Even without one of its best all-around players, the Oceanside boys basketball team's overall talent and depth shone through during a 56-40 home- and season-opening victory over Waterville on Friday night, Dec. 8 in a 32-minute affair that seemingly flew by at warp speed.

The Mariners led 19-12, 34-24 and 48-33 at the quarter breaks en route to the somewhat methodical and matter-of-fact win.

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The hosts, who played without injured senior standout Michael Norton Jr., got solid efforts from a number of players in staying several strides ahead of the visiting Purple Panthers.

For the Mariners, who now play in Class B after several seasons in Class A, Cooper Wirkala poured in 19 points, all in the first three quarters, including 12 in the first half. Jack Lombardo also netted 15 points and Trevor Reed 14 — he also made an eye-popping 10 steals — to help key the hosts.

Other scorers for the Mariners included Jack Freeman with four points and Amos Anderson and Leo Reid two.

The Mariners made four 3-pointers, including two from Reed and one apiece from Lombardo and Wirkala. Oceanside also netted 4-of-6 free throws (67 percent), with all but one taken by Wirkala.

Statistical leaders for the Mariners were Reed (10 steals, 6 rebounds, 2 blocked shots), Wirkala (3 rebounds, 3 assaists, 3 steals), Josh Peaco (3 rebounds), Lombardo (5 rebounds, 3 assists), Anderson (3 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Freeman (5 rebounds, 3 steals).

For Waterville, David Barre tallied 11 points to key the charge, while Benjamin Danner added eight; Trafton Gilbert, six; John Thompson and Jack Lloyd, five; Nichols Wildhaber, three; and Noah VonOesen, two.

The visitors connected on eight treys, including two from Danner and Gilbert, and 1-of-2 free throws (50 percent).

Oceanside put the clamps on defensively over the final 16 minutes as the Mariners limited the Purple Panthers to 16 second-half points.

The teams had it going offensively in the first half with a combined 58 points, then slowed it down a bit in the second half with a combined 38.

Veteran Oceanside coach Matt Breen said Norton has a high ankle sprain and could miss two more weeks.