BELFAST — The pandemic stole the 2020-21 season from Busline League basketball teams, so middle school court student-athletes made up for lost time with four sensational, nail-biting, down-to-the-wire large school championships games on Saturday, Feb. 12 at Troy Howard Middle School.

When the final horns on the scoreboards sounded, Great Salt Bay of Damariscotta (girls) and Medomak Middle School of Waldoboro (boys) had captured eighth-grade titles, while Troy Howard (girls) and Medomak (boys) nailed down seventh-grade crowns.

Troy Howard’s Jaedyn Brady. Photo by Ken Waltz

In the eighth-grade games, No. 2 GSB edged No. 1 Oceanside of Thomaston 58-52 in overtime for girls and No. 2 Medomak beat No. 1 Oceanside 63-53 for boys, while in the seventh-grade games, No. 1 Medomak beat No. 2 Oceanside 33-32 for boys and No. 2 Troy Howard edged No. 1 Medomak 28-26 for girls.

The following are the names of players and coaches for each team in the finals:

Oceanside eighth-seventh-grade girls — Addie Poland, Megan Ortega, Grace Mackie, Reese Drinkwater, Lanie Fales, Abby Reid, Abbie Stackpole, Harmony Withee, Becca Spearing, Kloey Deabler. Charlotte Quinn, Bailey Hanson, Addie Porter and Maddy Knowlton. The co-coaches are Daniel McNichol and Kelly Mackie and assistant coach Nicole Quinn. The Mariners had separate seventh- and eighth-grade teams this winter, but had to combine the squads at one point.

Great Salt Bay eighth-seventh-grade girls — Maggie Thompson, Tallulah Marks, Lexie Houghton, Olivia Ball, Lilly Pinkham, Amelia Starbird, Bailey Brewer, Natalie Hanna and Emmaline Day. The coach is Nicole Ball.

Medomak eighth-grade boys — Konner Scofield, Jason Pickett, Luke Cheesman, L.J. Holub, Dima Cheesman, Jayden Drost, Levi Simmons, Seth Sawyer, Wyatt Simmons, Logan Vigue, Mason Nguyen, Josh Blake, Aidyn Herring and Owen Dostie. The coach is Cameron Martin.

Oceanside eighth-grade boys  — Jackson Kay, Connor Kingsbury, Matthew Bodman, Maddox McMahan, Ryan Pyznarski, Kaleb Pietroski, Corey Brockman, Noah Clayton, Brady Phillips, Henry McAlister, Peter Monroe, Dylan Chiaramonti and Adrian Small. The head coach is Dan Kingsbury and assistant coach Matt Kay.

Medomak seventh-grade girls — Lilly Hills, Olivia McMurrin, Paige Gerlack, Kehli Maxcy, Sidney Nicholls, Rachel Barbour, Cadence Overlock, Molly Emerson, Ari Kennard, Ivy McCollett, Hope Knight, Grace Havener, Ariel Castner and Brooke McNelly. The coach is Andrea Williamson and managers Alice Turner, Ana Cabot and Ivy Lee.

Troy Howard seventh-grade girls  — Hope Reynolds, Kloe Luce, Teagan Harvey, Ariel Duval, Haylee Roy, Jaedyn Brady, Alison Markham, Jordin Wight, Amarah Thornley, Emma Tripp, Jasmine Leach and Autumn Reed-Hall. The coach is Wendy Reed.

Medomak seventh-grade boys — Zach Curtis, Joe Wilcox, Landon Lewis, Landon Morrison, Brayden Nadeau, Wyatt Hood, Grady Curtis, Kollin Donlin, Landon Starr, Gavin Taggart, Clark Elwell, Liam Ruffner, Andrew Flanders, Noah Taggart and Liam Feeley. The coach is Ryan Rice and manager Adrian Tarr.

Oceanside seventh-grade boys — Alonzo Hoose, Maddox Lowell, Levi Murphy, Cody Dodge, Carter Elliott, Tucker Adams, Jameson Fournier, Keegan Simms, Grady Geretz, Nicholas Tripp, Josh Bagnall, Landon Weaver, Sebastian Olson, Easton Willis and John Bell. The head coach is Brad Galley and assistant coach Dan Jacques.

