BANGOR — Jake Lapierre’s tip-in as time expired rescued Winslow from a second-half implosion, lifting the No. 4 Black Raiders to a thrilling 39-38 victory over fifth seed Oceanside of Rockland in a Class B North boys quarterfinal played Saturday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Center.
Lapierre, a 6-foot-4 senior, got his hand on the ball following a miss by teammate Hunter Campbell and, perhaps with the help of the hand of an Oceanside defender, it went through the net as the buzzer sounded.
“It was kind of crazy and nerve-wracking and it was tough to find an open shot,” Lapierre said of the final possession. “The defense was making sure we weren’t getting a good look.
“[After Hunter’s shot] I just went up for it, got my hand on it and their defender may have, too, and it got up over the rim and in,” he added.
Winslow coach Ken Lindlof said the play designed during the timeout certainly didn’t go as intended, “but fortunately we had good spacing and we just got lucky at the end.”
Winslow moves on to play No. 1 Hermon in Wednesday’s 8:35 p.m. semifinal.
The Black Raiders, thanks to 9-for-12 shooting from the field in the first half, led 26-12 on a Lapierre 3-pointer with one minute remaining in the first half.
Oceanside scored the final four points of the quarter and reeled off nine unanswered points to start the third, with Michael Norton Jr. and Cooper Wirkala combining for all the offensive production. Norton Jr. hit a 3-pointer with one second left to tie the score at 28.
The Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference rivals, who split their regular-season meetings, went back and forth with scoring runs over the final eight minutes. Oceanside’s Trevor Reed hit a pull-up jumper to give his team a two-point edge before Colby Pomeroy helped Winslow to a 35-32 advantage on a 3-pointer and a driving layup.
Reed gave the Mariners the momentum by hitting four consecutive free throws in a 45-second span, the final two coming with 2:04 remaining, but Winslow turned up the defensive pressure and forced consecutive turnovers — the final coming on a steal of a lob pass underneath by Lapierre — setting up the winning basket.
“They had all the momentum and everything seemed uphill for us, but we made some plays with our half-court trap at the end,” Lindlof said.
Lapierre finished with 11 points and Michael Wildes had 10 to lead Winslow. KVAC Player of the Year Jack Morneault was held to 2-for-12 shooting from the field and a total of four points.
Norton Jr. also had an off shooting night, going 4-for 19, but still had game-high 13 for Oceanside, while Reed finished with 10.