Perhaps one positive from a year-long pandemic that has provided plenty of uncertainty and frustration for high schools and their student-athletes is the fact regional play has rekindled a few forgotten county rivalries.

One in particular that has been fun to watch is Searsport and Belfast, neighbors separated by about seven miles off Rt. 1, and by class distinction — the Vikings are in Class C and Lions Class B.

However, when the girls basketball teams have met on the court this season it has proven competitive and plenty of fun.

That again was the case on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 13 as the host Lions slowly pulled away in the fourth quarter and held off the Vikings 42-36.

Watch video and see nearly 50 photos below.

Click to watch livestream of game.

It was the second game of the pandemic-altered and -shortened 2020-21 campaign between the Waldo County neighbors as earlier the Lions beat the host Vikings 52-38.

At this point, the Lions are 4-5 and Vikings 3-4 on the campaign.

Additionally, the 1,000-point watch continues for SDHS senior Makenzie Alley, who entered Saturday’s game 101 points shy of that coveted mark. She tallied 20 points to again key the visitors and sits at 917 for her stellar four-year career — 81 points away from the magical number.

On Saturday, Searsport led 14-11 and 24-22 at the first two quarter breaks, before Belfast grabbed a 31-27 advantage after three.

The Lions were led by Lillie Mitchell with 14 points, including two 3-pointers, while Hailee Lindelof added eight points; Halle Tripp, seven; Madison Farris, six; Jaiden Philbrook, five; and Emma Waldron, two.

The hosts netted 6-of-10 foul shots (60 percent). Tripp and Philbrook also connected on trifectas. Additionally, Philbrook and Mitchell hauled in seven rebounds and Lindelof four. Waldron finished with three rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

For the Vikings, Alley tallied 19 points, including eight in the first quarter, three in the middle stanzas and five in the fourth. She also netted 6-of-10 free throws and a 3-pointer. Kyla Perkins also scored 10 points, including making two treys, Abby Astbury five as she made 5-of-6 foul shots and Sarah Gent two. Searsport netted 11-of-16 foul shots (69 percent).

The contest was tied 27-27 at the midway point of the third quarter as both teams played hard-nosed, aggressive defense and looked to create transition hoops. A jumper by Lindelof and two free throws from Philbrook gave Belfast a 31-27 advantage at the break.

The Lions continued their offensive spurt as Mitchell connected on a sideline trey with 7:31 left in the fourth stanza to give the hosts a 34-27 advantage.

But the Vikings held tight. Hoops by Gent and Alley, along with two foul shots from Alley, halted the Belfast push to close the Vikings' deficit to 34-33. Farris and Lindelof got Belfast back on track with baskets to give the hosts a 38-33 edge. Then Mitchell converted a fast-break hoop with 4:08 left to make it 40-33 and forced a Viking timeout.

Belfast increased its defensive intensity at that point and Searsport’s comeback bid was thwarted.