Eighth-grade girls

Great Salt Bay 58, Oceanside 52 (OT)

The Cougars stayed the course despite an early deficit to stay within striking distance to pull out the overtime victory. GSB trailed 10-4 and 22-19 after the first two quarters, but led 37-33 after three quarters. The game was tied 50-50 after 32 minutes. The Cougars outscored the Mariners 8-2 in the extra four minutes of play.

Oceanside’s Kloey Deabler (44) and Lanie Fales, along with Great Salt Bay’s Lilly Pinkham (4), Maggie Thompson, left, and Tallulah Marks. Photo by Ken Waltz

For GSB, Thompson netted 23 points; Marks, 14; Ball, seven; Houghton, six; Starbird, four; and Pinkham, two. The team made 7-of-21 free throws (33 percent) and Houghton had the lone three-pointer.

Oceanside’s Abbie Stackpole, front, and Great Salt Bay’s Lilly Pinkham. Photo by Ken Waltz

For the Mariners, Deabler tallied 19 points; Stackpole, 16; Mackie, nine; Poland, four; Hanson, two; Spearing and Drinkwater, one. The squad netted 9-of-15 foul shots (60 percent) and Stackpole had two triples.

Eighth-grade boys

Medomak 63, Oceanside 53

In one of the most dramatic comebacks of the middle school hoop season, the Riverhawks fell behind 20-2 early in the second quarter and clawed back, as MMS outscored the Mariners 61-33 the rest of the way for the victory.

Medomak coach Cameron Martin, right, and Mason Nguyen. Photo by Ken Waltz

Oceanside led 18-2 after the first quarter and 28-23 at halftime, before the Riverhawks led 46-42 after three stanzas.

Cheesman and Herring tallied 15 points; Blake, 12; Nguyen, seven; Dostie, six; Drost, three; Wyatt Simmons and Vigue, two; and Sawyer, one. The Riverhawks made 10-of-36 free throws (28 percent) and Dostie had two three-pointers and Cheesman, Drost and Herring one.

Oceanside’s Maddox McMahan, left, and Adrian Small, right, along with Medomak’s Wyatt Simmons. Photo by Ken Waltz

For Oceanside, Connor Kingsbury turned in an incredible 28-point performance as he netted seven three-pointers. In fact, his second-half perimeter shooting kept the Mariners in the game. McMahan and Kay added eight points; Pyznarski, six; and Clayton and Bodman, two. Pyznarski also drilled two trifectas. The Mariners made 7-of-14 foul shots (50 percent).

Seventh-grade girls

Troy Howard 28, Medomak 26

It took awhile for the teams to get in the flow after a couple of weeks without official games, but the Lions and Riverhawks finally found their groove and battled to the wire.

Medomak’s Molly Emerson, left, and Troy Howard’s Amarah Thornley (30), among others. Photo by Ken Waltz

THMS led 7-2 after one quarter, before the Riverhawks doubled up the Lions 16-8 in the second to grab an 18-15 halftime edge. However, the ‘Hawks scored only one point in the third eight-minute quarter to trail 21-19 after three stanzas.

Tripp finished with 13 points to lead the Lions, while Brady added eight; Reynolds, Harvey and Thornley, two; and Luce, one.

Medomak’s Rachel Barbour, left, and Troy Hoard’s Kloe Luce. Photo by Ken Waltz

For the Riverhawks, Gerlack tallied 12 points; McNelly and Havener, four; and Mills, McMurrin and Barbour, two.

Seventh-grade boys

Medomak 33, Oceanside 32

The Riverhawks grabbed the early momentum before the Mariners battle back. MMS then held on for the thrilling, one-point victory. Medomak led 8-5, 17-14 and 27-26 at the quarter breaks.

For the Riverhawks, Elwell tallied 12 points; Morrison, eight; Donlin and Starr, four; Wilcox, three, and Noah Taggart, two. MMS finished 5-of-22 (23 percent) from the foul line.

Oceanside’s Alonzo Hoose, left, and Medomak’s Landon Starr. Photo by Ken Waltz

For Oceanside, Tripp tallied eight points; Hoose, seven; Geretz, six; Weaver and Olson, four; and Murphy, three. The Mariners made 6-of-11 free throws (55 percent) and Hoose, Geretz and Tripp netted three-pointers.

