Panthers hold off Windjammers, claw to fourth straight winVisiting Medomak Valley rallies late against host Camden Hills
Rockport — It was not pretty, but a win is a win. And as high school basketball coaches throughout the tough, competitive Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division often state, a team will take a victory any way it can get it.
That probably is how veteran Medomak Valley girls coach Randy Hooper feels as his Panthers trailed for nearly the entire game on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 4 with host Camden Hills, but Medomak Valley persevered to gut out a 43-41 victory, its fourth straight and fifth in seven early-season games.
On the flip side, Camden Hills started the campaign 4-0, but has dropped four straight games since that point.
Saturday's game originally was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 3, but was pushed to Saturday due to inclement weather.
Camden Hills led 8-6 after the first quarter, 22-16 at halftime and 31-29 after three quarters. Medomak Valley then edged the hosts in scoring 14-10 in the final stanza.
Sammie Griffin scored 16 points to pace the Panthers, while Hannah Marks tallied 13; Justice Barrows, nine; Marissa Cox, four; and Sophie Cohen, one.
Charlotte Messer paced the Windjammers with 14 points, while Rachel Pease added 10; Bekah Hilt, eight; Maddie Bowman, six; Eliza Boetsch, two; and Jane van der Schaaf, one.
The Panthers were 15-of-27 (56 percent) from the charity stripe, while the Windjammers attempted only eight foul shots, and converted three for 37 percent.
Both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm early, but both squads closed the first half with nice scoring runs, particularly the hosts, who got a couple nifty hoops from Messer.
Camden Hills led for much of the first three quarters and was keyed by the freshman guard, who tallied 10 points in the first quarter to help the hosts lead by as many as seven points.
However, Messer picked up her fourth foul with 2:06 left in the third quarter on a three-point play by Griffin, which brought the Panthers within 31-29.
Medomak Valley later tied the game on its first possession of the fourth quarter on a baseline jumper from Cox, one of only three field goals in the stanza for the visitors.
Marks later netted a foul shot to give the Panthers the lead followed by a fastbreak layup from Griffin, who forced a Windjammer turnover near midcourt.
With Camden Hills over the foul limit, Medomak Valley began to hold the ball with roughly four minutes to play, but were only 8-of-18 (44 percent) from the charity stripe in the quarter and thus, could not put the game out of reach when the Windjammers were forced to foul to get the ball back.
By comparison, Camden Hills also missed its share of opportunities to seize control of the game late, missing several close-range offensive putback shots.
Medomak Valley maintained its slim lead throughout the waning minutes of the contest, though Camden Hills pulled within 40-39 when Messer netted a long two-pointer from the wing with under a minute to play.
The hosts would get no closer, though they had a chance to tie the game when Boetsch was fouled on an offensive rebound with one second remaining and the hosts down two points.
Boetsch missed the first shot and intentionally missed the second, but Camden Hills could not get off a putback attempt before the final buzzer sounded.
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Medomak Valley (5-2, 12.4383 points) is seventh, while Camden Hills (4-4, 10.2778 points) is ninth. Presque Isle (9-0, 29.1049 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. Haskell has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School. He has won multiple Maine Press Association awards for writing and photography.
Mark loves the Boston Red Sox, iced coffee, cargo shorts, Foo Fighters and time with friends and loved ones.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn, his sons Beckett and Austin and daughter Lila.
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