For sheer tournament drama, nobody can beat the Caribou Vikings.
Coach Kyle Corrigan’s club proved it again Friday night, as Sawyer Deprey scored off an alley-oop pass from older brother Parker Deprey as time expired in double overtime to lift Caribou to a 73-71 victory over Maranacook of Readfield at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Caribou, which won its second straight gold ball, capped a 21-1 season with its eighth consecutive postseason victory and 37th win overall in its last 38 games.
Both gold balls — coming after a 50-year state championship drought since Mike Thurston’s half-court shot lifted the Vikings to the 1969 state crown — were secured in double overtime.
“There were so many expectations this year,” said Parker Deprey, a senior forward who had led Caribou to a 49-47 double-overtime victory over Cape Elizabeth in the 2019 state final. “In the first quarterfinal game this year we had people coming up to us and telling us they already had booked their hotel room for the state game.
“That’s nerve-wracking, but to be able to do this is incredible.”
Maranacook, which had won 15 straight, ends its season at 19-3.
“That’s the best team I’ve played in my four years,” Parker Deprey said of the Black Bears. “They were incredible. They didn’t have a single weakness, everybody on their team was good and they threw every type of defense at us.”
Caribou trailed 70-67 after two free throws by Maranacook star Cash McClure with 1:07 left in the second overtime.
Junior forward Sawyer Deprey made 1 of 2 from the free-throw line with 36 seconds remaining, then Parker Deprey came up with the defensive play of the night, blocking a shot at one end, grabbing the rebound and then racing down the court for a conventional three-point play to give the Vikings a 71-70 lead with 17.8 seconds left.
Maranacook worked the clock down until McClure was fouled with 5.9 seconds left. The junior guard made the first of his two free throws — making him 7 of 7 for the game — but missed the second.
Sawyer Deprey grabbed the rebound and Caribou called time with the game tied and 4.6 seconds left.
Jake Berkoski inbounded the ball to Parker Deprey along the right wing near midcourt, and Deprey dribbled toward the rim, drew the lone defender toward him and lofted a chest-high pass to his younger brother.
With time running down, Sawyer Deprey one-timed the ball off the glass and into the basket with 1.2 seconds left.
Maranacook did not have any timeouts left, and time expired.
“As soon as Parker got by his man I knew the ball was coming to me because he’s a smart player and knew the help defense was going to be there,” Sawyer Deprey said. “I would have come down with it but I wasn’t 100 percent sure how much time was left and I wanted to get the shot off.
“I actually kind of practice those shots, but not in a double-overtime game.”
For Parker Deprey, a high school career during which he scored more than 1,300 points concluded with one giant assist.
“Never with that play did we ever talk about an alley-oop,” Caribou coach Kyle Corrigan said. “Parker had a chance to win a state championship by himself with a game-winner. He easily could have taken that shot, but he’s the most unselfish kid, too. He just wants to win games. He doesn’t care how.”
Sawyer Deprey finished with 22 points while Parker Deprey posted 15 points and nine rebounds and senior point guard Alex Bouchard scored 12 points for Caribou.
McClure led Maranacook with a game-high 33 points, 26 during the second half and two overtimes. He shot 6 of 11 from 3-point land, including 5 of 8 during the second half to rally the Black Bears from a 32-21 halftime deficit.
“Cash was hitting everything,” Bouchard said. “He’s real good player, but we just had to keep fighting back. We knew from last year that it just takes 100 percent effort from everybody so we just kept digging and clawing.”
McClure scored eight third-quarter points as Maranacook cut the deficit to 47-44 entering the final period.
Caribou moved back out to a 54-46 lead after a post-up move and a three-point drive by Sawyer Deprey and Ethan Holdsworth’s layup with 3:51 remaining. The margin was still 60-53 on a Bouchard layup with 1:11 to go.
But McClure and Co. weren’t done. McClure first hit two free throws and then buried a deep 3-pointer to make it a two-point game with 21.9 seconds left.
Maranacook then forced a turnover, and Tim Worster’s two free throws with 15.4 seconds left sent the game into overtime.
Caribou took a 65-63 lead on Jake Berkoski’s third 3-pointer of the game in the first extra session, but a baseline move by Worster (12 points) with 35 seconds left sent the game into a second four-minute period.
The Vikings needed all four of those minutes to prevail, but when the Deprey brothers delivered their game-winning play, this time the Caribou fans knew how to celebrate.
Their wait between state championships wasn’t nearly as long this time.
“This is all a blur,” Corrigan said. “I’m going to go to bed tonight and not remember any of this, and then wake up in the morning and see a gold ball in my room.”