Category Archives: Oceanside

Oceanside hits fifteen 3’s in 73-47 win over Waterville

Jaden Martin (21) and Amos Anderson (12) were part of a tight Oceanside defense.

Cooper Wirkala (11) found enough open spaces to collect thirty points.

(Rockland ME) It wasn’t raining outside but it sure was inside.

Raining three’s, that is, as Oceanside poured fifteen of them on Waterville in a 73-47 dousing on Friday night.

The Mariners (11-4) nailed ten of those triples (on sixteen attempts) in the first half and raced away, 42-20.  The five long ones added in the second half were pure gravy.

Cooper Wirkala registered a double/double for the home team scoring thirty points and taking in ten rebounds.

“This was a typical Cooper game,” said OHS coach Matt Breen. “He’s a gifted offensive player.  He has length.  He can shoot.  He can handle.  He moves the ball.  He’s a difficult guard.”

Trevor Reed ready to take one of many open three’s for Oceanside

Waterville (2-12) tried a zone defense against Oceanside.  It didn’t work. The Mariners patience on the perimeter turned up open 3-pointers all night long and on this evening, they hit half of their thirty attempts.

“We did a good job of moving the ball,” explained Cooper Wirkala afterward.  “We really hit our shots tonight.” Cooper struck five times from deep.

Coach Breen was glad for the win and happy that the long shots were falling.  “I thought we played pretty well.  We moved the ball at times.”

David Barre guarded by Cooper Wirkala

Relying on the long-range shot had the coach worried, however: “Long range was good tonight, but we don’t want it to become a habit.  We need to be versatile enough to score on the inside.”

On this night, the perimeter shots never ran dry.  Waterville never had a chance, as a result, to challenge the Mariners.

In an earlier meeting at Waterville, the Panthers only lost, 54-46, and despite the unfavorable won/loss record Waterville had lost five game by four points or less. That’s why the quick separation in tonight’s game was a surprise to me.

The Mariners’ offense went on a game-long roll, but their defense was equally good.  Their man-to-man defense ganged up on the Panther shooters inside and forced nineteen turnovers, including twelve in the breakaway first half.

Waterville was within four points (10-6) after a Jack Lloyd layup in the first quarter.

Next two minutes?  All Oceanside.  The Mariners had 3’s from Jack Lombardo (14 points) and Cameron Kingsbury (9 points) and four free throws from Cooper Wirkala.

Jack Lombardo (14 points) and five Waterville defenders

Waterville during that same segment?  Three turnovers and no points.  Off went the Mariners, 20-6, and they never let up.

In tonight’s game senior Jaden Martin (9 points) made every three he attempted.

Trafton Gilbert paced Waterville with seventeen points.

“When we hit from the outside it spreads the floor and we can make cuts inside and it opens up the whole game for us,” said Cooper.

“If we hadn’t been making three’s we would have changed the style we played,” said Coach Breen.  “We would have moved Cooper in behind the zone or gone with Amos (Anderson) behind the zone.  Tonight, we just spread it out and played five out because we were knocking down shots.”

Cooper Wirkala could reach 1000 points in Belfast

Oceanside’s next game is at Belfast on Tuesday night.  Might be a special game for Cooper Wirkala.  Cooper, after tonight, is sitting with 979 points.  A 21-point night for him is certainly not out of the question in Belfast.

I asked Cooper about his decision to play for the Colby Mules next year: “Everyone I’ve talked to says great things about Colby.  They have a very good basketball program and are building all sorts of sports complexes.  I can’t wait to go there.”

Waterville box

Oceanside box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Oceanside fans

Tight defense on David Barre

Cooper Wirkala (11) finds teammate Amos Anderson (12)

Freshman Liam VonOesen

 

 

 

 

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Mike Norton (27 points) leads Oceanside past Nokomis 53-49 in Class A North QFinals

It wasn't until Cooper Wirkala made two free throws with 2.3 seconds left that Oceanside had a win assured over Nokomis

It wasn’t until Cooper Wirkala made two free throws with 2.3 seconds left that Oceanside had a win assured over Nokomis

Josh Smestad (22 points) guards Mike Norton (27 points) on an inbounds play

Josh Smestad (22 points) guards Mike Norton (27 points) on an inbounds play

(Augusta ME) This game was there for the taking until Oceanside’s Cooper Wirkala sank two free throws with 2.3 seconds left.

