The Medomak Valley boys basketball squad hopped on its school bus Tuesday to make the long trip to Waldo County prepared to give the host Mustangs a tough court battle. Once in Thorndike, the Panthers squared off against Mount View, which had only one win this season, but, on this night, the hosts had no problem giving the visitors plenty of resistance.

In the end, however, the Panthers traveled home with a 67-57 win.

Medomak Valley (4-3) took a 20-13 first-quarter lead and 42-28 edge at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, the Panthers led 55-41.

Mount View dropped to 1-6 on the season.

“It was one of those games; tight in the first half and [the officials] let us play in the second half and I thought the kids, mentally, did a really nice job with adjusting,” said Panther coach Nick DePatsy. “[Mount View] is a good team. They are going to win some games.”

John Murray keyed the Panthers with 19 points, followed by Isaac Durkee with 15; Isaac Greenrose, 10; Alex Greenrose, eight; Shane Osier, Ryan Ripley and Deering Genthner, all four; and Kyle Durkee, three.

For Mount View, Bobby Porter led the offensive effort with 15 points, while Erick Nealley and Colby Blanchard both added 13 points; Jalen Babin, Zach Mehuren and Ryan. St. Clair, five each; and Chris Montminy, one.

Medomak Valley made 15-of-24 free throws (63 percent), while Mount View was 13-of-22 (59 percent).

The Panthers played a strong first half and maintained offensive and defensive balance, scoring 20 points in the first quarter and 22 in the second.

While the Panthers kept a somewhat comfortable points gap most of the game, the ‘Stangs were on their tail ready to defend their home turf.

“In this league you just can’t take anybody lightly and you have got to be ready to play,” DePatsy said. “I mean, we got up 20 [points] and they came fighting back. They play hard. They are tough kids. They play hard and they don’t give up. That’s a credit to them and their coaches.”

According to Mustang coach Steve Caron, Tuesday’s loss was more due to mental breakdowns by his squad rather than physical ones. “We are beating ourselves because of the mental mistakes that we are making,” he said.

He said Mount View allowed 14 second-chance points, including 11 in the first half, which was one the game’s critical statistic. Caron said the ‘Stangs need to play a full 32 minutes and not just spurts during games.

“That’s our problem,” he said. “We don’t play 32 minutes of basketball, we’ll play increments of five [minutes].”

However, the coach said the Mustangs’ turnovers have decreased from earlier this season. Now he wants the players to work on boxing out opponents and securing valuable rebounds.

“It’s putting all the little fundamental things together at the same time and, until we do that, we are going to struggle,” Caron said.

On the Panther side, coach DePatsy said, with his young team, both consistency and confidence are key factors in court success. He noted his players need to be more consistent in their floor game, but will be fine if they continue to improve.

Increasing overall confidence would not hurt either, he said. “If they can remain confident and have a little swagger in their walk, or whatever, drink some Kool-Aid, they will be fine,” DePatsy said.

Medomak Valley (4-3, 6.4815 points) is ninth in the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, while Mount View (1-6, 2.1605 points) is 15th in the 19-team region.

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.