Somewhat removed from the I-95 corridor, the Medomak Valley Panthers have been one of eastern and northern Maine’s most consistently competitive boys basketball teams of recent vintage.
Just in the last four years, the Waldoboro-based team has won two Eastern Maine Class B championships (2013 and 2015) under the state’s former four-class system and advanced to the Class A North title game last winter, the first season of five-class play.
Some high-caliber individuals have graduated from the program over those years, among them big men John Murray and Ryan Ripley from the 2013 team and the versatile Nicholas DePatsy in 2016, but so far this season the winning continues.
The Panthers are 5-0 and, along with 4-0 Hampden Academy, the only teams still unbeaten in Class A North, with Medomak Valley ranked first and HA in second place.
Medomak Valley is coming off a rugged early season stretch, first defeating KVAC Class A North preseason favorite Messalonskee of Oakland and then topping Midcoast rival and defending regional champion Oceanside of Rockland-Thomaston and an improved Nokomis of Newport team — both unbeaten at the time — on back-to-back nights Monday and Tuesday.
Defense has been a catalyst for Medomak Valley during its recent streak, with the Panthers allowing just 45.2 points per game after yielding a season-high 58 points in a six-point win at 3-1 Nokomis.
“Everyone is contributing at different times during a game,” said veteran Medomak Valley head coach Nick DePatsy. “Defensively we have been doing a great job, rebounding off the defensive end, not getting split, hedging and recovering, and taking charges.”
Medomak Valley features the frontcourt duo of 6-foot-7 senior Cameron Allaire (16.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game) and 6-3 senior Kyle Donlin (18.4 ppg), while classmate Cale Gee is the team’s primary playmaker with 4.3 assists per outing,
“This group makes getting better every day a goal, but we still have a long ways to go,” said DePatsy, whose team is scheduled to host neighboring Camden Hills of Rockport in its next game at 6 p.m. Friday. “We must keep improving on both ends of the floor. The team chemistry is good, the ball movement is getting better and they are a fun group to coach.
“But there are a bunch of good teams in Class A North so we need to come out and play our ‘A’ game every night.”