SOUTH BERWICK — Compared to the rest of Maine, opportunities for competition have been slim for the high school athletes in York County since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

So when two old-time rivals got together Thursday morning for a second boys’ basketball game in three days, York High’s Teagan Hynes and Marshwood’s Kelvin Peterson – two seniors who have competed against each other since middle school – relished the experience. York pulled out a 47-45 win in a game in which Marshwood rallied from an early 11-point deficit to take a five-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.

“I do (outdoor) track, and when COVID hit last year, everything was canceled out,” Peterson said.”It’s been a full year of not being able to play competitive sports against another team or other people. To just play another team is really fun.”

Peterson scored 12 points, and his dribble penetration moves helped set up sophomore Andrew Perry, who came off the bench to score a game-high 16 points on eight buckets in the paint.

Hynes, the lone returning starter from York’s Class A South championship team, led the Wildcats with 14 points and used his vision and passing ability to create numerous looks at the rim for teammates, including senior Evan Bourgoine (11 points) and junior Will Bourgeois (10 points).

York County athletes had to sit out for six weeks during the fall season because the county was designated as “yellow” for risk of COVID-19 transmission, which at the time meant no games or practices were allowed. They did not start winter season practices until Jan. 20, more than a month after their northern peers. Meanwhile, in nearby New Hampshire, high schools played tackle football in the fall, and state basketball tournaments will begin in early March. Maine is not holding basketball state tournaments this year.

“Seeing them play football (in New Hampshire) and now seeing them play more than us, it definitely stinks, but at this point, I’m just happy to have a chance to play,” Hynes said. “And, to be honest, every game for me is like a championship game. I just love playing. I love winning.”

York improved to 3-0 under its first-year head coach, Jerry Hill. Marshwood is 0-2, including a 37-32 loss at York on Tuesday.

“They had some tremendous offensive firepower last year,” said Hill, an assistant at Massabesic last season. “We don’t have that this year. So we’ve got to win the game at the defensive end.”

For Marshwood’s second-year coach, Bobby Pratt, there was “a lot to be happy about,” in particular the Hawks’ 21-point outburst in the fourth quarter.

“That was our best quarter of the season. Maybe a little bit of the kids relaxed a bit,” said Pratt, who is also replacing most of his top players from last season.

York controlled the game through three quarters, leading by as many as 11 points, and by at least seven at each quarter break.

Aidan Sullivan, a junior three-year starter, got Marshwood going in the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to trim York’s lead to 34-29.

Marshwood tied the game the next time it had the ball with a rare five-point possession. As Trevor Wozny knocked down a corner 3-pointer, Peterson was fouled underneath. Peterson made two free throws.

The Hawks took their first lead, 39-36, on Sullivan’s third 3-pointer, and still led 45-42 with 1:30 to play.

But Josh Gennaro and Bourgeois converted drives to the baskets to put York back in front with 22 seconds to play. Marshwood came up empty on its last two possessions.

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