With superior outside shooting and an outstanding transition game, the Oceanside boys basketball team proved tough to beat on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at home against visiting Belfast.

The Lions roared out of an early first-quarter hole and battled with the Mariners through halftime, but the hosts pulled away in the third quarter — highlighted by back-to-back breakaway dunks by senior Mike Norton Jr. — en route to an 80-56 victory.

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Oceanside led 16-11 after the first eight minutes and 36-28 at halftime before taking a 65-43 advantage after three quarters.

Cooper Wirkala’s 22-point effort paced Oceanside, while Norton chipped in 19; Jack Lombardo, 14; Amos Anderson and Trevor Reed, eight; Jack Freeman, four; Brett Start, three; and Josh Peaco, two.

Norton also added seven rebounds and six steals — several of which led directly to Mariner buckets in transition — while Reed (5 rebounds), Wirkala (3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 3 steals) and Anderson (6 rebounds, 4 assists) also provided a spark for the hosts.

Stanley Sturgis tossed in 17 points for Belfast, while Chris Kelley added 15; Dakota Doolan and Dakota Payson, six; Jason Bartlett, four; Aaron Fuller, three; Wilder Magruder, two; and Luke Lightner, one.

Oceanside finished 10-of-15 (67 percent) from the foul line, while Belfast was 12-of-21 (57 percent).

The hosts netted 10 treys on the night — four from Wirkala and Lombardo and one from Start and Reed — including seven in the first half.

The Mariners sailed out of the gate to a 14-2 lead, but the Lions responded and went on a 9-2 run to close the first quarter.

But Norton took over the game in the third quarter, as he scored 15 of Oceanside’s 29 points from all over the floor to spark an 18-4 run — highlighted by Norton’s two dunks — to put the game out of reach for Belfast at 61-37.

Wirkala and Kelley traded treys to start the pivotal third quarter, while efforts from Bartlett and Sturgis continued to keep the game close for Belfast — including a strong take to the hoop by Bartlett — to bring the Lions within 45-35.

However, the Mariners rattled off seven points in a row — two free throws and a bucket on the block from Norton, along with a Reed trey — to put the hosts ahead 52-35.

Reed converted a reverse layup off an offensive rebound for Oceanside before Norton scored the game’s next seven points off a three-point play and back-to-back fast-break slam dunks — facilitated by his own steals near midcourt — to put Oceanside in front 61-37, which prompted a Belfast timeout with 1:24 left in the third quarter.

Belfast got no closer than 20 points the rest of the way.

In the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North Oceanside (11-5, 68.6420 points) is fifth, while Belfast (6-9, 37.8395 points) is ninth. Hermon (14-0, 127.2222 points) is first in the 16-team region. The top 11 teams qualify for the playoffs.