The two free throws put the Mariners up by four and sealed a 53-49 win over plucky Nokomis in the Class A North quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at the Augusta Civic Center.

#3 Oceanside (16-3) made it to the Class A championship game last season but graduated eight players.  They have quickly rebuilt around junior Mike Norton.

Mike (6’2”) ended up with twenty-seven points today getting in close for layups and making room for jump shots in the lane.

Mike had eighteen of those points during Oceanside’s rally from a 16-4 deficit in the first period to a 28-22 lead early in the third period.

Mike had two steal/layups in his collection of scoring.

The hustle play of the game?  Mike Norton catching a Warrior dribbler with his back turned and diving to force a jump-ball turnover on Nokomis in the 4th period.

Junior Mike Norton above the rim after a steal

Junior Mike Norton above the rim after a steal

Mike’s heroics were important to get the Mariners going after Josh Smestad (22 points) punished the Rockland team with half his points in the first quarter.

The thing about Nokomis (11-8) was that after squandering their great start they did not fold thereafter.

Down by six (28-22) early in the 3rd quarter, the team from Newport rode the shooting of Zach Hartsgrove (17 points) to get to within two points of the lead five different times in that quarter.

With 4:25 to go in the game the Warriors actually took the lead, 42-41, on a baseline jumper by Captain Brad Allen.

Back came Oceanside, and after two more hoops by Mike Norton, one assisted by Nate Raye, they were in front, 46-44, with 2:48 remaining.

Key point in the game?  Mike Norton fouled out with 2:10 left.  How would Oceanside get points the rest of the way?

Here’s how: four Oceanside free throws came from Nate Raye and Sam Atwood surrounding a Nokomis turnover.

Now up five (50-45) with a minute left things looked good for Oceanside.  Not so fast!

Josh Smestad (#2) converts a rebound with 24 seconds left

Josh Smestad (#2) converts a rebound with 24 seconds left

The Mariners missed five of their next six free throws and had a turnover.  Meanwhile, Zach Hartsgrove made two free throws and teammate Josh Smestad converted an offensive rebound.

The Warriors were within two twice, with the ball, in the final twenty-two seconds.  Zach Hartsgrove missed contested shots in both possessions.  After the second miss, Cooper Wirkala took in the rebound, was fouled, and sealed the deal with two straight free throws.

This was definitely a game that could have gone either way.

Oceanside gets to play in the North semi-finals on Wednesday at the same location.  The North finals will be on Friday.  The Class A title game will be in Augusta on March 4th at 2:45PM.

Oceanside has now won six straight.

The Mariners lost to undefeated Medomak Valley, 55-51, on January 27th.

Oceanside box

Nokomis box

There were eight charges called in this game.

The Nokomis band performed (nicely) the National Anthem.

It was a blessing to have dry roads and sunny skies.

(All the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Oceanside coach Matt Breen

Oceanside coach Matt Breen

Sam Atwood

Sam Atwood

Mike Norton shoots over Jakob Erskine

Mike Norton shoots over Jakob Erskine

There were eight charges called. Jack Lombardo gets called on this one

There were eight charges called. Jack Lombardo gets called on this one

Cooper Wirkala was four-for-four from the foul line

Cooper Wirkala was four-for-four from the foul line

Zach Hartsgrove (17 points) defended by Leo Reid

Zach Hartsgrove (17 points) defended by Leo Reid

Joseph Cloutier defends

Joseph Cloutier defends

Mike Norton breaks

Mike Norton breaks

Nate Raye drives past Josh Perry

Nate Raye drives past Josh Perry

Floor scramble. Brad Allen with the ball.

Floor scramble. Brad Allen with the ball.

 

 

 

 

 

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Falmouth breezes to Class A title defeating Oceanside 59-28

Falmouth ( 2016 Maine Class A state champs)

Falmouth ( 2016 Maine Class A state champs)

Thomas Coyne (16 points) in for two of them

Thomas Coyne (16 points) in for two of them

(Portland ME) Falmouth 59, Oceanside 28.

Sometimes the final score is misleading but not this time.

The Falmouth Yachtsmen (18-4) captured the Class A Gold Ball in as convincing a fashion as the final score suggests.

Trust me, no one, even from Rockland/Thomaston, left the Cross Arena wondering which was the better team on this sunny Saturday afternoon in Portland.

The Yachtsmen featured an offense that generated high-percentage shots and a defense that refused to allow the Mariners to beat them from long range.

