Friday night’s high school girls basketball regular-season opener at Camden Hills Regional High School will be one coach Marty Messer, along with all those who played and were in attendance, will remember for a long time.

In a game that featured two of the Midcoast’s top female student-athletes squaring off, two coaches debuting with their new teams and 40 minutes of non-stop hoop action, the host Windjammers and visiting Mount View of Thorndike put on an offensive clinic for fans in a classic Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B season-opening battle.

In the end, the Windjammers, who did not lead for the entire second half, finally pulled ahead and held of a late Mustang rally for a thrilling 80-78 double-overtime victory.

It could not have been a more exciting way to open the 2010-11 Midcoast high school girls hoop campaign.

“This was a great team effort,” said Messer. “I played all 11 players and they all contributed something.”

Messer said he was pleased with the team’s physical conditioning, which played a key role in the Windjammers being able to outlast the Mustangs down the stretch.

“I think we played pretty well,” said Mount View coach Erica Gabbianelli. “We did a lot of things right for our first game and we’ve got a lot of girls out with injuries. I think we came together as a team tonight, but we had some mental mistakes that I think we need to work on.”

The Mustangs were without starting center and impact player Lauren Smith Friday.

Messer and Gabbianelli both coached in their first varsity basketball games Friday night.

Friday’s game was one that appeared the visitors had won several times but the hosts simply refused to lose.

With the Windjammers (1-0) trailing 60-58 with 4.4 seconds remaining in regulation, senior Maci Heal converted a pair of free throws — the first of which rattled off the backboard — to send the game to its first overtime. Heal again found herself at the line near the conclusion of the first overtime, hitting 1-of-2 from the charity stripe as the ‘Jammers trailed 69-68 with roughly 15 seconds left.

The Mustangs (0-1) brought the ball up the floor and got the ball into the hands of Cheyenne Dyer, who was fouled with five seconds remaining. Dyer hit 1-of-2 from the line to put the visitors up by two points, but Windjammer freshman Melanie Vangel ran the length of the floor and put up a floater amidst three defenders as time expired to tie the game 70-70 and force the second overtime.

Mount View’s Hayleigh Kein and Camden Hills’ Jordan Knowlton both were sensational in Friday’s game, each taking control of the game at times and with neither defense having an answer for either player all night. While the Windjammers won the war, the Mustang senior won the battle between the two stars as Kein poured in 44 points in the tough-luck loss to Knowlton’s 38-point effort.

“She’s a big gamer,” said Messer of Knowlton. “We always want to get the ball to Jordan and at that point you could see she wanted it. She made some tough baskets right on the baseline and every time she made a basket she fired us up. She’s our leader, and she showed it [tonight].”

Gabbianelli echoed those same sentiments about the Mustangs’ top scorer.

“It’s pretty incredible,” she said. “She’s a workhorse and she does whatever it takes to get the job done. I can’t say enough about what kind of girl she is on and off the court. She’s a player, and she definitely helped our team tonight.”

Knowlton fouled out of the game with 1:34 remaining in the first overtime for Camden Hills, while Delainey Kein, Anna Piotti, Channing Murphy and Chrissy Larrabee all fouled out of Friday’s contest for Mount View between the waning seconds of the fourth quarter and the end of the second overtime.

“Four of our five starters fouled out and when you have injuries, it makes your bench pretty short,” said Gabianelli. “But we had some girls come in. We had Alexis Morse come in and get some big rebounds for us near the end, and I just can’t say enough about some of the defense that they played near the end.”

The Windjammers trailed 60-50 with 1:26 remaining in regulation when Knowlton turned three Mount View turnovers into eight quick points and landed on a loose ball with time winding down and flung the ball across half court to a streaking Heal to set up Heal’s clutch free throws.

Vangel finished with 13 points for Camden Hills, while Heal added 10; Emma Young, six; Marina French, four; Addie Drinkwater and Cailand Sweeting, both three; Caroline Matteo, two; and Megan Legage, one.

For Mount View, Chrissy Larrabee netted 14 points, while Piotti added nine; Delainey Kein and Murphy, both four; and Morse, two.

The Windjammers made 22-of-46 free throws (48 percent), while the Mustangs were 17-of-37 (46 percent) from the charity stripe.

Mount View and Camden Hills were knotted 11-11 after the first quarter, while the ‘Stangs nabbed a 35-27 edge at intermission and a 45-38 advantage after three quarters. The Windjammers tied the game 60-60 at the end of regulation and 70-70 at the end of the first overtime.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at