There is nothing like an intense, back-and-forth, edge-of-your-seat, down-to-the-wire middle school basketball game to heighten the nervous system and get the competitive juices flowing on a seemingly quiet Saturday afternoon and that is exactly what Lincolnville and Woolwich central schools provided for a jam-packed, standing-room-only gymnasium.

In fact, no one in the building knew who would pull out a victory in a wild, heart-pumping girls hoop affair — that included an electric atmosphere — until the final buzzer sounded and the Lynx mobbed one another after keeping the pesky Wildcats at bay until the bitter end.

North Division champion Lincolnville (15-0) literally and figuratively outlasted South Division titlist Woolwich (12-2) 45-44 in the Busline League small school division championship game on their home court.

Both teams were the No. 1 seeds in their divisions.

Watch video and see more photos below.

The young student-athletes on both teams left every ounce of energy — and plenty of sweat and a few tears — on the court during the 32-minute court affair.

Lincolnville, led by head coach Jen Curtis and assistant coach Mike Johnson, includes Bailey Curtis, Kara Andrews, Roo Boetsch, Angel Haynes, Zoe O'Brien, Kathryn McNeil, Liliana Palise, Lucy O'Brien, Grace Moody, Chloe Day-Lynch, Layna Knight, Skye Ray, Tatum Freeman, Jaden Johnson and Maddie Shoudy.

Woolwich, guided by coach Shawn Elwell, includes Edie McKay, Mady Rittall, Lexi Hall, Michaela Pettersen, Hollis James, Gretchen Johnston, Haley Kirkpatrick, Emaleigh Moniz, Chaz Rutledge, Apple Smith, Lexy Melvin and Izzy Simmons.

The single-elimination playoffs began on Monday, Jan. 28 and concluded on "Championship Saturday" at Lincolnville Central School.

The small school division includes Hope Elementary School, Vinalhaven School, Lincolnville Central School, Searsport District Middle School, Drinkwater School of Northport, Islesboro Central School, North Haven Community School, Woolwich Central School, St. George Elementary School, Nobleboro Central School, Bristol Consolidated School, Jefferson Village School and Wiscasset Elementary School.

Click to see other photos and results.

Click to see other photos and results.

Click to see other photos and results.

Click to see other photos and results.

In the exhilarating championship game, the Lynx scored the first four points, but the Wildcats used a strong surge to push out to what appeared a comfortable 10-12-point lead. But Lincolnville would not be denied and clawed its way back and the game was close down the stretch.

In fact, it appeared anyone's game throughout the fourth quarter and not until the Lynx inbounded the ball and kept it away from Woolwich over the final seconds was the outcome determined.

Woolwich led 10-4 after one quarter before Lincolnville used a 16-11 second-quarter burst to pull within 21-20 at halftime. The Lynx continued its strong middle-quarters play with 15 more points in the third to take a 35-27 edge at the break.

However, Woolwich pressed the issue and outscored the Lynx 17-11 over the final eight minutes of the thrilling 32-minute affair to make things interesting — and nail-biting for fans for both teams.

The Lynx received stellar performances from many players, but none more clutch then by Bailey Curtis, who poured in 19 points, including 17 over the final three pivotal quarters.

Palise and Shoudy also came up with key efforts with eight and seven points, respectively, and Johnson was all over the court with her high-energy play as she added five points, while Zoe O'Brien added six and Andrews two.

The Lynx netted 5-of-14 free throws (36 percent), including clutch foul shots in the fourth by Bailey Curtis and Shoudy.

For Woolwich, Rutledge netted 19 points in a tremendous performance, while Kirkpatrick added 11 and Petterson eight. Rutledge and Petterson kept the Wildcats close down the stretch with strong fourth-quarter efforts.

Hall and McKay also scored two points for Woolwich, which made 12-of-28 foul shots (43 percent).

Nether team netted a three-point shot.

