problems for many opponents.
While not denying many prognostigators feel his team is among Eastern Class B's best, Breen said any team in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division — or in the Eastern Class B region when the playoffs roll around — can beat any other team.
"I don't read into what other people think," he said. "We've got a good group and we're working hard. We just want to be the best we can be by the end of the year."
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