One of the state’s most impressive recent high school basketball winning streaks came to an end Friday night thanks to a scrappy, confident Waldo County squad who kept its high-powered opponent under 50 points for one of the few times in recent years.

The Mount View boys basketball team, which lost to the Windjammers by 24 points (66-42) to begin the season, continued to make loud noise in Eastern Class B by stunning Camden Hills 49-47 Friday in Thorndike.

To say that Mount View coach Steve Caron was proud of his team is an understatement.
“All of my guys stepped up hard,” he said. “There wasn’t one guy that stepped up on the floor that didn’t give something that allowed us to get this victory. Everybody.”

The coach certainly was impressed by the Windjammers and what they have accomplished over the years.

“That’s a great team though,” Caron said. “I mean, Camden Hills is the team that everybody aspires to beat and we beat them tonight.”

Camden Hills’ coach Jeff Hart praised the Mustangs’ performance but did not comment further.

“We gave them a game,” Caron said. “It was a great game and we came out on the top end of that. I told the boys today, I said: ‘Look. Put yourselves in a position to win.’ They battled all day.”

The Windjammers, who were unbeaten state Class B champions in 2008-09, had not lost an official game since falling in the regional title contest to Maranacook of Readfield during the 2007-08 campaign.

Thus, Camden Hills was 23-0 last year and started this campaign 13-0 — for 36 straight victories — before falling to the pesky Mustangs Friday.

In the most recent Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Camden Hills (13-1, 83.1790 points) remains first and Mount View (10-3, 64.8148 points) fourth in the 19-team region.

Camden Hills was 21-2 overall two years ago, 23-0 last year and 13-1 this season, thus is 57-3 over the last three seasons, including league championship games.

For 36 straight games stretching into last year, Camden Hills had been perfect. Be it regular-season or postseason games, the Windjammers had not tasted defeat since the 2007-08 season.

On Friday night, the host Mustangs took the lead in a pivotal, Heal Point-worthy Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B battle with less than a minute left and, despite what might have appeared a game-winning, buzzer-beating shot by Windjammer senior Cam Gartley (the basket was waved off by officials who deemed the ball left the shooter’s hand after time had expired), Mount View hung on for the thrilling two-point win.

Camden Hills had been 57-2 over the past three seasons heading into Friday night’s contest, having not lost since falling twice to Maranacook — once at Rockport during the regular season and again in the Eastern Class B final — during the 2007-08 season.

On Friday against the Mustangs, the ‘Jammers led 11-6 after the first quarter and 23-22 at halftime, while Mount View went on a 16-10 third-quarter run to take a 38-33 lead after three quarters.

Michael Cochrane led the ‘Stangs with 18 points, while Zach Babin and Tim Alton each netted 10. Dylan Keller also had three pivotal points — all in the final minute. Mustang Jason Hughes also added eight points and drew two key player-control fouls in the game. Bobby Porter added three points.

“We came into the game with the mindset of just playing our hardest and it’s just surreal right now,” said Cochrane of the Mustangs’ win. “As a team we didn’t turn the ball over as much, we didn’t force errors like we usually do [and] we just played ’till the end of the game.”

Tyler McFarland led the ‘Jammers with 23 points, while Keegan Pieri added 14; Casey Wilson, four; and Will Vlautin, James Weferling and Casey Scott, all two.

The Mustangs made 7-of-13 (54 percent) free throws and the Windjammers 11-of-16 (69 percent).

McFarland capped a 3-point play with 55.7 seconds remaining to give Camden Hills a brief 47-46 lead, but Keller converted on his first field goal of the night — a jumper from just inside the top of the key — with 46 seconds left in regulation to help Mount View regain a 48-47 lead. Keller also converted a free throw with about 20 seconds remaining to give the ‘Stangs a two-point cushion.

Camden Hills had a few opportunities to tie the game in the waning seconds before the ball wound up in the hands of Gartley, who appeared to hit the game-winning 3-pointer as time expired. However, the referees determined the ball had not left Gartley’s hand before the final buzzer sounded, ultimately giving Mount View one of its most thrilling victories in school history, perhaps the biggest since the Mustang boys hoop program won the state Class B title in 1987

The players and fans who had been in attendance a week before remember Mount View lost to Waterville on a last-second shot. The hosts did not want that to happen twice in a week.

When the officials signaled that the hosts had won Friday night’s game, fans poured out of the stands. Suddenly halfcourt had turned into a giant green-and-white revelry. The gymnasium was filled with cheers, embraces, and a feeling of Mustang invincibility.

“The type of game that we played is the game they forced us to play, which is attack the basket,” said coach Caron. “We pushed the basketball every single time we’d get a chance and we’d go to the hole because they don’t let you run an offense. They trap you here, they trap you at the foul-line extended. We knew that we just had to go to the hole, that’s what we do best.”

Coach Caron said that he wanted and expected a game like this against the talented Windjammers. He was confident in his team to win and knows what the Mustangs are capable of. However that does not say the Mount View players were not nervous.

When asked what it was like to play Camden Hills, Cochrane added, “It’s like facing a college team. It’s intimidating, they all seem to be 6 feet 5 inches [tall], but I guess you just have to play through and not let that factor into how you play.”

In the end coach Caron and his team were a happy bunch. They had succeeded where so many other teams had failed against Camden Hills. “My guys love me and I love them,” Caron said. “[Winning] is the game plan and it worked [tonight].”

Click for more photos from the Camden Hills at Mount View game.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.