PORTLAND — Experiencing a stellar overall season that ends in the regional championship game can be a difficult pill to swallow, but in the days, weeks and months ahead the Medomak Valley boys basketball team members will look fondly and proudly on 2021-22.

The only lament for the Panthers, perhaps, will be the fact they led at halftime of their Class B South title game with Yarmouth on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 26 at the Expo, only to see the Clippers take control over the final 16 minutes for a 47-35 win.

A pair of 23s, Medomak Valley’s Finn Parmley, left, and Yarmouth’s Cole Snyder. Photo by Mark Haskell

With the victory, No. 2 Yarmouth (19-3) moves on to the state Class B championship game on Friday, March 4 at 8:45 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The Clippers will play Ellsworth (22-0), which beat Orono (18-4) 62-33 in the North championship, in the state final.

No. 4 Medomak Valley capped its stellar campaign at 17-5.

The regional final originally was scheduled for Friday, Feb. 25 at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, but moved to Saturday afternoon back at the Expo due to the previous day’s snowstorm.

Yarmouth’s Peter Psyhogeos, left, along with Medomak Valley’s Gabe Lash, right, and Trevor Brown. Photo by Mark Haskell

The Panthers include Patrick McKenney, Blake Morrison, Matthew Holbrook, Kory Donlin, Garret Hutchins, Jaiden Starr, Gabe Lash, Finn Parmley, Jake Bickmore, Kevin Sincyr, Trevor Brown, Tucker Holgerson, Jacob Craig and Gavin Clark. The head coach is Nick DePatsy and assistant coaches Micah Williamson, Richie Oliver and Paul Berube. The team managers are Trishelle Ames and Kylea Stone.

The Clippers include Matthew Gautreau, Matt Waeldner, Evan Hamm, Stevie Walsh, Aiden Kamm, Liam Hickey, Peter Psyhogeos, Jack Janczuk, Justin Dawes, Sutter Auger, Cole Snyder, Quin O’Meara, Nate Hagerdorn, Jack McCosh and Spencer LaBrecque. The head coach is Jonas Allen and assistant coaches Ilunga Mutombo, James Mills and Marry Conant.

Medomak Valley’s Trevor Brown, left, and Yarmouth’s Peter Psyhogeos. Photo by Mark Haskell

On Saturday afternoon, the Panthers got off to a strong start and led 12-5 after the first eight minutes and 21-20 at halftime despite Yarmouth’s 15-9 second-quarter surge. However, the second quarter was a prelude to the rest of the game as, in the second half, the Clippers continued to hold the momentum and outscored the Panthers 27-14.

In Saturday’s game, the Panthers were led by Brown (14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists), McKenney (8 points, 3 assists, 3 steals), Craig (7 points, 6 rebounds), Donlin (2 points, 2 rebounds), Starr (2 rebounds), Lash (4 points) and Parmley (2 rebounds). McKenney finished his four-year Panther career with nearly 950 points, in the same season in which teammate Brown surpassed the coveted 1,000-point mark.

Medomak Valley finished 13-of-41 (32 percent) from the floor, including 2-of-15 (13 percent) from beyond the three-point arc, and 7-of-10 (70 percent) from the free-throw line.

Medomak Valley’s Patrick McKenney. Photo by Mark Haskell

For Yarmouth, Psyhogeos (17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals), Walsh (15 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals), Waeldner (10 points, 4 assists, 3 steals), O’Meara (3 points, 2 assists), Snyder (2 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals) and Hamm (2 rebounds) were leaders.

The Clippers finished 14-of-34 (41 percent) from the floor, including 6-of-13 (46 percent) from three-point land, and 13-of-17 (76 percent) from the foul line.

Medomak Valley held an 16-14 edge in points in the paint, while Yarmouth led 18-6 in points from players off the bench.

Medomak Valley led for most of the first half, while Yarmouth took the edge late in the third quarter and never relinquished it.

Medomak Valley’s Blake Morrison. Photo by Mark Haskell

Early in the fourth, after McKenney’s free throw cut Medomak Valley’s deficit to 31-29, Walsh hit treys on back-to-back possessions — from the exact same spot on the floor — less than a minute apart as the Panthers suddenly trailed 37-29 with 6:19 to go.

All 15 of Walsh’s points came from beyond the arc.

“I thought we did well,” DePatsy said. “We did a great job on their two best players #3 (Waeldner) and #15 (Psyhogeos). We held them in check and we had 15 in foul trouble. Just the Walsh kid hit some threes. That’s their third scorer and he came through. We couldn’t get through the screens and we weren’t switching out. But he hit some deep ones.”

Snyder started the game with a hoop off a pick-and-roll for Yarmouth, but Medomak Valley responded quickly — and then some — scoring 12 of the game’s next 13 points.

Medomak Valley’s Blake Morrison, left, and Yarmouth’s Peter Psyhogeos. Photo by Mark Haskell

McKenney buried a turnaround jumper from close range before a jumper from the elbow from Craig and Brown’s transition jumper put the Panthers up 6-2.

After Psyhogeos’ free throw, the Panthers got back-to-back treys from Craig and McKenney and led 12-3 with 3:30 to go in the stanza.

The Wildcats battled back in the second and eventually tied the game 17-17 after a jumper by Psyhogeos, but Lash gave the Panthers the lead back with his lone field goal of the game with 1:20 to play.

Yarmouth took a 20-19 lead after a trey by Waeldner, but Craig buried a baseline jumper as time wound down as Medomak Valley took a one-point lead into the locker room.

Medomak Valley’s Jacob Craig, middle, as well as Yarmouth’s Quin O’Meara, left, and Peter Psyhogeos. Photo by Mark Haskell

The Panthers extended their lead to five points after back-to-back hoops by Brown to start the third quarter, but the Wildcats went on an 11-2 run to end the quarter, which included a trey by Walsh that knotted the score 27-27 with 2:40 to go.

A pair of Psyhogeos free throws with 2:01 to go in the third gave Yarmouth a 29-28 lead, and it was an advantage it would not relinquish.

After Walsh’s two treys put the Wildcats up eight points, an acrobatic McKenney layup and pair of Brown foul shots helped the Panthers claw within 37-33 with 4:37 to go.

However, O’Meara responded with a short jump hook from the baseline with 4:19 left.

The three-point play put Yarmouth ahead 40-33 and Medomak Valley got no closer as the Clippers took several minutes off the clock with time winding down.

DePatsy said his team “didn’t shoot the ball that well,” while Yarmouth’s “length and quickness was pretty good for a high school team” and, ultimately, wore the Panthers down.

“They really shut our scorers down,” the veteran coach said. “They had to do extra things just to get a look. They defend really well. But we played hard, did well and we were in it all the way [to the end].”

The Panthers were hampered by the absence of valuable starter Bickmore, a senior who injured is left left in the team’s previous playoff game.

“It’s too bad for him because he’s had such a great career and he’s put a lot of time in,” said DePatsy of Bickmore. “He’d been playing really well and he had three threes in the semifinal game before he got hurt. That hurt us definitely.”

Medomak Valley, which includes five seniors, seven juniors, one sophomore and one freshman, outscored Yarmouth 16-14 in the paint, had five second-chance points, six fast-break points and six bench points. Yarmouth, which includes seven seniors, four juniors and four sophomores, had three second-chance points, four fast-break points and 18 bench points.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.