Windjammers stun Mariners in improbable 2OT boys hoop victoryCrans banks in 3-pointer at buzzer to send game to second overtime
Rockport — For all intents and purposes, the game was over.
It appeared the Oceanside boys basketball team had staved off a furious Camden Hills rally and survived to pick up their 11th straight win on Friday night, Jan. 17, this time over the rival and host Windjammers.
Then, in an improbable turn of events, including a technical foul and one young man's shot of a lifetime, the Windjammer sails caught a gust of wind. And potentially shifted the balance of power in Eastern Class B.
The Windjammers trailed by 14 points in the second half to their most storied local rivals and, against all odds, rallied for an impressive 88-83 double-overtime win over the Mariners.
Both teams are 10-2, with Camden Hills, despite Friday's thrilling victory, trailing Oceanside by 1.3889 points for the top spot in Eastern Class B. The squads also were ranked first and second before the game, with the Mariners No. 1 and Camden Hills No. 2.
Chandler Crans netted 23 points to lead Camden Hills, while Colin Morse added 21; Jayson Kuhn and Connor Graffam, both 10; John Hall, eight; Yani Stancioff and Merrill Hall, five; Terron Bailey, four; and Andrew Hall, two.
Nick Judge poured in a game-high 31 points to lead Oceanside, while Hunter Grindle added 17; Isaiah Stone-Patterson, 11; David Gould, 10; Nick Mazurek, seven; Keenan Hendricks, five; and Jarrod Leonardi, two.
The game was a low-scoring affair in the first half with Oceanside leading 12-10 after the first quarter, while the two squads were tied 26-26 at halftime. The Mariners led 50-37 after three quarters before the Windjammers tied the game 64-64 at the end of regulation and 72-72 at the end of the first overtime.
The Windjammers netted 23-of-34 (68 percent) free-throw attempts, while the Mariners converted 26-of-38 (68 percent).
“Rival games are always like this,” said veteran Camden Hills coach Jeff Hart. “We had the Medomak [Valley four-overtime game] last year [too]. These rival games, these guys have played against each other their whole lives, they know each other and you always seem to get that little extra effort.”
Attempts to reach Oceanside coach Matt Breen for comment about the game were unsuccessful.
With Morse having fouled out of the game for the Windjammers with 1:09 remaining in the first overtime and the Mariners holding a four-point lead with time winding down, the game appeared to be over with the visitors running down the clock until Gould was fouled with 0.4 of a second left.
However, the Oceanside bench was called for a technical foul when players came on the court prior to the conclusion of the game. Gould missed his two free throws, while Crans netted one of his two technical free-throw attempts, which left the hosts trailing 72-69 and retaining possession of the ball due to the technical, but still, with 0.4 of a second remaining.
Crans received the inbounds pass deep in the corner and released a 3-pointer just before the buzzer sounded and the shot banked off the glass and through the net, to send the game to a second overtime.
“Everyone was leaving,” said Morse. “I thought it was over. But he banked that shot from just an impossible angle. It was crazy.”
Crans called the miracle shot the most significant and exciting of his high school career.
“The play was for me to screen up, Jayson [Kuhn] to come down and Merrill [Hall] to screen me and for Connor [Graffam] to bounce the ball and to just shoot it from three,” said Crans. “He didn't end up bouncing the ball, but I just caught it and put it up as quick as I could.”
“You get a little lucky sometimes,” said Hart. “Not only, A, did he catch but, B, he caught it and, C, he banked it in.”
Morse was in foul trouble for much of the game, though he netted a 3-pointer with 2.6 second left at the end of regulation to send the game to the first overtime.
“When he goes out of the game you've got to have guys ready to step up,” said Hart of Morse. “And it took us a little bit to adjust to it and their pressure hurt us, but we overcame.”
“Colin's a great leader when he's on the floor and him going down really hurt us,” said Crans. “But I think when he went down everyone else stepped up and that's what being part of a team is about.”
Without their floor leader, Camden Hills outscored Oceanside 16-11 in the second overtime.
“We stepped it up,” said Morse. “We knew we had to win this game. It was a really big win. We got it together, we came back [and] they got a little nervous. This game was way bigger for us than it was for them.”
Morse hit his first two shots of the second half, but went to the bench with his fourth foul with 4:34 remaining and the Mariners ahead 38-30. The Windjammers managed only one field goal the rest of the quarter and the Mariners were on fire, outscoring the hosts 24-11 in the stanza and led by 13 points heading into the fourth and final stanza.
“We got down, but we kept playing,” said Hart. “We started to lose our composure a little bit, but we got it back. We still had a pulse.”
Camden Hills outscored Oceanside 27-14 in the fourth quarter and received two treys from Crans and one each from Graffam, Morse and Stancioff.
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Oceanside (10-2, 62.9630 points) is first and Camden Hills (10-2, 61.5741 points) 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. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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