Coach Matt Breen and the Oceanside bench celebrates an early 3-pointer against Spruce Mountain in the Class B South championship game on Friday at the Portland Expo. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Oceanside High girls’ basketball coach Matt Breen saw the players that left after last season, the holes that needed to be filled this year, and the challenging start to the schedule. He figured the team that had rolled through the past two winters might finally run into some bumps in the road.

“I thought we might have a few growing pains early,” he said. “But the girls really stepped up. They kind of developed at the beginning of the season a little quicker than I anticipated.”

Indeed, the Mariners’ dominance has just continued. Oceanside is 21-0 this season and 61-1 over the past three years. The Mariners avenged the one defeat, a loss to Spruce Mountain in last year’s Class B South final, by taking down the Phoenix in the regional final last week to set up a matchup with Old Town in the Class B state final Friday night in Bangor.

The Mariners are seeking their second title in three years, and they’re doing it with a revamped lineup. Two-time KVAC Class B Player of the Year Bailey Breen returned, but among the graduating players were a 1,000-point scorer in Audrey Mackie, a defensive ace who was second in the KVAC in steals in Abby Waterman, and a third starter in Emily Sykes.

Oceanside’s Aubrianna Hoose drives to the basket as Avery Bessey of Spruce Mountain defends during the Class B South championship game. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

With new players taking on key roles, Oceanside didn’t skip a beat. Senior forwards Sophie Daggett and Caitlyn Lamb and sophomore guard Renee Ripley rose up into starting roles, while players like junior Ryley Beaudry and freshman Grace Mackie have given the team a lift. Aubrianna Hoose, a junior who was one of two returning starters, is now the primary ball handler who attacks the basket after playing last season on the perimeter.

“They’ve been great,” Bailey Breen said. “I knew this team had the keys and the pieces that we needed to succeed. They’re always in the gym, they work hard when they’re in practice, (and) it’s a full team effort.”


Others around the state may not have been so sure, and the Mariners heard the talk that they were supposed to slide back in the standings, given the talent that left.

“I got asked actually quite a bit, ‘Do you think you’ll make it far,’ How do you guys think you’re going to do now that you’re losing Audrey and Abby,'” Lamb said. “It just made you feel so small, because everyone was questioning your abilities. … I didn’t like that everybody was saying that we’re not going to be anything without them. That definitely lit a fire under me.”

The Mariners silenced any doubters out of the gate, beating five eventual playoff teams in Cony, Medomak Valley, Camden Hills, Yarmouth and Spruce Mountain by an average of 17.8 points. That high level of play continued. Oceanside averaged 68.7 points in 18 regular-season games last year. This year, the Mariners averaged 73.4.

“They were stuck behind some great players, so they were getting challenged every day in practice,” Matt Breen said. “I knew what they were capable of, and I was pleasantly surprised when they stepped in and it kind of seamlessly flowed.”

Oceanside’s Bailey Breen drives to the basket as Spruce Mountain’s Aubrey Kachnovich defends during the Class B South championship game. Breen scored 19 points, 13 in the second half. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

A key for the Mariners has been their frontcourt. While Bailey Breen (30.6 points, 9.3 rebounds per game) has remained the focal point, Daggett and Lamb have fit perfectly around her. Daggett has been a tough rebounder (8.4 per game) and someone who can take advantage of matchups to either score or draw defenders away from Breen.

“When the ball’s in the air, I tend to space out … because I’m so focused,” Daggett said. “I definitely feel compelled whenever I’m in the game to, whatever I do, get that rebound.”


Lamb has developed a knack for providing the team with whatever it needs to seize momentum: a drawn charge, a well-placed pass, a screen or a steal.

“She doesn’t care about stats,” Matt Breen said. “She’s willing to sacrifice her body or dive on the floor for a loose ball. … She’s just a kid who doesn’t get enough credit for all the little things she does.”

Ripley, the third new starter, has helped fill the void Audrey Mackie left as a 3-point shooter, but has also improved her defense and allowed Oceanside, formerly a 2-3 zone team, to play more man-to-man.

“(Shooting’s) something I have a lot of confidence in, and my team puts a lot of trust and confidence in me,” said Ripley, who’s hit five 3s over the last two playoff games. “(But) I’ve got to be able to defend and help my team out in other ways.”

Oceanside’s Sophie Daggett reaches for a rebound during a game against Portsmouth High of New Hampshire in the Holiday Hoops Showcase at the Portland Expo in December. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Those plays aren’t always on the stat sheet. But the players and coaches see their impact.

“They just do whatever’s needed,” Bailey Breen said. “Sometimes it goes unnoticed by a lot of people because they don’t put up 30 points a game, but we would not be nearly as successful as we are without them.”

And the Mariners have been successful enough to extend what has been a special run.

“It’s been amazing,” Daggett said. “Not many people can say they’ve had a run like that for so long. … It’s something really fun and exciting to keep going, and it motivates us and pushes us.”

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