Orono Repeats

Dana White didn't show up.

Orono Repeats

The Cross Insurance Center was nearly full last night for the Class B Gold Ball games.

In the girls game, Old Town started well, doubling and tripling Oceanside's Bailey Breen. But it didn't take long for Breen to start finding shooters. She had 3 assists in the first quarter and Renee Ripley knocked down 2 threes and the Mariners raced out to a 16-7 lead after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Old Town went ICE cold from the floor (1/12 for 8.3%), but Oceanside freshman Grace Mackie did not. She hit 3 3's, including one from the college line. Oceanside went 5/8 from 3 in the first half and posted an eFG% of 89% (to Old Town's 25%).

Coming out of the break, Old Town's defense adjusted. They continued to double and triple Breen, but suddenly her shooters weren't open and she had to kick to non-shooters. The offense slowed to a crawl. Old Town held Oceanside to 1/10 from the floor and forced 4 turnovers and started to crawl back in the game. They kept it up in the 4th quarter--Oceanside made one (1) field goal in the second half--but Old Town couldn't score themselves.

Down 6 with ~2:15 to play, Old Town attempts to foul multiple times, it isn't called, and when they finally get a foul, they're called for an intentional foul. After Oceanside scores on the bonus possession, Makayla Emerson hits a 3 to cut it back to 6 (she led all scorers with 14), but it's too little too late. Is it a bad call? Yes. Did it decide the game? No. But it sure did take Old Town's chances from very difficult to nearly impossible. Just call the common foul. Or call the first two fouls.

Oceanside held on to win despite Bailey Breen being held to 4 points. In fact, not a single Mariner scored in double-digits. When was the last time a team won a Gold Ball without a player scoring 10 points?

Last year, Oceanside and Orono played a classic.

This year's game started great. Orono raced out to a quick start behind Pierce Walston, who seemed to have something to prove?

If you're just joining us, Walston was left off the finalist list for Mr. Basketball, which a lot of people thought was a mistake. He had 6 points and 2 assists in the first quarter as Orono opened up a 19-14 lead.

Walston had 5 more in the second as they played to a draw. As often happens in games where defenses sell out to stop the Galley twins, Zeb Foster kept them in the game with 11 points on perfect shooting (3/3 from the floor, 5/5 from the line)...or maybe it was 12?

This was called a 2 in the book.

Granted, that ref has a pretty bad angle, but still.

Anyway, at the half, Orono led 29-25.

And we went into the halftime show.

If you want to see the full interview (or, you know, the game), you can find that here:

Much like Grace Mackie in the girls' game, Oceanside got a huge performance from freshman Trevin Ripley. He had 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots and took over the game for a stretch to keep Oceanside in it. He scored with 6 minutes left to tie it. Orono strung a couple of stops together to open a 4-point lead.

And then Orono went into a stall and a fantastic game turned into a very boring game almost instantly. It's understandable from Orono's perspective, I guess. They were up 4 with several minutes to go. If you take the air out of the ball, you give Oceanside fewer chances to catch up. But, it's painful to watch. If this year's tournament has taught us anything, it's that stalling is out of control and last night was a a perfect example. We desperately, desperately need a shot clock. The new FT rule is making it more necessary. We all know this.

We all know it's coming. The people stopping it are at the ADs and admins at your school. Put pressure on them. This is VERY easy to fix. There's just people standing in the way. And they aren't at the MPA.

Carter Galley hit a big 3 to cut it to 2, but the Francis brothers answered and Oceanside would get no closer.

Pierce Walston finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. A pretty, pretty, pretty impressive performance.

When Adam and I did the podcast the other day about Mr. Basketball, we both wondered what would happen if Walston had a big game and led Orono to a second title and...that's exactly what happened.

It sure seems that, at minimum, Walston has one of the 3 best arguments for Mr. Basketball and a very strong case for winning the whole thing. His exclusion from the finalist list was confusing a couple of days ago and it's downright bewildering now.

Do they have to stick with the finalist list? This is a serious question.

The thing is, no one knows. Because for some reason these awards are very secretive.

If one of the 5 people on the Mr. Basketball Committee is reading this (and I suspect that's likely), you have an open invitation to come on the podcast and talk about the process behind the decision. I'll be nice. I promise. There's clearly a ton of interest in what goes into making the sausage and I think shining some light on the voting would do a world of good.

You can even do the distorted voice thing if you want.

And thus ends one of the more embarrassing chapters in Maine Basketball history.

I want to be clear that the Oceanside players did absolutely nothing wrong and have been staggeringly mature in the face of all of this--unlike some adults. Ok, a lot of adults.

It wasn't as bad as the dunk technicals, but a national controversy over literally nothing because the people behind an IG account with a press pass can't read or exhibit basic journalistic ethics was not a good look. Thankfully, we've learned nothing.

But we do have jokes!

I'm sure the discourse around this will be nuanced and respectful.


A lot of you still need to submit your players for All-State.

All-State Teams
Submit your player today!

Mic LeBel of the Lincoln County News has a nice story about the college career of Cony's Simon McCormick.

Whitefield Athlete Closes College Basketball Career on a High Note
Senior captain Simon McCormick scored 13 points to lead all Bates College scorers during a 79-54 loss to Wesleyan University on Feb. 10 in Lewiston. The Senior Day match was the final game of the W…

Wells' own Chad Finn has a nice piece on the strides Joe Mazzulla has made this season coaching the Celtics.

Nine months ago, I called for Joe Mazzulla to go as Celtics coach. I’m glad he stayed. - The Boston Globe
Brad Stevens gave him a more coachable roster this season — and he’s a better coach and has earned greater trust.

It's almost 4am and I'm tired.

#1 offense in class C. #1 defense in the state.

Gold Ball on the line.

What more do you need?

The rest of the Model's picks are after the jump.