There was plenty of excitement and solid all-around play at Camden-Rockport Middle School Thursday as the Busline League Large School Division girls basketball championship battles came down to the wire with titles — and new awards for the school’s trophy case — hanging in the balance.

When the final horn had sounded after 64 minutes of hard-nosed, tough play by all four squads, the Boothbay Region Elementary School seventh-graders and Camden-Rockport Middle School eighth-graders were queens of the court.

In the eighth-grade game, No. 4 Camden-Rockport (7-6) rallied late to defeat No. 2 Rockland District Middle School (9-3) 49-45.

In the seventh-grade game, No. 1 Boothbay (10-0) kept No. 2 Rockland District Middle School (6-4) at arm’s length en route to a 35-31 win.

The games had been postponed from Tuesday due to inclement weather.

The Camden-Rockport eighth-graders picked the perfect time to play their best — heading into the playoffs. RDMS had beaten the Schooners twice during the regular season, including 46-45 and 44-21. CRMS upset both No. 1 Troy Howard Middle School of Belfast and No. 2 RDMS in the postseason.

Boothbay was the odd-on favorite to finish the campaign unbeaten and win the seventh-grade crown as it had downed the Eagles of Rockland 52-40 and 32-28 earlier in the season.

The CRMS eighth-graders, coached by Kurt Drinkwater and Jay Fischer, include Brittany Bowman, Paige Christie, Hannah Corney, Kaianne Crockett, Addie Drinkwater, Shae Dunn, Fiona Fischer, Kiera Haining, Natalie Hamalainen, Haley Terrio, Melanie Vangel and Allison Warren.

The RDMS eighth-graders, coached Dan Flanagan, include Ami Alex, Brooke Dugan, Kaylynn Emerson, Chelsea Fish, Abby Hersom, Ashley Malmstrom, Laura Mank, Ceajay Nelson, Trittany Penn, Abby Provost, Haley Richardson, Mackenzie Sirois, Emma Spencer, Sydney Spofford and Kim Young. Maggie Drinkwater is the manager.

The Boothbay seventh-graders, coached by John Deetjen, include Elizabeth Bailey, Courtney Brewer, Morgan Crocker, Sara Durgan, Abby McGrail, Ashley Reed, Nicole Rice and Maya Schwehm. Tori Schmidt is the scorekeeper.

The RDMS seventh-graders, coached by Dan McNichol and Danielle McNichol, include Payton Billingsley, Abby Billington, Kasey Buretta, Jordan Carpenter, Janelle Fowlie, Ashley Gardner, Emily Gould, Amanda Hoppe, Ashley Pezanowski, Audrey Raymond, Maris Rosa, Brittany Rytky, Jackie Thorbjornson, Paige Widdecombe and Chelsea Williams. Alex Chase is the manager.

Eighth-grade final

When things look bleak for the Schooners, Drinkwater literally put her teammates on her back and help carry to the victory. Rockland led 11-6, 22-15 and 38-32 at the first three quarter breaks before CRMS outscored the Eagles by 10 points over the final eight minutes.

Drinkwater was sensational for the Schooners, scoring 26 points, including 24 over the final three quarters, 17 in the second half and 12 in the fourth quarter when the game was decided. She also made 8-of-15 free throws.

Other scorers for the Schooners were Vangel with 10 points; Crockett, five; Hamalainen, four; Bowman, three; and Fischer, one. The Schooners made 14-of-28 free throws (50 percent).

For the Eagles of Rockland, Dugan poured in 12 points; Spencer, 10; Young, eight; Penn six; Mank, five; and Malmstrom and Sirois, both two. RDMS netted 7-of-22 foul shots (32 percent). Spencer drilled two 3-pointers.

Young and Spencer fouled out for Rockland and Vangel and Hamalainen headed to the bench early for the Schooners with five fouls.

Drinkwater made a foul shot and Bowman converted a jump shot to give CRMS a 48-40 lead in the final minute before Dugan canned a free throw and Mank a shot to pull the Eagles within 48-43. Another RDMS hoop made it interesting at 48-45, but Fischer iced a free throw with 10 seconds remaining to give the Schooners an insurmountable 48-45 cushion.

Click for more photos from the Rockland and Camden-Rockport eighth-grade championship game.

Seventh-grade final

in a low-scoring game during the early stages, Boothbay grabbed the momentum and never relinquished it, leading 6-1, 14-9 and 25-18 at the quarter breaks.

Keying the champs were Crocker with 19 points; Brewer, eight; Rice, five; and Durgan, three. Boothbay made 11-of-27 free throws (41 percent), including nine from Crocker.

For Rockland, Gould netted 13 points; Billingsley, seven; Raymond, four; Gardner, Thorbjornson and Pezanowski, all two; and Widdecombe, one. The Eagles netted 5-of-13 foul shots (38 percent).

Click for more photos from the Rockland and Boothbay seventh-grade championship game.

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