Oceanside’s Nicholas Tripp. Photo by Ken Waltz

Background info

Large and small school teams engaged in competition against one another this season, whereas in typical years, play has been within similar divisions and school class groups.

This change was brought on as teams struggled to play originally-scheduled games due to being rescheduled or canceled, largely due to COVID-19 protocols.

Oceanside’s Grace Mackie, front, and Great Salt Bay’s Maggie Thompson. Photo by Ken Waltz

Some teams opted out of postseason play, while others, such as Vinalhaven and Boothbay, opted out during the regular season due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

The small school division championships will be on Monday, Feb. 14 at Troy Howard.

The boys final standings included: Medomak 7th 8-0, Hope 8-0, Medomak 8th 6-1, Oceanside 8th 8-1, Searsport 5-1, Oceanside 7th 5-1, Camden-Rockport 8th 8-3, South Bristol 8-3, Woolwich 6-3, Lincolnville 5-4, Boothbay 4-4, Great Salt Bay 8th 5-5, Camden-Rockport 7th 3-6, Bristol 3-6, St. George 3-4, Nobleboro 2-6, Troy Howard 8th 1-7, Troy Howard 7th 1-6, Great Salt Bay 7th 1-4, Appleton 1-9, Jefferson 0-6 and Islesboro 0-1.

A pair of threes, Oceanside’s Noah Clayton, left, and Medomak’s Luke Cheesman. Photo by Ken Waltz

The girls final standings included: Jefferson 6-0, Great Salt Bay 9-1, Oceanside 8th 8-1, Hope 7-1, Troy Howard 8th 6-2, Medomak 8th 4-4, Camden-Rockport 8-4, Nobleboro 5-4, Woolwich 5-4, Appleton 5-5, Lincolnville 4-5, Medomak 7th 2-5, Boothbay 2-5, St. George 1-6, South Bristol 4-7, Troy Howard 7th 1-5, Wiscasset 1-6 and Bristol 0-8.

The following is a breakdown of postseason results for participating teams, broken down by division:

Large school eighth-grade boys — In first-round action, No. 5 Troy Howard beat No. 4 Great Salt Bay, while No. 3 Camden-Rockport bested No. 6 Wiscasset. No. 1 Oceanside and No. 2 Medomak received first-round byes. In the semifinals, No. 2 Medomak defeated No. 3 Camden-Rockport, while No. 1 Oceanside defeated No. 5 Troy Howard.

Oceanside’s Grady Geretz, left, and Medomak’s Lanny Morrison. Photo by Ken Waltz

Large school eighth-grade girls — In first-round action, No. 4 Camden-Rockport beat No. 5 Medomak, while No. 3 Troy Howard advanced by forfeit over No. 6 Wiscasset. No. 1 Oceanside and No. 2 Great Salt Bay received byes. In  the semifinals, No. 2 Great Salt Bay defeated No. 3 Troy Howard while No. 1 Oceanside outlasted No. 4 Camden-Rockport in double-overtime.

Large school seventh-grade boys — In first-round action, No. 4 Troy Howard defeated No. 5 Great Salt Bay and lost to No. 1 Medomak in the semifinals. The other semifinal saw No. 2 Oceanside defeat No. 3 Camden-Rockport.

Large school seventh-grade girls — With only two teams in the division, No. 1 Medomak and No. 2 Troy Howard advanced to the championship game.

Medomak Middle School of Waldoboro, Busline League boys seventh-grade champions. Photo by Ken Waltz

Oceanside Middle School of Thomaston, Busline League boys seventh-grade runners-up. Photo by Ken Waltz

Troy Howard Middle School of Belfast, Busline League girls seventh-grade champions. Photo by Ken Waltz

Medomak Middle School of Waldoboro, Busline League girls seventh-grade runners-up. Photo by Ken Waltz

Medomak Middle School, Busline League boys eighth-grade champions. Photo by Ken Waltz

Oceanside Middle School of Thomaston, Busline League boys eighth-grade runners-up. Photo by Ken Waltz

Oceanside Middle School of Thomaston, Busline League girls eighth-grade runners-up. Photo by Ken Waltz

Great Salt Bay of Damariscotta, Busline League girls eighth-grade champions. Photo by Ken Waltz