BANGOR — Winslow failed to reach the Bangor Auditorium last season, losing a prelim.
Saturday afternoon, Justin Murray made sure the Black Raiders would be back for another visit next week.
The junior guard scored 11 of his game-high 30 points during the last 3:07 of regulation, lifting No. 5 Winslow to a 64-58 Class B basketball quarterfinal victory over No. 4 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro.
Winslow (16-3) advances to Wednesday’s 8:35 p.m. semifinal against No. 1 Camden Hills (19-0), a 79-44 winner over No. 8 Caribou.
Murray went 13-for-14 from the foul line to help coach Scott Wood’s Black Raiders (16-3) win their eighth straight.
“I think I had some players on my team that refused to lose,” Wood said, referring to Murray and senior Mike McCann, who contributed 18 points, including the 1,000th of his career, and nine rebounds.
“He hit shots when we needed to hit shots,” Wood said of Murray, whose confident offensive play and tenacious defense sparked the Raiders.
Fourth-seeded Medomak Valley, which beat Winslow 47-40 in their only regular-season meeting, finished at 14-5.
Winslow prevailed in large part because of its ability to get to the foul line, from which it shot 22-for-29 and outscored the Panthers 22-11.
Winslow committed 17 turnovers, but outrebounded Medomak Valley 33-27.
Sophomore center John Murray led the Panthers with 26 points, on 10-for-16 shooting, and eight rebounds.
Isaac Durkee contributed 12 points and six rebounds for Medomak Valley, while Isaac Greenrose added eight points.
Winslow took the lead for good in the second quarter with MV’s Murray sitting with two fouls. With the game tied at 20, McCann opened a key run for Winslow with a free throw.
Justin Murray then drained two 3-pointers, the second off his own steal, and Jesse Audet followed with a low-post hoop off a Murray feed that gave Winslow a 29-20 lead with 2:43 to play in the half.
“We wanted to play these guys ever since they beat us in the regular season, so we just came out with a lo to energy,” Justin Murray said.
John Murray’s play led a fourth-quarter rally by the Panthers, who twice got within a point. The last came with 23 seconds left, when Durkee hit a 27-foot 3-pointer to make it 59-58.
However, two McCann free throws with 18.4 seconds left made it a two-possession game and the Raiders hit three of their last four.
In the second game, Camden Hills was a bit shorthanded, with two regulars unavailable. Since depth is a hallmark of coach Jeff Hart’s teams, the Windjammers were able to persevere.
The Windjammers applied their trademark full-court pressure, causing many of Caribou’s 28 turnovers on their way to victory. Camden Hills scored 32 points as a direct result of turnovers.
Camden Hills manufactured an 18-6 first-quarter lead, then held the scrappy Vikings (13-7) at arm’s length for the duration of the game.
“We were a little out of synch today,” said Hart, who was without juniors Andrew Flanagan (ankle) and Taylor Hall (illness).
“Those were two guys (sidelined) that kind of shortened up our bench a little bit and made us play more minutes,” he explained.
Senior forward Tyler McFarland, last year’s William C. Warner tourney MVP award winner, tossed in a game-high 29 points and snared nine rebounds to pace the Windjammers.
Joel Gabriele hit three 3-pointers on his way to 17 points, while Keegan Pieri contributed nine points and seven rebounds.
Coach Chris Casavant’s Vikings were OK in the half-court game, slowing down the ’Jammers with their deliberate offense and clogging up the middle with a 1-2-2 zone.
However, Caribou was unable to overcome the cumulative effects of Camden Hills’ relentless pressure.
“It is waves and waves,” Casavant said of the press. “You break it, you break it, then all of a sudden there’s two or three turnovers in a row.”
Matt Till scored 23 points to lead Caribou, while Stephen St. Peter posted 10 points and five rebounds. Roland Thibodeau grabbed seven boards.
“I am thoroughly impressed with how we played,” Casavant said.
“We just kept fighting and that’s just a coach’s dream,” he added.