While the outcomes of Thursday night’s Medomak Valley and Waterville high school basketball games were similar, even in the final scores, the significance of each decision to the Panthers could not have been more different.

Both Panther squads notched strong victories in Thursday’s home doubleheader, with the boys winning 55-31 and the girls prevailing 51-35.

However, for the Medomak Valley girls on this night, a win was not just another win.

The victory by the Medomak Valley boys was solid and keeps their playoff train chugging along. The Panthers have played consistently well all season and have, at the midway point of the campaign, positioned themselves for a strong postseason push.

For the Medomak Valley girls, also a strong top-four regional playoff contender, Thursday’s win was more significant because it was a tremendous confidence booster against a Purple Panther program that has realized nearly unprecedented success in recent years, including winning three straight state Class B titles and enjoying three consecutive unbeaten seasons.

Neither of Thursday’s games were, in the end, close. The Panthers controlled the momentum in both contests and cruised to victories.

Girls game

Although coaches are, by nature, never completely satisfied with a performance of their team, and veteran Panther coach Randy Hooper is no exception, the effort the Panthers turned in in Thursday’s game was solid for 32 minutes. Medomak Valley dominated from the beginning and, if the hosts had converted more of their close-range shot attempts, the score might have been more lopsided.

The Panthers led 13-11, 24-15 and 39-21 at the quarter breaks. Medomak Valley received a bundle of stellar efforts, including from Alanna Vose (14 points, 3 assists), Danielle Dyer (13 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals), Lindsay Ranquist (11 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists) and Ericka Christensen (6 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists),

Also, Nicole Weaver (3 rebounds, 2 assists) added five points and Lacy Massengale (2 rebounds, 2 assists) two. Medomak Valley made two 3-pointers, both coming from Dyer, and netted 13-of-19 free throws (68 percent).

Vose and Christensen spearheaded the early momentum by the Panthers, as Christensen scored all of her points in the first quarter and dominated the boards. Vose added five points.

In the second quarter, when the Panthers took control, Vose chipped in four points and the Panthers hit 5-of-7 free throws.

In the second half, Dyer and Ranquist were the Panther catalysts as both scored nine points. Dyer hit two treys in the final 16 minutes. Vose had five points and Weaver four in the second half.

For Waterville, Jen Nale and Stacie Whitten both scored eight points; Taylor Frame, seven; Cara Rousseau, six; Alex Frame, two; and Lauren Crane, one. Whitten hit two 3-pointers and Taylor frame one, while the Purple Panthers made 10-of-14 foul shots (71 percent).

“[I was] very pleased with our effort on the defensive end, especially holding Jen Nale to eight points,” said Hooper. “The girls remained focused for the entire game, but the difference in the game was the third quarter. We were up nine at the half and we talked about coming out in the third quarter and trying to remain aggressive and extend the lead, not just hang onto the lead. Also, we were very unselfish on the offensive end, getting the best look we could get almost every trip down the floor.”

In the most recent Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Medomak Valley (7-1, 26.4815 Heal Points) is ranked fifth and Waterville (5-3, 16.7593 points) eighth. Presque Isle (9-0, 36.1111 points) is first in the 19-team region.

Click for more photos from the Waterville at Medomak Valley girls game.

Boys game

After the first quarter, the Panthers were never challenged by Waterville, methodically working their way to another strong victory.

Medomak Valley trailed 11-10 after one quarter before regrouping and leading 30-18 at halftime (outscoring the Purple Panthers 20-7 in the second quarter) and 45-22 after three stanzas.

Keying the hosts were Isaac Durkee with 18 points; Isaac Greenrose, nine; Dan Aubel and Alex MacKenzie, both eight; Dustin Osier, seven; and Alex Greenrose, Zack Judkins and John Bartlett, all two. The Panthers made an eye-opening eight treys, including four from Isaac Durkee and two from Isaac Greenrose. Medomak Valley netted 4-of-7 free throws (57 percent).

Isaac Durkee helped Medomak Valley get off to a positive start wth 12 first-half points, while Osier, Aubel and Isaac Greenrose all hit 3-pointers in the half. Durkee had two 3-pointers in each half.

For Waterville, Cam Mitchell tallied eight points, Brandon Braley six and Nick Lee five to lead the charge. The Purple Panthers made 4-of-13 free throws (31 percent).

“Defensively we did an excellent job,” said Panther coach Nick DePatsy. “At one point we held them scoreless for 10 minutes. [I was] pleased with the way different people have been stepping up each game. We need to take care of the basketball a little bit better at times. Our shot selection and our halfcourt defense was excellent. We are rotating well in our man defense and everyone chipped into the rebounding effort. In the second half we got a bunch of runouts [and] got into our transition game.”

In the most recent Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Medomak Valley (7-1, 33.4877 points) is ranked third and Waterville (2-6, 4.3210 points) 15th. Camden Hills (9-0, 45.9259 points) is first in the 19-team region.

Click for more photos from the Waterville at Medomak Valley boys game.

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at kwaltz@villagesoup.com.