Bailey Breen, Oceanside High School's freshman phenom, has led her school to its first girls state championship appearance. Credit: Courtesy of Ron Hawkes

Bailey Breen was destined to be a basketball player.

Her dad, Matt Breen, was the basketball coach for the Oceanside High School boys team in Rockland so the gymnasium became her second home.

“I’ve always been in the gym and around basketball,” said the 14-year-old freshman phenom, who has led Oceanside to its first state championship game to be held at 7 p.m. Friday against Hermon at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

“And once I started playing it, it was really fun,” Breen said.

The 6-foot-2 Breen has been a dominant force in the paint for the Mariners this season in leading them to a 19-0 campaign.

Bailey Breen, Oceanside High School’s freshman phenom, has led her school to its first girls state championship appearance. Credit: Courtesy of Ron Hawkes

The 14-year-old has averaged 19.5 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots per game.

She has already been offered a scholarship by UMaine head coach Amy Vachon, but Breen said she wants to take her time on making a decision about her future.

Hermon coach Chris Cameron said Breen is going to be a “handful” to shut down.

“She’s obviously big. She has real good hands and pretty good footwork. She can hit mid-range jump shots and can knock down foul shots,” Cameron said.

Her father is the head coach of the Oceanside girls and said coaching his daughter has gone smoothly.

“A lot of it has to do with the team around her. They have all played together before and welcomed her into the fold,” Matt Breen said. “There hasn’t been any jostling for position. Everything has fallen in line. Everybody knows their roles and they feel comfortable with it.”

Breen said their unwritten rule is that when she is on the court, she is his player and not his daughter.

“I like playing for my dad. I wasn’t sure if I would at first. But I enjoy it. It’s not easy at times but it is well worth it,” Breen said.

There has certainly been a lot of scrutiny and curiosity surrounding her, especially in light of UMaine’s scholarship offer. But it hasn’t affected her, according to Matt Breen, who said she handles it well. His daughter has a great work ethic and spends a lot of time in the gym, he said.

She also works out and focuses on improving all areas of her game.

“Her overall game has developed,” her dad said. “She is pretty solid in most areas. She has become a real efficient passer out of double teams now. She can find the open cutter.”

Bailey Breen takes pride in her defense but said the part of her game that has improved the most is her shooting.

“Especially the threes. I’ve been able to get to the basket. So if I can hit my outside shots, I’m not limited to one (way of scoring) and that will make me more difficult to guard,” she said.

Breen is a multi-sport athlete. She also plays field hockey and softball, which she said keeps her in shape.

She plays AAU basketball in the summer for the Maine Firecrackers and that has been valuable to her development.

Breen said she wants to keep improving her footspeed and fundamentals.

She is looking forward to playing in the state championship game with her teammates.

Not only is it a first for their school, but Oceanside is a merger of Rockland High School and Georges Valley High in Thomaston, and neither of those schools ever had a girls team play in a state championship game.

“I am so excited,” Breen said.

The Mariners got challenged in a game in the Class B South final, emerging with a 56-49 victory.

Their average winning margin during the regular season was 34 points and the closest game they had played prior to the York game was a 63-46 win over Maranacook of Readfield on Dec. 17.

“We have made progress as a team and it was good to get tested, especially since we hadn’t been in any close games before,” said Bailey, who had 19 points, 20 rebounds and six assists in the York victory.

“York is a quality team,” said Matt Breen. “They were really aggressive. They made a run and put our backs against the wall. But I like how our girls responded.”

Audrey Mackie also had 19 points for Oceanside to go with two assists and Abby Waterman had 14 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots.

Mackie has averaged 19 points per game along with four assists and four steals and Waterman has averaged eight points, 10 rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocked shots.