PORTLAND—Oceanside’s undefeated, top-ranked, reigning state champion girls’ basketball team was supposed to roll into the semifinals Saturday afternoon at the James Banks Portland Exposition Building.

But no one gave the eighth-seeded Yarmouth Clippers the memo.

And as a result, the Clippers nearly spoiled the party, leading much of the game before falling just short at the finish.

Yarmouth got a 3-point shot from senior Delia MacDonald 25 seconds into the game, opened up a quick 8-2 lead and when junior Maya Hagerty made a layup just before the horn, took a 16-12 advantage to the second period.

There, the Clippers continued to fluster the high-powered Mariners and the lead grew to as much as nine before a late basket from MacDonald made it 31-23 at the half.

Yarmouth, which had some key players in foul trouble, couldn’t continue that scoring pace and as expected, Oceanside rallied.


After the Clippers again pushed the lead to nine, 36-27, the Mariners rattled off 11 straight points, capped by a putback from senior Abby Waterman, to lead for the first time in the game, but late in the frame, junior Cate King banked home a shot, then Hagerty sank two free throws to give Yarmouth an improbable advantage, 40-38, heading to the fourth quarter.

Butt here, the Mariners refused to be denied, taking the lead for good on a 3-pointer from senior Emily Sykes, her first points of the contest, and when senior Audrey Mackie made a layup with 2:31 to go, Oceanside had a 48-43 advantage.

But the Clippers again countered, as Hagerty hit a 3 to cut the deficit to two, but Mackie made four clutch free throws down the stretch and that finally settled matters as the Mariners held on to survive and advance, 54-48.

Mackie had a game-high 20 points, sophomore post standout Bailey Breen added 18 and Oceanside improved to 19-0, extended its three-year win streak to 52 games, advanced to take on No. 4 Medomak Valley (13-6) in the semifinals Tuesday afternoon at the Expo and in the process, ended Yarmouth’s season at 8-12.

“I’m definitely proud of this team,” said Tom Panozzo, the Clippers first-year coach. “We had a really tough regular season playing a lot of Class A schools, but that prepared us for this situation.”

What an effort


Yarmouth was competitive throughout the regular season (see sidebar for links to previous stories), but lost four different times by less than 10 points and ended up eighth in Class B South. Wednesday, the Clippers dominated No. 9 Oak Hill from start to finish in the preliminary round, rolling to a 61-13 victory.

Oceanside stole headlines a year ago, beating Hermon to win the state title for the first time.

With Breen back for a sophomore season and Mackie in her final year with the program, the Mariners were the favorites this season and rolled to 18 straight regular season wins, by an average of 43 points. In half of its games, Oceanside eclipsed 70 points and its closest call came in the season opener, when it defeated Medomak Valley by 12.

The Clippers and Mariners didn’t play this season and had no playoff history.

Saturday, Yarmouth flirted with pulling off the thinkable, an eight-seed over one-seed upset, but Oceanside dug deep into its reservoir of championship heart to advance.



Yarmouth junior Cate King can’t stop Oceanside sophomore Bailey Breen, who converts a layup early in the Mariners’ quarterfinal round victory Saturday afternoon. Hoffer photos.

The Clippers weren’t fazed in the least at the start of the game, as Hagerty passed to MacDonald, who buried a 3 for a quick lead.

After the 6-foot-3-inch Breen got the Mariners on the board with a layup, Hagerty found an open MacDonald and again, she buried a 3.

Junior Neena Panozzo then scored on a putback to make it 8-2.

But seconds later, Hagerty picked up her second foul and before the end of the period, Panozzo was whistled for her second as well.

Waterman tried to spark Oceanside with a jumper, but Panozzo found junior Lauren Keaney for a layup.

After Breen made one free throw, then scored on a spinner, MacDonald banked home a contested shot and Hagerty found Panozzo for a long jumper to make it 14-7.


“We work a lot on shooting and we think we can always beat a zone,” Tom Panozzo said.

Waterman countered with a putback, then after Mackie scored her first points on a 3-pointer, King set up Hagerty for a layup with a second remaining and after eight minutes, Yarmouth had some confidence and a 16-12 lead.

The Clippers then came out in the second period and proved the first wasn’t a fluke, as they added to their advantage.

Ten seconds in, Neena Panozzo made two free throws. After Mackie answered with a pair, Hagerty scored on a bank shot, then with 5:23 to go before halftime, Hagerty took a pass from Panozzo and sank a 3 to make it 23-14.

A pretty pass from Waterman resulted in a Breen layup, but King found Hagerty for a layup and the lead was back to nine.

After Breen sank a 3, King hit a long jumper for a 27-19 advantage.


After Mackie scored on a putback, Hagerty drove and banked home a shot and after Waterman set up Breen for a layup, MacDonald’s bank shot with 14 seconds remaining sent Yarmouth into the half with a 31-23 lead.

