WALDOBORO, Maine — If the upcoming Eastern Maine Class B boys basketball tournament is about surviving dramatic moments, no team may be better prepared than Medomak Valley.
Five nights after surviving a four-overtime thriller at Camden Hills of Rockport, the Panthers needed just one extra period Tuesday evening to outlast Oceanside of Rockland-Thomaston 60-58 in a battle of Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference powers played before a standing-room-only crowd.
Jonathan Hendrickson-Belloguet’s 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in overtime produced the winning points as Medomak Valley avenged a 71-65 overtime loss to the Mariners at Rockland on Dec. 21.
“We’ve experienced everything possible lately,” said Hendrickson-Belloguet, one of seven Medomak Valley players honored on Senior Night. “We’re just ready to get out there, try our hardest and do our best and come home having left everything out there on the court.”
The win improves the Panthers to 15-2 on the season and all but secures coach Nick DePatsy’s club a top-three finish and a preliminary-round bye in Eastern Maine Class B.
Oceanside which entered the game ranked No. 1 in Eastern B, falls to 13-4.
“To have two overtime games like this was really tough on us,” said Medomak Valley senior forward Ryan Ripley. “We were just getting back from the last one, we’ve had a tough week but we just kept pushing through. This team has the best chemistry I’ve ever been a part of in my life.”
Oceanside took a 58-57 lead on two free throws by Sam Meklin with 36.6 seconds left in the extra period.
Medomak Valley tried to work the ball inside to Ripley, but when Hendrickson-Belloguet found himself open just to the right of the key beyond the arc, the senior guard took his only 3-point shot of the night — and buried it.
“Actually I wasn’t even supposed to shoot it,” said Hendrickson-Belloguet. “We were looking to pound it inside because we were in the double bonus but Ryan wasn’t open and I was wide open
“They didn’t expect me to shoot but I got a sudden burst of confidence and put it up there and followed through. It felt right and went through, and there’s not a better feeling than a shot going through in the last minute like that.”
Oceanside had three shots to tie the game in the final seconds but was unsuccessful, with Ripley finally gathering in a defensive rebound as time expired.
Medomak Valley senior center John Murray had 18 points and 14 rebounds before he fouled out with 2:39 left in overtime. Ripley added 11 points and nine rebounds, while Hendrickson-Belloguet also scored 11.
Senior forward Shea Davenport led Oceanside with 14 points, while Meklin scored 13 and Isaiah Stone-Patterson and David Gould added 10 points each, with Stone-Patterson also contributing five assists and four steals.
Oceanside jumped out to an 8-2 lead and stretched that margin to 17-8 late in the first quarter.
But Murray and Hendrickson-Belloguet each scored before the end of the period to make it a five-point game, then the Panthers took control by scoring nine unanswered points with a small lineup on the court as the 6-foot-8-inch Murray and the 6-foot-5-inch Ripley sat with two fouls each.
A follow-up basket by Colton Spear and a steal and layup by Boone Olson capped off that run and gave Medomak Valley a 26-21 lead before Gould beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer to draw Oceanside within two points.
“We’re very deep in guards, and our coach subs us in and out to keep fresh legs on the court,” said Hendrickson-Belloguet. “We use our bigs to our advantage and we use our guards to our advantage and work well as a team.”
Medomak Valley stretched its lead back to 36-26 midway through the third quarter, but Oceanside crept within 38-33 by the end of the period.
Medomak Valley still led 46-39 after a drive through the lane by Micah Williamson with 2:56 left in regulation, but Stone-Patterson scored on a drive and Gould stole an inbounding pass and scored to draw Oceanside within 46-43 with 1:49 left.
After Hendrickson-Belloguet made two free throws, Davenport followed in his own miss, Meklin scored after a Davenport steal and Gould turned another steal into a layup to give Oceanside a 49-48 edge with 1:11 left.
Gould made 1 of 2 free throws around a Medomak Valley timeout with 25.9 seconds to play before Murray drove the lane to tie the game at 50-50 with 10 seconds left.
Gould’s 3-point attempt from the left wing bounced off the right side of the rim as time expired.
Oceanside built a 54-51 lead early in overtime as Stone-Patterson drove for a basket and then dished off to Meklin for another layup.
Murray soon fouled out, but Medomak Valley senior guard Brandon Soper tied the game with a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:18 left.
Gilson converted a layup to restore Oceanside to a 56-54 edge, but Ripley made 1 of 2 from the line and then hit a medium-range jumper to give Medomak Valley a 57-56 lead with 53 seconds left in the extra period.