Panthers return early-season favor, outlast Mariners in overtimeOceanside downed Medomak Valley in double-overtime Dec. 18
Waldoboro — What is it about the Medomak Valley and Oceanside boys basketball teams that they can never seem to settle anything during regulation, always being forced to work overtime to decide a winner?
That happened again Tuesday night, Feb. 5 at jam-packed Medomak Valley High School as the Midcoast rivals, both vying for one of the top spots heading into the upcoming Eastern Class B tournament, stood toe-to-toe for 32 minutes of regulation and then a four-minute overtime before the host Panthers pulled out a thrilling 60-58 win in front of a standing room-only crowd.
A 3-pointer in the closing seconds of overtime from senior Jonathan Hendrickson-Belloguet proved the margin of victory for the Panthers, while Brandon Soper also had a pivotal trey in the extra session.
The two Midcoast squads met for the second time during the regular season Tuesday night, as host Oceanside had pulled out an exciting 71-65 double-overtime victory over Medomak Valley in Rockland earlier in the campaign.
Fast forward from Dec. 18 to Feb. 5 and the two teams — among the best in Class B — met again with so much on the line. And this time the Panthers returned the favor to the Mariners with an overtime victory.
The Panthers were coming off a 95-91, four-overtime victory over Camden Hills in Rockport Jan. 31.
On Tuesday, Oceanside led 17-12 after one quarter before the Panthers grabbed a 26-24 edge at halftime. Medomak Valley also led 38-33 after three stanzas. However, the Mariners rallied and outscored the Panthers 17-12 in the fourth quarter to tie the game 50-50 at the end of regulation.
For Medomak Valley's balanced offensive attack, John Murray scored 16 points; Ryan Ripley, 13; Hendrickson-Belloguet, 11; Soper, six; Boone Olson and Micah Williamson, both four; and Colton Spear and Kazu Tibbetts, both three. The Panthers made four treys, two from Soper, and 8-of-18 free throws (44 percent).
For Oceanside, Shea Davenport tallied 14 points; Sam Meklin, 13; Isaiah Stone-Patterson and David Gould, both 10; Nick Judge, five; Matt Zable, four; and Tyler Gilson, two. The Mariners netted four 3-pointers, including two from Davenport. The visitors made 8-of-14 foul shots (57 percent).
When the Panthers and Mariners meet on the court, nothing seems to come easy as they usually battle tooth-and-nail for an edge and on Tuesday night, in front of a delirious crowd, the hosts prevailed.
"They made a little run at the end of the second quarter and we came out at halftime a little flat and they pushed [the lead] up to 12 points," said Oceanside coach Matt Breen of the Panthers. "I was happy with the way the kids responded there in that situation. In years past that might have got pushed to a 20-point lead, but they dug in, picked up the defense and were able to claw back and take the lead."
The Mariners led 50-48 with time winding down in regulation, but Murray netted a field goal with 23.9 seconds to play for the Panthers to tie the game and, ultimately, send it to overtime.
"They brought Murray out and he caught it on the wing and we got playing him a little too tight and he was able to get by and he finished," said Breen. "We still had 10 seconds left to get a good look [at a shot] but couldn't hit it."
Meklin netted two free throws to put the Mariners ahead 58-57 in overtime with 36.6 seconds to play, but Hendrickson-Belloguet later put the Panthers up for good with his trey, which sent the Panther faithful into a frenzy.
Oceanside had its chances to tie the game, but came up empty as Ripley secured a pivotal rebound to seal the deal.
"We knew they wanted to get the ball to Murray so our focus was to not let him get the ball," Breen said. "They were doing a good job denying him and Jonathan really hadn't taken any 3-point shots. I don't think he took one the whole game. We were dropping down and looking to recover on the shooter but he got it and he killed it. He shot it with confidence."
The Mariner coach said the loss aside, both teams were part of "a great high school basketball game" Tuesday night.
In OT, Hendrickson-Belloguet and Soper drilled key treys, Ripley scored three points and Murray hit a free throw for Medomak Valley. For Oceanside in the extra time, Meklin tallied four points and Stone-Patterson and Gilson both two.
The game was part of a boys/girls varsity doubleheader.
Oceanside has held one of the top two spots in the region for much of the year, with the Panthers being ranked third or fourth during that time. However, in recent days, the Panthers moved ahead of the Mariners into the top spot in Eastern Class B and Tuesday's win may keep Medomak Valley there the rest of the way.
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Medomak Valley (15-2, 125.3086 points) is first and Oceanside (13-4, 109.1049 points) third in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs. Presque Isle (14-3, 109.4136 points) is second.
The Panthers and Mariners also may meet for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. at Cony High School in Augusta, provided the Mariners win their regular-season finale Thursday, Feb. 7 at Rockport.
If the Mariners beat host Camden Hills, they will face the Panthers Saturday in what would be the third meeting of the year between the squads. A win also could push the Mariners to the No. 2 seed in the region, but may not be enough Heal Points to overtake now top-seeded Medomak Valley.
However, if the Mariners fall to the Windjammers, and Winlsow defeats Waterville Thursday, the Black Raiders could leapfrog the Mariners and compete with MVHS for the KVAC title.
Camden Hills defeated Oceanside 66-63 earlier in the season at Rockland — a game that saw the Mariners' miss a 3-point attempt at the buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime.
Medomak Valley will play its regular season finale on Thursday, Feb. 7 against Lincoln Academy at Newcastle.
Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.