It could have been one of the most thrilling high school basketball doubleheaders of the season, perhaps even caused the islanders to close down Vinalhaven for most of Saturday, but a Western Class D championship twinbill involving both the Viking boys and girls basketball squads was not to be.

After their upset victory over No. 2 A.R. Gould of South Portland on Wednesday, the No. 6 Vinalhaven boys earned the right to face No. 1 Richmond in the regional playoffs (see separate story) on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Island fans hoped the scenario for the Viking girls would follow suit. However, not only did the No. 1 Richmond lose their semifinal playoff game to No. 4 Rangeley 42-27 Thursday afternoon, but the No. 2 Vikings fell short against No. 3 Greenville earlier in the morning.

Thus, the hoped for Vinalhaven regional title game doubleheader never materialized.

It seemed as if that island doubleheader scenario would play out in Thursday morning’s semifinal girls playoff game as Vinalhaven (15-3) led 17-9 after one quarter at the Augusta Civic Center. However, Greenville (16-2) rallied to win 46-41.

The Vikings and Lakers split two competitive regular-season games, with Vinalhaven losing 44-39 Jan. 22 and the islanders winning 47-43 Jan. 23.

But Thursday’s semifinal playoff loss for the Vikings, who will see five key seniors graduate and be left with a young squad for the next season or two, really hurt.

“I honestly don’t know what happened,” said Vinalhaven coach Lindsay Davis. “I mean, everything looked so good in the first quarter and then we just lost our steam I guess.”

Seemingly that is what happened. The Vikings hit their peak early in the game as Greenville was warming up. By the time the Lakers were playing their best, Vinalhaven was simply working to keep pace.

Vinalhaven also led 25-22 at halftime but fell behind 36-32 after the third quarter.

Jennifer Guptill led the Vikings with 15 points, followed by Chelsea Moyer with 11; Brooke Conway, 10; and Amelia Davidson, three.

For the Lakers, McKenna Peat led with 17 points, trailed by Saige Weeks with 14; Gretel Breton, 11; and Carli Peat, four.

The Vikings made 14-of-19 free throws (74 percent) and the Lakers 9-of-18 (50 percent).

Guptill, one of the team’s seniors, who has played with the team’s other seniors, Jennie Candage, Conway, Moyer and Davidson, well before high school, always looked for this year as the one that might see the Vikings win a regional title.

She said, overall, the 2008-10 season went well. “It’s actually amazing,” she said. “We had a great season. We only lost twice [during the regular season] and it sucks going out in this last round.”

However, she said Thursday’s playoff game started well, but did not end well. “I think we played a great game. We were hustling in the first quarter and we [just] lost the lead … I think we were just tired and we stopped screening the open player.”

Greenville coach John Jardine said the Vikings were, once again, a difficult foe to beat.

“Vinalhaven, the thing with them, those girls have played together since [about] sixth grade,” he said. “Vinalhaven, they work the ball, they’ve got the inside, outside game, which makes it tough.”

Vinalhaven took a solid lead to start the game. Guptill scored 10 of the team’s 17 points in the first quarter. Greenville also struggled with turnovers and missed scoring chances during the first eight minutes.

However, by the second quarter, the Lakers found their stride and drew close to the island squad with a 13-8 edge in scoring during the second eight minutes.

By the third quarter, Greenville took a 26-25 lead with a basket from McKenna with seven minutes left in the stanza.

However, Conway responded with another score for the Vikings at 6:40 to put the islanders back in front 27-26.

The lead bounced back and forth, but Greenville managed to eventually take and keep an advantage. With about two minutes to go in the third quarter, McKenna scored Greenville’s final hoop of the stanza to give the Lakers a 36-29 cushion.

Vinalhaven responded with three more points — two from Conway and one from Moyer — but could not manage to climb all the way back.

It was more of the same for the final quarter even though there was a close call for Vinalhaven.

With 5:59 remaining in the game, Guptill connected on a 3-pointer from the side to bring the islanders within 40-39. Viking fans hoped that shot would be the turning point in the close affair that would help the islanders nail down the victory.

However, even though Vinalhaven scored six more points, mostly thanks to Moyer, the islanders were not able to keep up with the Lakers and recapture their first-quarter success, ultimately losing by five points.

Jardine said Thursday’s game was not the first time the Lakers had come from behind to win. According to the coach, when Greenville beat the Vikings 44-39 in January, The Lakers had to battle back from a 20-point deficit.

In the end, it seemed the islanders’ recent postseason history — and bad luck — was doomed to repeat itself, to the Vikings’ dismay.

“We were definitely disappointed to not make it to the third [playoff] game,” Davis said. “We thought we knew how to play them but we just couldn’t execute ourselves.”

Click for more photos from the Vinalhaven and Greenville playoff game.

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.