WALDOBORO — Game after game, Oceanside has proven it can score the basketball from inside, outside, in transition and from its set offense. Point after point after point.

On Saturday night, Jan. 21 against Midcoast high school athletic rival and host Medomak Valley, the Mariners demonstrated something perhaps more important to a potential state championship run: namely, when motivated, they can play effective, game-changing defense.

Medomak Valley’s Jaiden Starr, left, and Oceanside’s Zeb Foster. Photo by Ken Waltz

In the highly-anticipated second meeting of the 2022-23 regular campaign between the Mariners and Panthers, both of whom are ranked among the top three in Class B South, the Mariners grabbed the momentum — and control — in the first half en route to a 65-46 win.

Oceanside used sturdy, unrelenting defense to lead 16-5 after one quarter and 32-12 at halftime. The Mariners continued to shoot well from the perimeter in transition in the third stanza to take a 55-25 advantage. The Panthers put a dent in their deficit in the final eight minutes, but it was too little too late.

Oceanside’s Alex Bartlett, left, and Medomak Valley’s Kevin Sincyr. Photo by Ken Waltz

The game was played in a jam-packed festive, spirited and energetic gymnasium — along with plenty of color thanks to pink hats, glasses, scarves and all manner of unique attire — for the sixth annual “Paws for the Cause” event to benefit Maine Breast Cancer Charities.

At this point in the 2022-23 campaign, which heads down the home stretch, Oceanside (11-1) is second in Class B South behind Spruce Mountain of Jay (8-1) in the 15-team region. Medomak Valley (10-3) is third. The Mariners also beat the Panthers 64-59 at home to start the season.

Oceanside’s Cohen Galley. Photo by Ken Waltz

Thus far, the Mariners have outscored opponents 942-672 (78.5 to 56 game average), while the Panthers have scored 812 points, or 62.5 average. Saturday’s 46 points were lowest output of the season for Medomak Valley.

For the Mariners, Carter Galley tossed in 22 points; Alex Collins, 14; Cohen Galley and Alex Bartlett, nine; Zach Woodman and Zeb Foster, three; and Jackson Kay and Ben Tripp, two. Oceanside made 15-of-19 free throws (79 percent) and six three-pointers — four from Carter Galley and one from Foster and Cohen Galley.

Additionally, Carter Galley had four rebounds and three steals; Collins, 12 rebounds; Cohen Galley, five rebounds and two assists; Bartlett, nine rebounds; and Foster, two assists.

Medomak Valley’s Gabe Lash, front, among others. Photo Ken Waltz

For Medomak Valley, Gabe Lash tallied 15 poins; Kevin Sincyr, 11; Kristian Schumann and Kory Donlin, five; Tucker Holgerson, three; Jaiden Starr, three; and Finn Parmley, Carrick Lalley and Luke Cheesman, two. The Panthers netted 10-of-15 foul shots (67 percent) and got three-pointers from Sincyr (2), Donlin and Lash.

Additionally, Parmley had three blocked shots, Starr four steals, Donlin two steals and Lash five steals.

Oceanside set the tone — and took control — when it outscored Medomak Valley 16-5 over the first eight minutes. Collins netted six points, Bartlett four and twin brothers Cohen and Carter Galley three to get the visitors off to a quick start.

Medomak Valley’s Vishel Mellor, left, and Luke Cheesman. Photo by Ken Waltz

Beyond the importance of the game, from Heal Points to playoff seeding to Midcoast bragging rights, the larger picture on this night was so much more than another typical high school athletic contest.

Between the third and fourth quarters of the court clash, the fun and games, as well as excitement and roar of the crowd, stopped and reality struck home for those in attendance, even the teenage student-athletes and their coaches.

As the vibrant color of pink shone through from all corners of the gym, fans, officials, players and coaches stood and held pieces of paper with the names of loved ones lost or affected by cancer.

There was a moment of silence to honor, support and remember those people.

Medomak Valley’s Gabe Lash, middle, as well as Oceanside’s Zeb Foster, left, Ben Tripp, middle, and Alex Bartlett. Photo by Ken Waltz

It was about remembrance, honor, tribute and coming together for a common, if not often positive or joyous, cause.

The games to benefit Maine Breast Cancer Charities are the concept of John and Gayle Murphy. Gayle is a breast cancer survivor and past president of the Medomak Valley All-Sports Boosters. The Murphys were on hand Saturday and, along with hundreds of others, stood and held signs during the moment of silence.

The event was one of two “pink out” games scheduled at MVHS this season, as the other was on Wednesday, Jan. 18 when the Panther girls hosted Maranacook of Readfield.

Money raised on Jan. 18 at the girls game and on Jan. 21 at the boys game will go to the Maine Cancer Society for research, awareness and to aid those affected by cancer.

The MVHS athletic department, in conjunction with the Medomak Valley All-Sports Boosters, hosts the “pink out” basketball events.

For the special games, the Panthers wore unique pink uniforms. Additionally, commemorative T-shirts were available for students and fans to purchase.

In addition to T-shirt sales, other fundraising took place prior to, and during, the games, as well as an opportunity to add a personalized pink paw to the wall for a $1 donation. The games 50/50 drawings and proceeds went to the Maine Breast Cancer Charities in the Midcoast.

“We’re excited to build upon the overwhelming success of our five previous events,” said Bonnie Moody, current president of the Medomak Valley All-Sports Boosters. “We’ve raised $26,500 for Maine Breast Cancer Charities over the past five years and hope to continue to build upon that this year.”