Windjammers sail to region's top seed, best Panthers in showdownMorse tallies 34 points to key Camden Hills to victory
Rockport — The Camden Hills boys basketball team took the court Monday night, Jan. 20 with the sounds of 'Sweet Georgia Brown,' the iconic Harlem Globetrotters' theme music, blaring through the gymnasium loudspeakers.
While there were no trick shots against Midcoast-rival Medomak Valley, there was plenty at stake for both squads with the end of regular season a few weeks away.
The Windjammers led by as many as 13 points in the first half and, while the Panthers were never out of the game and cut their deficit to two points late, the hosts pulled away and secured a 68-60 win.
Colin Morse was dominant in both the first and second halves Monday, pouring in a game-high 34 points, including 18 in the first half. Chandler Crans also chipped in with a 16-point effort, while Connor Graffam notched seven; Terron Bailey, five; Merrill Hall, three; Andrew Hall, two; and Yani Stancioff, one.
Nicholas DePatsy tossed in 19 points to key the Panthers, while Micah Williamson added 11; Zach Little, eight; Zach Starr and Michael Wadsworth, seven; and Hunter Baughman and Colt Spear, four.
The Windjammers jumped to an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, led 31-22 at halftime and 49-43 after three quarters.
The Panthers converted 11-of-13 (85 percent) free-throw attempts, while the 'Jammers were 20-of-32 (63 percent) from the charity stripe.
"We couldn't put them away,” said Camden Hills coach Jeff Hart of the Panthers. “They did that to us down there too [earlier in the season in a Panther victory]. They're a scrappy bunch [and] they keep attacking the basket. DePatsy's a handful to guard and some other guys played off him really well.”
Camden Hills defeated Medomak Valley 62-60 on Jan. 3 in Waldoboro.
Notably absent from Monday's game was veteran Panther coach Nick DePatsy, who said he was serving a one-game suspension for disciplinary reasons for his actions at a game with visiting Lincoln Academy of Newcastle on Friday, Jan. 17 in Waldoboro, a contest the Panthers lost 48-46. Additional information on the reason or reasons for the suspension was unavailable.
MVHS assistant coaches Richie Oliver and Ryan McNally handled the coaching duties for Medomak Valley on Monday against Camden Hills.
“I was very pleased,” said Oliver of the Panthers' effort on the hardwood. “I thought we executed very well. This is a tough place to play and a tough place to win, and that's a very experienced team out there [in Camden Hills] we played against. I was very proud of them. I thought we kept our composure. We got down a little bit, but we kept chipping away.”
Camden Hills dictated play for much of the first half, while Medomak Valley hung tough led by Nicholas DePatsy, who scored eight of the team's 22 points through the game's first 16 minutes.
But it was Morse who overwhelmed the Panthers for much of the first half with 18 points, as he netted seven field goals and a pair of free throws as the hosts led by as many as 13 points.
The scrappy Panthers found holes in the Windjammer defense in the second half and whittled down their deficit to three points on a 3-pointer from Starr with 3:34 left in the game.
Merrill Hall nailed a triple on the other end of the floor to push the Camden Hills lead back to six points at 60-54, but DePatsy then used his body down on the low block to convert two straight hoops to bring the Panthers within two points, as close as they had been since the early stages of the first quarter.
However, the 'Jammers netted a few clutch free throws down the stretch, including two each from Morse and Crans and another from Graffam, to help the hosts pull away.
“We spread the floor out and we did a great job of being patient and not trying to force things [in the second half],” said Oliver. “We got a lot of nice backdoor cuts and some nice looks [at the basket], and we just came up short. Colin Morse, he's a great player and a tough matchup. I thought we did a better job on him in the fourth quarter and ran some different people at him, but he's a tough matchup.”
Hart said Morse “had it going” against the Panthers and his senior forward stayed out of foul trouble, which has been an Achilles' heel for Camden Hills this season and in year's past.
“He's had a lot of games like that in the last few years where, if you think,” said Hart of Morse. “I told him before the game there was the [four-]overtime game last year against Medomak and the one the other night against Oceanside and he's never in the game in the end. We need him there. And it's a lot more fun to be out there playing than sitting next to me.”
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Camden Hills (11-2, 72.3765 points) is first and Medomak Valley (6-5, 34.4136 points) seventh. With Monday's win, the Windjammers leapfrogged Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston (11-2, 70.5247 points), which is now second. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.