One of the oldest sports adages is you do not necessarily have to be the best team, you just have to be peaking at the right time, namely, as the playoffs approach.

Whether the Mount View boys basketball team is the best team in Eastern Class B remains to be seen, but few would argue that the Mustangs are the hottest team in the region after Saturday night’s impressive 66-43 victory over host Rockland.

The Mustangs have won six of their last seven games, with the lone defeat coming at home on a buzzer-beating basket against Waterville last week.

Since then, the ‘Stangs pulled off a monumental 49-47 upset victory over previously undefeated Camden Hills Friday at Thorndike (see other online story), followed by Saturday night’s 23-point win over the Tigers, who were coming off a disappointing two-point home loss to Winslow the night before.

Saturday’s win momentarily catapulted Mount View (11-3, 75.6173 Heal Points) from third in the latest Eastern Class B Heal Points Standings, but Ellsworth’s 55-54 win over Hermon Saturday put the Eagles (11-2, 81.7901 Heal Points) back in the No. 2 spot. Camden Hills (13-1, 87.5000 points) still atop the 19-team region. Rockland (7-7, 34.5679 points) is ninth.

The Mount View girls also won in convincing fashion in a game played earlier in the day at Thorndike, racing past visiting Rockland 52-29. Both the Mustangs and Tigers had lost games the previous night before meeting Saturday afternoon.

Both Saturday contests were makeup games from the snowstorm that rocked the Midcoast earlier this week. The games originally were scheduled for Jan. 19 and then moved to Jan. 20, before ultimately being played Saturday.

Boys game

Mount View is playing with supreme confidence and was clicking on all cylinders against the Tigers, who are now in the midst of a four-game slide.

Mustang coach Steve Caron said that it is an honor to be coaching a team playing as well as his student-athletes are, particularly in the always difficult Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division.

“We executed well tonight,” said Caron. “The basketball we’re playing on both ends of the floor right now is very good. We’re excited regardless of where we finish [in the standings] to end the regular season heading into the tournament. We feel pretty confident.”

“They’re a good basketball team and they’ve played good basketball all year long,” said Rockland coach Matt Breen. “They played a nice game last night [against Camden Hills], but they’ve been playing solid basketball. They’ve got a lot of nice players on that team and they work hard. We’ve got to bounce back and try and get [a win] on Tuesday [against Medomak Valley].”

Saturday’s game was knotted 10-10 after the first quarter, while Mount View took a 31-18 lead at halfime and were ahead 47-31 after three quarters.

Tim Alton led the Mustangs with 20 points, while Michael Cochrane added 14; Dylan Keller, 13; Jason Hughes, 11; Zach Babin, five; Justin Hodgeman, two; and Bobby Porter, one.

Chris Nolan poured in a game-high 28 points to lead Rockland, while Dylan Meklin added 10; Aidan Hadley, three; and Derek Gustin, two.

Mount View shot 14-of-20 (70 percent) from the free-throw line, while the Tigers were 10-of-13 (77 percent).

The game’s turning point happened late in the second quarter. After Cochrane knocked down a jumper to put Mount View ahead by seven points, Tiger Luke Morrill was called for a foul on Hughes on Mount View’s next possession and was promptly whistled for a technical foul following the play. Hughes knocked down both free throws, followed by Babin netting both technical free throws, which extended what was a 25-18 Mustang lead to 29-18.

The Mustangs then held the ball for the final possession, which resulted in a layup from Cochrane to put Mount View in front 31-18 to end the half.

“It turned into a 13-point lead in a matter of 30 seconds,” said Breen. “There’s a big difference between going [into halftime] down five and going in down 13 and the way the kids came out feeling about themselves. We came out flat in the third quarter and they made us pay.”

Meklin scored the first points of the second half on a baseline jumper for Rockland, but Mount View rattled off seven straight points on two Cochrane free throws, a beautiful bounce pass from Keller to Hughes for a close-range hoop and an Alton 3-pointer, which extended the Mustang lead to 38-20.

Click for more photos from the Mount View at Rockland boys game.

Girls game

At Thorndike, the Mustangs did not have trouble corralling the winless Tigers, as the hosts jumped to a commanding lead in the first quarter and coasted to victory. Mount View led 24-4 after the first quarter, 30-10 at halftime and 43-20 after three quarters.

Mount View rebounded from Friday night’s 49-31 loss to host Camden Hills (see other online story).

The key to the Mustang offense Saturday was Hayleigh Kein, as she poured in 27 points to lead Mount View. The junior netted 15 points on seven field goals in the first quarter, including connecting on a 3-pointer. She had three treys in the game.

Also cracking into the scoring column for the ‘Stangs were Anna Piotti with six points; Chrissy Larrabee and Lauren Smith, each four; LeeAnne Larrabee and Channing Murphy, both three; Delainey Kein, two; and Amanda Larrabee, one.

For the Tigers, Macy MacArthur and Hannah Plourde each netted six points, while Allie Curtis, Leia Dennison and Hannah Sirois each added four; Brighde Curtin and Phoebe Ferraiolo, both two; and Emma Davis, one.

Rockland scored the majority of their hoops at the free-throw line Saturday, netting 21-of-36 foul shots (58 percent). Mount View was 7-of-25 (28 percent) from the charity stripe.

The Mustangs jumped to a big early lead, as the Tigers had a tough time breaking through the host’s pressing defense, which forced a handful of turnovers which Mount View converted into easy hoops. Rockland did not score a field goal until Ferraiolo netted a baseline jumper with 25 seconds remaining in the first half.

Mount View (6-8, 24.3210 points) currently is 11th in Eastern Class B, while Rockland (0-14, no points) is last in the 19-team region. Presque Isle (14-1, 84-1049 points) is the top-ranked team in Eastern Class B.

Click for more photos from the Rockland at Mount View girls game.

Friday Tiger games

The news was not any more favorable for the Tigers Friday night as the Rockland boys lost to visiting Winslow 53-51 and the host Black Raiders beat the Rockland girls 50-22.

A recap of those games includes:

Winslow boys 53, Rockland 51 … At Rockland, Justin Murray converted two free throws with six seconds to play to complete the Black Raiders’ comeback victory over the Tigers.

Mike McCann scored a game-high 19 points to pace Winslow, while Murray finished with 12 points and Jack Nivison 10. Morrill tossed in 15 points — on an eye-opening five 3-pointers — to lead Rockland, while Meklin tallied 14 and Nolan 12.

Also scoring for Rockland, which led 13-5, 33-25 and 43-42 at the first three quarter breaks, were Hadley with six points and Gustin four. Nolan made two 3-pointers.

Winslow girls 50, Rockland 22 … The Black Raiders dominated from start to finish, taking a 42-10 lead into the fourth quarter en route to the easy win. Jordyn Pomerleau and Elizabeth Ferry both finished with 10 points for Winslow, which scored 14 points in each of the first three quarters to cruise. Sirois and Curtis led Rockland with seven points apiece.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.