The Searsport girls basketball team has experienced a stellar turnaround to its program this season as the Vikings have clinched the third spot in the Western Class D playoffs, slated to begin next week.

The Vikings (14-4) also clinched a berth in the Penobscot Valley Conference Class D championship game and met Schenck of East Millinocket (15-3) on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Penobscot Valley High School.

Searsport, which did not play Schenck during the regular season, was competitive through the first quarter, but the Wolverines went on a strong run in the second stanza to surge to a 66-28 win, to claim the league crown.

After keeping its deficit to single digits in the first quarter, Searsport fell behind 38-15 at halftime as the Wolverines continued to pounce on the Vikings.

Viking coach Mel Grant said he was not discouraged by his team's performance.

“We used the game as mostly a scrimmage with our sights set directly on the upcoming [regional] tournament,” he said. “I gave the option to the girls to not play in the game if they didn't want to. The game had no barring on our season and with the injuries we have and have had in the past several girls decided not to play.”

Additional statistical information from Saturday's game was unavailable.

“We simply wanted to get through this game without losing anybody to injury.” said Grant. “Thankfully we did. Now we have a week to prepare for our game against Richmond.”

Searsport did not have Briana Grant, coach Grant's daughter, or guard Kaitlyn Shute last season as both players missed the entire campaign due to injuries.

The No. 3 Vikings will square off against No. 6 Richmond on Monday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. in a regional quarterfinal playoff game at the Augusta Civic Center. The Vikings and Bobcats do not play each other during the regular season.

The Vikings, third in Western Class D, and Wolverines, first in Eastern Class D, could meet again in the state Class D finals if both squads win their respective regional championships.