Things are a little different than last year for the Oceanside girls’ basketball team.

There are expectations, which naturally come when a team returns most of the core from an undefeated championship team. There’s pressure. There’s the understanding that the spotlight in Class B South is on one team.

“Everyone really gives you their best,” sophomore forward Bailey Breen said. “To every other team, it’s their state game. And they really want to beat you.”

Things may be different, but they sure look the same. Oceanside is 6-0 this season, following up on last year’s 20-0 season and Class B title. Breen, senior guard Audrey Mackie and senior forward Abby Waterman lead the team again, just as they did last year.

On Wednesday, Oceanside provided yet another example of its strength, beating Portsmouth, a Division I team from New Hampshire, 46-40, at the Holiday Hoops Showcase at the Portland Expo.

Breen, the defending KVAC Class B Player of the Year and a returning Varsity Maine All-State pick, led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Waterman had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Mackie, who reached 1,000 career points earlier this season, added eight points with three steals.


With so much continuity from a great team last season, the target was set on the Mariners before the year even began. Now that the season has seen Oceanside win each regular-season game it’s played by at least 12 points, that target hasn’t gone away.

“Going into games, it’s a really different feel,” Breen said. “You just know that they’re coming out for you, and other teams are getting hyped in their locker room. It’s just a whole different thing. They’re banging on your locker room door, their music blaring, trying to get in your head.”

Waterman said the team can’t sneak up on anyone like it could at times last season.

“There’s definitely a lot more pressure,” she said. “Everyone knows who we are now. Last year, no one really knew who we were, we kind of came out of nowhere. I know how much pressure is on our coach, I feel for him and I want to do my best to take the pressure off of him.”

In the face of that pressure, however, the Mariners have rolled.

“I tell them, let’s just focus on what’s happening in these walls,” Coach Matt Breen said. “Let’s focus on this chatter, block everything else out. You’ll be fine if you do that. Once you start listening to everything, that pressure will build. These girls are pretty even-keeled.”


Impressive as its been, Coach Breen said the season hasn’t been perfect. While the team returned its core, it lost third-leading scorer Anna Kingsbury and Ahlivia Morris, the first player off the bench, and is still looking for players to fill those roles.

What the Mariners do well, however, has made them the clear favorite to come out of Class B South. Breen is a dominant player, able to score inside and outside, and she overwhelmed Portsmouth in the post. Many of those points came while she faced double and even triple teams when she’d take the ball near the basket.

“I get more attention on defense, but when that comes I just read it and kick it out to our shooters,” she said. “It’s a little frustrating, but when I’m in the gym that’s what I’m working on.”

In addition to Breen, Mackie is a strong point guard and scorer, Aubrianna Hoose is a good defensive guard and Waterman is a do-it-all player. She scored eight points and had five rebounds in the fourth Wednesday to help the Mariners prevail.

“Abby’s one of those kids that just doesn’t get enough credit,” Coach Breen said. “She’s the motor that makes us go. … She does whatever it takes for us to win.”

It’s a mix the Mariners hope will lead to another title – even if everyone sees them coming this time.

“We’re just trying to stay confident,” Mackie said. “When teams come to play us, I think they’re thinking ‘It’s Oceanside, we’ve got to play our best game.’ I think that’s something we’ve got to focus on and adapt to.”

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