The Mariners (16-6) had sailed (I couldn’t resist!) to the finals successfully dialing long-distance against three opponents in the tournament. The video was out there on the web showing the record-setting thirty 3-pointers put together by Oceanside.

But on this afternoon the wide-open three’s disappeared for the #5 seed. Why? Falmouth did not get too far away from Oceanside’s perimeter shooters even when the ball went behind them closer to the basket. No question it certainly helped Falmouth to have size and shot-blocking abilities near the basket.

Sam Skop helped close off the interior to Oceanside

Sam Skop helped close off the interior to Oceanside

Senior Nick Mazurek (6’3”) was an inside scorer who had missed all five of Oceanside’s regular-season losses. On this afternoon, Nick had the ball several times in close but Sam Skop (6’5”) did not go for fakes and blocked several of Nick’s shots in the early going.

As Oceanside struggled to get good looks Falmouth had ball-handlers who could penetrate and get good shots or find wide-open teammates.

Falmouth took a 4-3 lead (6:41) and then did the only scoring the rest of the first quarter. The Mariners missed all ten shots they tried in the drought, including four three’s. That 15-3 first quarter deficit rose to 23-8 at the half. Oceanside could make only 3-of-25 shots in that disastrous half.

You wanted to think that something might be different in the third quarter and Oceanside would make a game of it. Not so, today. If there is such a word as “worser” this would be the time to apply it to the Mariners’ third quarter!

In the third quarter the Falmouth high-percentage-shot offense got better (six layups – five of them assisted) while the Oceanside offense (five turnovers) collected only seven points.

Keenan Hendricks dials long distance

Keenan Hendricks dials long distance

That bad combination allowed Falmouth’s lead to enlarge to twenty-seven (42-15) after three quarters. There would be no good-to-the-last-shot happenings in the Class A boys’ finals today.

The nice thing about this game being decided early was that the benches get to be cleared. Everyone on each roster played in the Class A championship game.

I expected to see some impressive 3-point shooting today but it never happened. What probably kept the game from getting out of hand even earlier was that Falmouth was only 2-for-14 from beyond the arc. On this day, however, the Yachtsmen had more than enough accuracy closer to the basket. They shot 19-of-34 (59%) inside the arc.

Tough day for all the Mariners, maybe toughest on their top player Keenan Hendricks. Keenan (I have seen his workout video) could never get his offense going and when trying to set up offense elsewhere committed seven turnovers. The defense of Thomas Coyne on Keenan certainly was a factor.

Four of the Yachtsmen reached double figures.

Plenty of excitement over the final game of Mr. Basketball finalist Thomas Coyne.

Coyne brothers (Colin and Thomas)

Coyne brothers (Colin and Thomas)

The Coyne brothers (Thomas and Colin) put on a synchronized, net-waving show after the game.

I have seen this before and saw it today; players with good outside shots putting up airballs. Why? The open space beyond the basket throws them off.

Very enthusiastic crowds for both teams. Credit the Oceanside folks for cheering long after this one had been settled.

I greatly appreciated the stats provided by MBR.ORG. Saves an awful lot of time.

Horse in the race. Cooper Wirkala is one of my sister’s grandsons. Cooper’s dad, Jim, was an all-state basketball player at Woodland High School.

Box from the game

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Part of the Oceanside crowd

Part of the Oceanside crowd

Keenan Hendricks leads the Mariners onto the court

Keenan Hendricks leads the Mariners onto the court

Thomas Coyne defends inbounds pass

Thomas Coyne defends inbounds pass

Matthew Wulbrecht in alone

Matthew Wulbrecht in alone

Key matchup - Thomas Coyne guarded by Keenan Hendricks

Key matchup – Thomas Coyne guarded by Keenan Hendricks

Andrew King takes a charge

Andrew King takes a charge

battle for a rebound

battle for a rebound

Thomas Coyne goes out-of-bounds

Thomas Coyne goes out-of-bounds

Cooper Wirkala covers Thomas Coyne

Cooper Wirkala covers Thomas Coyne

Colin Coyne (11 points)

Colin Coyne (11 points)

Matthew Wulbrecht (14 points) finds space in a double-team

Matthew Wulbrecht (14 points) finds space in a double-team

Sam Atwood with room

Sam Atwood with room

Thomas Coyne looks for an opening

Thomas Coyne looks for an opening

Coyne brothers with the Gold Ball

Coyne brothers with the Gold Ball

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