BANGOR — Abby Waterman stood outside the Oceanside locker room with a basketball net draped around her neck. She didn’t plan to take it off for a while.

“This is something that doesn’t happen to everyone,” said Waterman.

No it doesn’t. In its biggest test of the season, unbeaten Oceanside rallied in the second half to defeat Hermon, 31-28, in the Class B girls’ basketball state championship game Friday at Cross Insurance Center, giving the Mariners the school’s first Gold Ball.

Oceanside did it with defense, holding the Hawks to 11 points over the game’s final 21 minutes and 37 seconds. Hermon hit just four of 21 shots in that stretch against the Mariners’ 2-3 zone.

“Heart,” said Oceanside Coach Matt Breen, when asked how the Mariners came back. “At halftime, as poorly as we played, the girls didn’t get down, they didn’t lose their composure. We just needed to tighten up the defense. We were going to hit shots.”

The victory completed a 20-0 season for Oceanside, which extended its winning streak to 33 games. Hermon, which lost the 2020 state championship game to Wells by a score of 34-26, finished 19-3.


Junior guard Emily Sykes and freshman sensation Bailey Breen, who led Oceanside with 12 points, each hit two foul shots in the final 25 seconds to complete the comeback and secure the title. Oceanside never led by more than three.

The Mariners trailed 17-5 with 5:37 left in the second quarter, then went on a 15-0 run that carried into the third quarter to take the lead. But Hermon moved back in front, 24-23, going into the fourth and held a 26-25 lead with 5:19 remaining after Maddie Lebel (13 points) made a steal and layup.

It stayed that way until Breen, playing with four fouls, scored on a scoop layup on the left to give the Mariners a 27-26 lead with 2:01 remaining.

The Hawks then killed 58 seconds off the clock while working around Oceanside’s zone, but turned the ball over.

Sykes, who scored five points, was fouled with 24.1 seconds left and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 for a 29-26 lead.

“It was very nerve-wracking,” said Sykes. “You just have to think you’re in a gym by yourself. This is something we practice every single day.”


“Huge foul shots,” said Matt Breen, noting the Mariners received contributions from everyone who played. “”It’s never been just a Bailey Breen and Audrey Mackie team. We come to practice every day with 12 girls and they all put in the effort. And a different person steps up when called upon.”

After Faith Coombs scored for Hermon with 10 seconds remaining, Breen hit two foul shots with four seconds left.

“The free throws at the end were really big for us,” said Bailey Breen, who shoots 100 free throws a day. “I think when we went into the locker room (at the half), we had to keep our composure. If you lose your composure, it’s going to affect the way we play.”

It was a frustrating start for the Mariners, who scored only 10 points in the first half. But Matt Breen made a switch in his 2-3 zone in the second half, putting his daughter in the middle and moving Abby Waterman to the wing. That effectively stopped Hermon’s inside game. The Hawks scored four inside baskets in the first half, but only one in the second.

“We battled, but just couldn’t get over the hump,” said Hermon Coach Chris Cameron. “I mean, the ball just stopped going in the net. Oceanside is a tough team. They played well and we just didn’t make our shots.”

And the Mariners made enough of theirs, getting contributions from several players in the second half.

“This means a lot,” said Bailey Breen. “We spent so much time together in the summer and during the season and put in the work. We held each other accountable. And it worked.”

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