The Medomak Valley boys’ basketball team found itself in a precarious spot to begin its postseason journey: down on the scoreboard with starters in foul trouble as it tried to extend its stay in the Class B South tournament.

With Kevin Sincyr and Gabe Lash leading the charge, however, the Panthers found a way.

Lash had 16 points – all in the second half – and 13 rebounds, Sincyr scored 20 points, and No. 4 Medomak Valley advanced with a 66-61 victory over No. 5 York in the B South quarterfinals at the Portland Expo on Friday night.

Medomak (14-5) did it despite seeing three starters in Kory Donlin (the team’s leading scorer), Blake Morrison and Jaiden Starr limited by three fouls apiece in the first half, leading to a deficit that lasted throughout the second quarter and reached seven points midway through the third.

“We had a lot of foul trouble in that first half, and we gritted it out,” said Coach Nick DePatsy, whose team reached the B South final last year. “It was a total team effort. A lot of grit, and they just kept fighting and fighting and fighting. They have a little chip on their shoulder, they have a lot to prove.”

Medomak trailed 36-29 with under four minutes to go in the third when Sincyr, who hadn’t scored since netting the Panthers’ first eight points of the second quarter, got hot again. He hit a jumper, stole the ball and went in for a layup, and hit a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 38-36 with 1:24 left. He then fed Lash for a layup to tie it, and Vishal Mellor (nine points) had a three-point play with 6.1 seconds that gave the Panthers a 41-38 lead and drew an emphatic fist pump from DePatsy.


“I just kept trying to get my shot whenever I could, and try to help my team as best I could,” Sincyr said. “It just started to fall.”

It was still a one-score game, but York (10-9) Coach Jerry Hill felt the momentum change.

“The third quarter, I thought, was a big turning point,” said Hill, whose team was led by 15 points from Derek Parsons and 13 from Connor Roberge. “I thought the game changed in their favor in that last minute.”

Lash helped make sure the momentum stayed on the Medomak side, scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds in the fourth while going 9-for-10 from the free throw line.

“In the first half, I really didn’t play well. I missed some easy buckets,” he said. “But in the second half, close game, I knew I had to step up somehow. Hitting those free throws at the end, I wanted the ball. I knew they were going to foul and I was going to hit them.”

York trailed 56-47 with two minutes left but fought back, getting back-to-back 3s from Parsons that made it 58-56 with 1:02 left. A Morrison putback and two free throws from Lash, however, helped end the suspense.


The finishing flourish had a too-little, too-late feel for the Wildcats, who didn’t make a field goal for the first 6:17 of the fourth quarter.

“We did a great job of getting them out of the paint,” DePatsy said. “They weren’t splitting us, they weren’t getting to the rim. And we were also rebounding well. They were one-and-done. That was huge.”

Hill credited his team for the late push.

“I love the fact that we didn’t give up,” he said. “Credit to them, they made their foul shots down the stretch.”

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