Last season, the Oceanside boys’ and girls’ basketball teams were powers, going a combined 40-3, earning a pair of top tournament seeds in Class B South and putting the school at the front of two championship discussions.

This year, the circumstances have changed. The results, however, have not.

Oceanside basketball remains atop the standings one month into the season, and once again has cause to dream of bringing two Gold Balls back to Rockland.

The high-scoring boys, led by Varsity Maine All-State selection Carter Galley and his twin brother, Cohen, are 4-0 and winning games by an average of 22 points. The girls, led by an All-State selection in junior center Bailey Breen, are 5-0, having beaten their opponents by 17.8 points.

The Mariners played exhibition games at the Holiday Hoops Showcase at the Portland Expo on Thursday, with the boys beating Portsmouth High of New Hampshire, 69-63, and the girls falling to Portsmouth, 54-31, with Breen on the sideline. It was a pit stop before the teams resume a season that has, once again, seen them at the center of the state’s basketball scene.

“It’s a lot of fun. When you go into the tournament and you get to have the entire side of the gymnasium with just your fans, it’s way more fun,” Oceanside boys’ coach Larry Reed said. “We’re their biggest fans, they’re our biggest fans, we both want to go as far as we can together.”


There’s been a role reversal for the two Oceanside teams. The boys are what the girls were last year, an experience-laden team that brought back most of its core and has been a favorite from the opening tip. The girls, after graduating sharpshooter Audrey Mackie and defensive anchor Abby Waterman, were the ones that had some questions going into this season – questions that, so far, have been answered.

“It’s been going pretty well. We still have times where we look like we’re not as senior-laden as we have been in the past,” Oceanside girls’ coach Matt Breen said. “But the first five games, I think we’ve done a lot of nice things. We’ve responded to some good challenges.”

The boys, expected to be a favorite once again after losing to Orono in the Class B final, have been just that. Oceanside scored 110 points against Cony in its opener, and is averaging 86.3 points per game.

“From the moment we started playing summer ball, there’s been one mission and one mission only, and that’s to get back to the (championship) game that we lost,” Reed said. “I’d be lying to you if I said we’re taking it one game at a time. We have a goal. We missed our goal last year by three points, and it hurt.”

That motivation was sharpened by a loss in the Class C football final to Leavitt. Five Mariners, including the Galleys and point guard Zeb Foster, were on that team.

“We’re hungry,” Carter Galley said. “This is really our last chance at it. We’re motivated more than ever just to finish it and get it done.”


The Mariners are focused on the finish, but they’re not letting themselves get tripped up along the way. Thursday’s game threatened to slip away, with Portsmouth taking a 41-34 lead in the third quarter, but the Mariners used a 14-4 run to finish the quarter and propel themselves to the exhibition win.

“We’ve all come together, and everyone’s kind of mastering their role this year,” said Cohen Galley, whose 14 points trailed only Carter’s 23 on the team. “We’ve shot the ball really well. … We’re more efficient this year, we move the ball a little better and we are taking higher quality shots.”

While the boys benefited from the return of their key scorers, the girls had to make up for the departures of two of the top three players from a team that won 53 straight games, including a 1,000-point scorer in Mackie. But in their stead, guard Aubri Hoose and forwards Sophie Daggett and Renee Ripley have been among the players thriving with more on their shoulders.

“We realize that we’re all good players,” Hoose said. “It was a big conversation at the beginning of the season, that all five of us (on the court) were going to have to work. It wasn’t just going to be on Bailey, it wasn’t just going to be on me. There’s five girls out there for a reason.”

The Mariners’ results include some impressive wins. They beat Yarmouth, which tested them in the playoffs last year, by 21, and Spruce Mountain, which beat them in the B South final, by 19.

Bailey Breen, who sat out Thursday’s game to rest her knee, said she had a feeling going into the season that the Mariners’ run as a team to beat wasn’t over.

“We have pieces to do what we need to do,” she said. “I knew this group would be special, with a lot of special players. We also have a group that has heart, and wants to win at all costs.”

Some may have doubted it, which the Mariners don’t mind. After a year with a target on their backs and with their winning streak over, they’re enjoying some time off the radar – however much longer it lasts.

“We’ve been doing a good job of sticking together and trying to have fun,” Coach Breen said. “Last year, I think we lost (sight of) the fact that we’re supposed to be having fun. … We’ve been tested, and I like how the girls have responded so far.”

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