The final two minutes were as exciting as a game can get. With 1:57 left, Shoudy scored inside and converted the foul shot to complete the three-point play to give the Lynx a 41-40 lead. She came up clutch again when she converted a nifty pass from Johnson with 1:37 left to give Lincolnville a 43-40 cushion.

Woolwich continued to hang in, however, as Kirkpatrick scored with 1:26 remaining to make it 43-42.

The intensity continued as Bailey Curtis, as she had done all game, came up immense as the youngster coolly iced two free throws with 41.7 seconds left to make it 45-42, but, not to be outdone, Rutledge scored with 31.5 seconds left to bring Woolwich within 45-44.

After a timeout with 12.8 seconds left, Lincolnville inbounded the ball and maintained control until the final buzzer to end what was an amazing battle between hungry, talented, highly-competitive, equally-matched opponents.

The final regular-season standings included:

Girls North — Lincolnville 14-0, Vinalhaven 10-3, Hope 10-4, Appleton 9-5, Searsport 4-10, Islesboro 3-8, North Haven 2-10 and Drinkwater 1-13.

Girls South — Woolwich 10-1, St. George 11-1, Nobleboro 7-5, Bristol 4-7, Jefferson 2-10 and Wiscasset 0-10. No. 1 Woolwich and No. 2 St. George receive byes.

In the girls North quarterfinals, No. 4 Appleton defeated No. 5 Searsport 44-25 on Tuesday, Jan. 29, No. 6 Islesboro beat No. 3 Hope (score unavailable) on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and No. 2 Vinalhaven beat No. 7 North Haven 43-8 on Tuesday, Jan. 29. No. 1 Lincolnville defeated No. 8 Drinkwater School on Thursday, Jan. 31.

In the semifinals, No. 2 Vinalhaven defeated No. 6 Islesboro (score unavailable) Saturday, Feb. 2, while No. 1 Lincolnville defeated No. 4 Appleton 51-33 Monday, Feb. 4.

No. 1 Lincolnville defeated No. 2 Vinalhaven 48-15 on Wednesday, Feb. 6  in the North Division final.

In the girls South quarterfinals on Monday, Jan. 28, No. 3 Nobleboro defeated No. 6 Wiscasset, while No. 4 Bristol beat No. 5 Jefferson.

In the semifinals, No. 1 Woolwich defeated No. 4 Bristol, while No. 2 St. George beat No. 3 Nobleboro in games played on Friday, Feb. 1.

No. 1 Woolwich defeated No. 2 St. George 44-43 on Wednesday, Feb. 6 in the South Division final.

The following is a recap of reported playoff results:


No. 1 Lincolnville 48, No. 2 Vinalhaven 15

At Lincolnville Feb. 6, the Lynx had no trouble with the islanders and advanced to the Busline League title game. Lincolnville led 16-2, 22-4 and 36-11 at the quarter breaks.

Bailey Curtis dumped in 18 points to lead Lincolnville, while Jaden Johnson added 12; Roo Boetsch, eight; Kara Andrews, four; and Zoe O’Brien, Liliana Palise and Maddie Shoudy, two.

Aubri Hoose scored six points for Vinalhaven, while Adelle Wadsworth added four and Audrey Anthony and Maddie Miller two.

The Lynx were 2-of-11 (18 percent) from the foul line, while the islanders were 1-of-5 (20 percent)

No. 1 Woolwich 44, No. 2 St. George 43

At Woolwich Feb. 6, the Wildcats held on to edge out the Dragons en route to Saturday’s league final. The two squads were tied 12-12 after the first quarter, while Woolwich led 27-20 at halftime and 34-31 after three quarters.

Brennah Morris scored 13 points for St. George, while Mya Simmons and Brooke Hoppe added 10; Maggie Gill and Hannah Leavitt, four; and Gwen Miller, two.

Chasity Rutledge scored 16 points for Woolwich, while Haley Kirkpatrick added 13; Edie McKay, six; Michaela Pettersen, five; and Madysin Rittall, four. Rittall hit a buzzer-beating layup to win the game for Woolwich.

