ROCKPORT — You might call it just another night in the wild and wacky Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B boys basketball world this winter.
But this was just a little wilder and a little wackier, not to mention the longest game to date as Medomak Valley of Waldoboro outlasted Camden Hills 95-91 on Thursday evening in a four-overtime thriller that featured everything from buzzer-beaters to free-throw shooting exhibitions, to ultimately a battle of survival.
“I just kept thinking that this is my senior year and I’ve worked hard to get to this point,” said Medomak Valley senior forward Ryan Ripley, who scored seven of his 28 points during the final overtime. “I got tired in the first overtime, but I knew we had to keep pushing.”
Medomak Valley, which entered the night ranked fifth in Eastern Maine Class B, is now 13-2 after its second narrow win of the season over its Midcoast rival. The seventh-ranked Windjammers fell to 10-5 but remain part of of a seven- or eight-team scramble for the three preliminary-round byes that go to the top teams in the division come tournament time.
Camden Hills took an 88-87 lead early in the fourth overtime when Connor Hart made 1 of 2 from the line, but Ripley tied the game with a free throw before senior guard Boone Olson gave Medomak Valley the lead for good by scoring on a drive through the lane — his only field-goal attempt of the night — with 1:31 left in the period.
Ripley followed with a layup to make it 92-88, but while a 3-pointer by Camden Hills’ Joseph Chamberlain made it a one-point game with 12.2 seconds left, Ripley made two more free throws and teammate Micah Williamson forced a Camden Hills turnover at the other end, leading to a free throw by Brandon Soper that gave the Panthers a two-possession lead with 4.5 seconds left.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” said Medomak Valley coach Nick DePatsy. “The kids were getting tired and I was getting tired. I just tried to keep everything as simple as possible at the end.”
Ripley also grabbed 14 rebounds for Medomak Valley, while frontcourt mate John Murray had 34 points — including a 14-of-17 effort from the free-throw line — and 16 rebounds before fouling out during the third overtime as the Panthers were able to dominate the game from inside the lane and on the offensive backboards during several stages of the contest.
“We felt pretty confident in our inside game,” said Ripley. “John had a spectacular night, it’s just too bad he wasn’t around at the end.”
Williamson, a sophomore guard, added 12 points and six assists for Medomak Valley.
Hart, a senior guard, led Camden Hills with 34 points, making 18 of his 24 free-throw attempts. Junior forward Colin Morse added 22 points and seven rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter, while junior forward Chandler Crans added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Windjammers.