Redemption: Riverhawks earn revenge against Lions to secure crownTeams battled for seventh-grade title a year ago, with Troy Howard winning
Waldoboro — For many players on the Medomak Middle School boys eighth-grade basketball team heading into the Saturday afternoon, Jan. 19 Busline League middle school large school division final, revenge was on their minds in regards to a championship game they believe got away from them a year ago.
Last year, in the league's seventh-grade final, the top-seeded, unbeaten Riverhawks were downed by Troy Howard Middle School 38-35 on the Lions' home court in Belfast, ruining MMS' plans of hoisting the league championship plaque with an unblemished record.
This year's Riverhawk squad — with 13 of 15 players from last year's team making the jump to eighth-grade this season — again were ranked first with one loss on the season and, again, standing in their way — were the pesky, talented Lions from Troy Howard.
A video from the game appears below.
As expected, Saturday's contest between the two tough squads went back and forth throughout, with both teams controlling the pace at times and each nabbing sizable lead at points.
However, it was the No. 1 Riverhawks (14-1) who finished strong — to the tune of a 19-6 fourth-quarter run — and capped the 2012-13 campaign with a 55-45 victory to claim the Busline League championship over No. 2 Troy Howard (12-3).
Team members for Medomak include Casey Libby, Laken Harrington, Patrick White, Adam Eutsler, Isaac Eutsler, Kyle Donlin, Maty Moore, Jonathan Allard, Daniel Jones, Zidane McMurrin, Cale Gee, Nick Grover, Taylor McLain, Cam Allaire and Cam Martin.
Team members for Troy Howard, which, by comparison had eight players make the jump from last year's seventh-grade team to this year's eighth-grade squad, include Zane Bielenberg, Terrell Ward, Derek Tyler, Austin Moody, Zack Dyer, Garrett Hamlin, Gerard Coward, Tyler Noyes, Matt Howard, Tristan Roberts, Nolan Woods, Tyler Macleod, Andrew Cross, Ian Snowdeal and Edwin Johnson.
On Saturday, Medomak led 16-13 after the first quarter, while Troy Howard led 28-25 at halftime and 39-36 after three quarters.
McLain keyed the balanced Riverhawk attack with an 11-point effort — nine of which came on three 3-pointers in the first quarter — while Grover added 10; Allard, nine; Moore, eight; Gee, seven; White, four; and Martin, Harrington and Adam Eutsler, all two.
For Troy Howard, Bielenberg poured in a game-high 21 points — including four treys — while Woods tallied 15; Hamlin, six; MacLeod, two; and Noyes, one.
The Riverhawks were 9-of-19 (47 percent) from the foul line, while the Lions were 7-of-17 (41 percent).
Medomak jumped to an 11-4 lead early as McLain came onto the court on fire, hitting his first three attempts from beyond the 3-point arc. However, the Lions did not roll over and trailed by only five points at the end of the first stanza as Grover made a steal at midcourt and converted a fastbreak layup to end the quarter.
Troy Howard took its first lead midway through the second quarter on a hoop from Woods to make it 19-18, but Gee put the 'Hawks back on top moments later when he canned a 3-pointer to spark a 7-0 run and put the higher-seeded hosts up 25-19.
Not to be outdone, the Lions went on a 9-0 run to end the first half — including two 3-pointers from Bielenberg.
The two squads continued to battle into the third quarter, but the Lions seemed to be slowly pulling away, when the visitors took a 38-29 lead with just over two minutes to go in the stanza. However, Medomak went on a 7-1 run to end the quarter, which included an off-balance trey by Grover to end the quarter.
Bielenberg and Grover traded treys to start the final quarter, but Troy Howard would manage only one more field goal in the game as MMS pulled away on the strength of hoops from Moore, Allard, Grover and McLain.
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.