The Dragons were 10-of-18 (56 percent) from the foul line, while the Wildcats were 6-of-13 (46 percent).

No. 1 Lincolnville 51, No. 4 Appleton 33

At Lincolnville Feb. 4, the Lynx advanced to the North Division finals with a win over the Wildcats. Lincolnville led 16-4, 36-13 and 44-27 at the quarter breaks.

Jaden Johnson scored 18 points for Lincolnville, while Bailey Curtis added 16; Roa Boetsch, eight; Maddie Shoudy, six; Angel Haynes, three; and Sky Raye, two.

Maddie Pascal led Appleton with 15 points, while Brenna Odone added seven; Izzy Debrosky and Josie Pendleton, four; and Zoe Davis and Autumn Porter, two.

Appleton was 8-of-16 (50 percent) from the foul line, while Lincolnville was 3-of-6 (50 percent).

No. 2 St. George 41, No. 3 Nobleboro 32

At St. George Feb. 3, the Dragons defended their lair and moved onto the South Division finals. St. George led 19-9, 23-14 and 33-20 at the quarter breaks.

Brennah Morris scored 11 points for the Dragons, while Maggie Gill added 10; Mya Simmons, seven; Gwen Miller and Hannah Leavitt, four; Brooke Hoppe, three; and Ella Wirkala, two.

Ashley Campbell scored 16 points for the Lions, while Chantell Maskell added seven; Natalie Kaler, four; Maddy Scott, three; and Cheyenne Wadford, two.

St. George was 5 (17 percent)-of-30 from the foul line, while Nobleboro was 5-of-22 (23 percent).

No. 1 Lincolnville 55, No. 8 Drinkwater School 23

At Lincolnville Jan. 31, the Lynx emerged victorious over the visitors. Lincolnville led 26-1, 35-9 and 49-13 at the quarter breaks.

Bailey Andrews scored 14 points for the hosts, while Maddy Shoudy added 10; Too Boetsch and Jaden Johnson, six; Liliana Pease, Grace Moody and Layna Knight, four; Kara Andrews, Angel Haynes and Zoe O’Brien, two; and Kathryn McNeil, one.

Julie Darres scored 10 points for the visitors, while Lilly Hughes added four; Emelia Parker, three; and Trysdan Galvin, Cora Littlefield and Jaiden Philbrook, two.

The Lynx were 3-of-6 (50 percent) from the foul line, while Drinkwater School was 3-of-15 (20 percent).

No. 2 Vinalhaven 43, No. 7 North Haven 8

At Vinalhaven Jan. 29, the Vikings pounced on the Hawks quickly and advanced into the semifinal round. Vinalhaven led 15-2, 27-4 and 33-6 at the quarter breaks.

Aubri Hoose scored 13 points for the Vikings, while Maddie Miller added 11; Jordan Hoose, nine; Adelle Wadsworth, six; and Gracey Warren and Makayla Martin, two.

Hannah White scored six points for the Hawks, while Sophie Hansen added two.

The Vikings were 4-of-14 (29 percent) from the foul line, while the Hawks were 0-of-6.

No. 4 Appleton 44, No. 5 Searsport 25

At Appleton Jan. 29, the Wildcats surged past the Vikings and into the semifinal round. Appleton led 6-5 after the first quarter, while the two squads were tied 11-11 at halftime. Appleton led 26-16 after three quarters.

Brenna Odone scored 16 points for Appleton, while Maddie Pascal added 10; Izzy Debrosky and Cordelia Williams, six; Molly Craig, four; and Autumn Porter, two.

Emily Mello scored seven points for Searsport, while Ari Cross added six; Ana Long, five; Laura Warman, four; and Kenzie Tripp, three.

The Wildcats were 3-of-7 (43 percent) from the foul line, while the Vikings were 6-of-8 (75 percent).