Hagerty had 11 points and MacDonald added 10 in the half, while the Clippers forced 12 Oceanside turnovers.

Oceanside freshman Renee Ripley passes the ball over Yarmouth junior Cate King.

The Mariners then roared back in quarter number three.

Not surprisingly, Oceanside went right to Breen and she drove for a layup. Waterman then canned a long jumper to cut the deficit to four, but Yarmouth responded, as Panozzo banked home a shot and junior Regan Sullivan scored on a putback for a 36-27 lead with 4:22 to in the frame.

But that would be the Clippers’ highwater mark.

The Mariners began their 11-0 run with a pullup jumper from Mackie, which rattled in, then Mackie drained a 3, Breen set up sophomore Aubrianna Hoose for a layup and with 1:55 left, a driving layup from Waterman completed the comeback.


After Panozzo picked up her fourth foul, Waterman scored on a putback with 1:26 on the clock and for the first time all game, Oceanside was in front, 38-36.

But Yarmouth refused to buckle, as King scored on a bank shot, then Hagerty hit two foul shots to allow the Clippers to hold a stunning 40-38 lead going to the fourth period.

Where Oceanside finally slammed the door.

Fifty-three seconds into the final stanza, Mackie set up Sykes for a 3 and not only was Sykes in the box score, her shot put the Mariners ahead for good.

With 6:04 to go, Mackie got a leaner to rattle in, then 33 seconds later, Breen drove for a layup and it was 45-40.

Keaney got a point back at the line, but Sykes answered with a free throw.


After King sank two foul shots with 2:39 on the clock, Mackie went coast-to-coast for a layup and Oceanside had a 48-43 lead.

Yarmouth made one last push, pulling within two when Hagerty capped her splendid afternoon by burying a 3-pointer from the corner to cut the deficit to two points with 1:08 still to play.

If the Clippers had gotten the ball back with a chance to tie or go ahead, the sky would have been the limit, but Breen had other ideas.

Breen was fouled with 52 seconds to go and she calmly sank the front end of a one-and-one, then buried the second as well.

Sykes then stole the ball and got the ball to Mackie, who was fouled and with 41.2 seconds on the clock, Mackie sank two more foul shots for a 52-46 lead.

A short jumper from Panozzo with 30 seconds left gave Yarmouth a pulse, but Mackie iced it with two free throws with 16 seconds to go and the Mariners were finally able to run out the clock and celebrate a hard-fought 54-48 victory.


“(Oceanside) just played good defense and they made some tough shots and at the end, they made their free throws,” Tom Panozzo said.

Oceanside got 20 points and five rebounds from Mackie, 18 points and six rebounds from Breen and 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds from Waterman, as that trio accounted for 48 of the team’s 54 points.

Sykes added four huge points in the fourth quarter (to go with four rebounds) and Hoose had two points (and four rebounds).

The Mariners enjoyed a 40-24 rebound advantage and overcame 17 turnovers and 10-of-19 foul shooting.

“(Yarmouth’s) long and athletic and got to play carefree,” said Oceanside coach Matt Breen. “They made things difficult for us. They played well and shot well and that’s what we were concerned about. We made some adjustments at halftime and only gave up (17 points) in the second half. We can’t start games like that. We have too much experience for that. They wanted it at the start and we were just kind of there. They executed and we didn’t. We missed some foul shots and missed shots around the rim.

“You have to win a game where you don’t play your best and hopefully that was our one when we didn’t play our best.”


Oceanside handled Medomak Valley twice this year, 47-35 and 59-24. Another win would spell another trip to the regional final.

“We’ll get back to work and prepare for Medomak Valley who’s a foe we know pretty well,” Matt Breen said. “We see each other a lot.”

Clipper pride

Hagerty led the Clippers with 16 points and also had five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.

“Maya’s a tall point guard, so we can use her down low or up high and she can rebound,” said Tom Panozzo. “She can pretty much do it all.”

Neena Panozzo finished with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals and MacDonald added 10 points, all coming in the first half surge.


“Delia just shows that if you put in the work, you can become a really good shooter,” Tom Panozzo said. “That’s developed by hard work.”

King wound up with six points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists, Keaney had three points (and five rebounds) and Sullivan added two points.

Yarmouth made 7-of-9 free throws and turned the ball over 14 times.

“We have a younger team and they really came together and worked hard and it’s a team that really took care of each other,” Tom Panozzo said. “That made it a joy. We had the mantra of ‘we not me’ and it showed.”

MacDonald will graduate (as will Nori Schneider), but everyone else is back and that should land the Clippers right in the midst of top contenders next winter.

“There’s a lot of hope for next season,” Tom Panozzo said. “A lot of these kids are champions (from soccer). Three of the kids played here last year as a sophomore. Once you get used to this venue and know what it takes, you want to get back and I have high expectations for us.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net.

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