ROCKLAND – The No. 7 Oceanside (13-6) boys basketball team was on fire from behind the arc Wednesday night draining 10 3-pointers to overpower No. 10 Foxcroft Academy (9-10) in an Eastern Class B Regional preliminary matchup 55-41.
While the sharpshooters did the work offensively with Keenan Hendricks and Riley Sprague leading the way, it was what was done defensively to hold off the Ponies number one threat Hunter Smith that made a huge difference.
With Jarrod Leonardi still out with ankle problems Zack Peaco has been asked to step into the starting role and while he may not be the offensive threat Leonardi is, what he accomplished Wednesday night does not show up in the scorebook.
Peaco was assigned to guard Foxcroft’s big scorer, Smith, and during a rough first quarter where Smith scored nine of his 21 points on the night and looked to be on a 30-plus point game, Coach Matt Breen called a timeout, had Peaco make some adjustments and he held the shooting star to 12 points in the final three quarters.
The two teams played to an 11-11 tie in the first quarter with Oceanside taking a six point 22-16 lead into the halftime break. The Mariners maintained that lead through the third quarter with a couple of lead changes finishing with a 36-31 advantage heading into the fourth quarter where they outscored the opponents 19-10 to claim the victory.
With the win, Oceanside will make the trip to Bangor for the Maine Principals’ Association High School Basketball Tournament where they will take on No. 2 Winslow Saturday morning at 9:05 a.m. in a quarterfinal game at the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Scoring for the Mariners were Hendricks with (24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists), Sprague (13 points, 5 rebounds), Nate Raye (8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists), Nicholas Mazurek (five points, 2 rebounds, steal, 2 assists), Eli Thorbjornson (3 points, 2 rebounds, assist), and Walker Ranney (2 points, rebound, 2 assists).
The Mariners were 15-of-19 (79 percent) from the foul line and they had 10 3-pointers, Hendricks (5), Sprague (4) and Mazurek (1).
In the fourth quarter the Mariners were dealt another blow to the team when Nick Mazurek went down with what appeared to be a lower ankle injury. The status of the injury is not known at this time, however his play on Saturday has to be questionable. Leonardi was warming up last night pregame, taking some jump shots and looked to be moving fairly well and his return for Saturday if possible would be a huge break for the Mariners.
For Foxcroft Academy, Smith led the team with 21 points; Sean Cody 14; and Dylan Harmon-Weeks and Drew Dankert three each.
The Ponies were 7-of-9 (78 percent) from the foul line and they had four 3-point baskets, Smith (3) and Dankert (1).
Traffic from the Rockland area, the home of RSU #13 Oceanside High School East, up Route 1 to Bangor will be heavy as the No. 5 seeded Oceanside girls game against No.4 Camden Hills will follow the boys game at 10:35 a.m. Back to back Oceanside games will make for an exciting day for the local fans of basketball.
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