AUGUSTA, Maine — Some things in basketball are without a definitive explanation.

Take the outset of the second half of Saturday’s Class A North boys basketball quarterfinal between Skowhegan and Medomak Valley of Waldoboro.

Third-ranked Skowhegan scored the first five points of the third quarter to erase a five-point halftime deficit, but from there it was all Medomak Valley. The Panthers closed out the game by outscoring the Indians 38-6 to surge to a 63-31 victory at the Augusta Civic Center.

“For some reason something clicked,” said Medomak Valley coach Nick DePatsy. “It was nothing I did. They just put the hammer down.”

The game-ending blitz included one stretch of 26 unanswered points by the sixth-seeded Panthers after a drive by Skowhegan’s Cam Barnes with 38 seconds left in the third quarter left the Indians still within striking distance, down 37-29.

“We were all just feeling it,” said Medomak Valley senior guard Brent Stewart. “We see the score going up, but when you’re on the court you’re not looking at the score, we’re just focusing on the game and everything was going well.”

By the time the Indians scored again with the final points of the game, Medomak Valley had long avenged a stunning one-point loss to an eighth-ranked Skowhegan club in last year’s quarters when the Panthers were the No. 1 seed.

“It was in the back of all our minds,” said Stewart. “We graduated all five of our starters but there’s still a few of us who are on the team and that was in the back of our minds. It got us going.”

Stewart led the Panthers with 16 points, 13 after intermission, while Josh Goldrup scored 13 points, Ryan Creamer added 11 points and four steals and Gabe Allaire scored nine points.

Marcus Christopher paced Skowhegan with 13 points, 12 before halftime.

Medomak Valley (12-7) advances to Wednesday’s 7 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 Nokomis of Newport.

Skowhegan ends its season at 11-8.

Medomak Valley used a run of eight consecutive points late in the first half to build a 26-21 intermission lead, but Cole Pierce buried a 3-pointer and Barnes converted a fast-break layup as Skowhegan came out quickly to start the second half and forged a 26-26 tie.

But Medomak Valley then capitalized on Skowhegan’s aggressiveness in its man-to-man defense, driving past the Indians’ defenders to set the tone for the game-deciding blitz.

“They extended it out, which got our back-door [plays] going a lot more,” said Stewart. “Then when they tried to guard that it opened up our shooters and we all started hitting shots and went from there.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...