Basketball

Oceanside brings 32-game winning streak to first state title game

Oceanside brings 32-game winning streak to first state title game

“The game against York scared us a bit,” Oceanside junior point guard Audrey Mackie said. “Fortunately, we have already been in difficult situations. Maybe not this year, but in the past. We know how to handle this, for the most part. Brianna Soukup/staff photographer

Friday night’s Class B women’s basketball state championship game will be a first for Oceanside High, so southern Maine basketball fans can be forgiven if the Mariners are an unknown entity.

Based in Rockland, the Mariners have passed each of the previous two Class B state tournaments, losing the prelims to Maine Central Institute in 2019 and Bangor’s John Bapst in 2020 (before being reclassified to the South).

They haven’t lost since.

Oceanside went 13-0 in last winter’s pandemic-shortened season against neighboring schools in Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties. This season, with the addition of 6-foot-2 all-around rookie Bailey Breen, the Mariners have weathered another spotless winter.

It wasn’t until the Class B South final that an opponent finished within 16 points of Oceanside. The second-seeded Mariners (19-0) held off a late charge from fifth-seeded York – who beat No. 1 Wells in the semis – to claim their first regional title, 56-49 .

Oceanside will face Northern champion Hermon (19-2) at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Hermon was the Class B runner-up at Wells in 2020.

“The game against York scared us a bit,” said junior point guard Audrey Mackie. “Fortunately, we have already been in difficult situations. Maybe not this year, but in the past. We know how to handle this, for the most part.

Preseason scrimmages with players like Class AA Bangor and Class A Greely gave the Mariners an indication of their potential. Greely coach Todd Flaherty, who is preparing Rangers to face Skowhegan for the Class A title on Saturday, said Oceanside “handled us pretty easily” and spread the word among his Class B coaching friends that they are aware.

“They felt like a champion team, even in pre-season,” Flaherty said.

Oceanside freshman Bailey Breen had 19 points, 20 rebounds and six assists in a win over York in the Class B South championship game at the Portland Expo on Saturday. Brianna Soukup/staff photographer

Flaherty said Mackie was particularly impressive, as was Breen. University of Maine coach Amy Vachon attended the scrimmage and the next day offered Breen a full athletic scholarship, according to Breen’s father and Mariners coach Matt Breen.

Mackie and Breen each scored 19 points in the regional final against York, and Breen added 20 rebounds and six assists. Mackie was named Outstanding Player of the Tournament.

“You can’t guard (Breen) with one person, or it’s very hard to do, so she has double coverage,” Flaherty said. “The Mackie girl demands almost the same. So you just don’t have enough girls for everyone. They are very difficult to face. »

The top five are senior Anna Kingsbury and juniors Abby Waterman and Emily Sykes. Waterman is the team’s best defender and a double-digit rebounder who benefits from the attention Breen gets. Sykes and Kingsbury are wingers capable of knocking down open shots and providing entry passes to Breen and Waterman.

“All five players on the field can score,” Bailey Breen said. “Our core group has been playing together since fifth and sixth year, and we’ve learned to play selflessly. If the double team comes, we know where to go. We just read the defense and don’t really care about who scores. As long as we’re playing good basketball and winning, that’s all that matters.

Matt Breen spent 15 years as a men’s basketball head coach, first in Rockland and then in Oceanside (a consolidation of Rockland and Georges Valley high schools). A 1,000-point scorer at Rockland as a player, he guided the Mariners to the Class A Boys State Finals in 2016, where they lost to Falmouth.

He took over the women’s program in 2019 but did not coach last winter due to a medical issue. Mackie and Waterman started for him as freshmen, and this winter Mackie moved from shooting guard to point after the graduation of Grace Woodman, who now plays for UMaine-Farmington.

“I thought we had the potential to do some special things,” said Matt Breen, who also had his team play at Class A schools in Mt. Ararat and Messalonskee during preseason. “I knew we had the parts. Once they started to fit together, things just clicked together.


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