WINSLOW — Everything you need to know about unified basketball was encapsulated in one play late in the first quarter of Tuesday’s regional quarterfinal game between Oceanside and Winslow. With just over two and a half minutes left in the quarter, players from both sides got tangled up trying to go from rebounding to back up the court. With players from both sides down on the court, play just stopped for a few seconds, giving everyone a chance to make sure he or she was all right. When everyone was back on their feet, play resumed as if nothing had happened.

“It’s not like your typical varsity game. Everyone’s making sure, is this kid OK? There’s better sportsmanship. Nobody yells at the officials. It’s just about making sure everyone has an equal opportunity,” Winslow coach Lori Loftus said.

No. 2 Winslow took a 44-28 win over the No. 7 Mariners and will host No. 6 Lewiston in the semifinals Thursday at 4 p.m.

“We just pushed the score. We just played fair,” said Winslow sophomore Jacob Varney, who scored 14 points for the Black Raiders.

The Black Raiders and Mariners played in front of an almost-full Mansfield Gymnasium and were serenaded by the Winslow band during timeouts. The large crowd was an example of how unified basketball has taken off at Winslow, Loftus said.

“This is our first year having unified basketball, and I think it’s been a success for the school, for the community. We have an outpouring here and it’s just awesome,” Loftus said. “People come, they watch, it doesn’t matter if the other team scores. Everyone cheers. It’s just fun. It’s about kids working together and having fun.”

Winslow pulled away in the first quarter, with Varney and Joey Kingsbury providing most of the offense. Kingsbury scored the first eight points of the game for the Black Raiders and finished with a game-high 16 points. Varney scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half, helping Winslow take a 28-14 halftime lead.

Varney was strong inside, making layup after layup, and credited Winslow teacher Pete Bolduc for his strong shooting form.

“It feels really good. I could never have really done it without (Coach) Bolduc teaching me how to shoot,” Varney said. “I help my players and score points. I play for the fun of it.”

Dakota Land scored eight points while Cheyanne Raymond added six for the Black Raiders.

Zachary Villano led Oceanside with 14 points. Nick Colson and Jacob Morris each scored four points for the Mariners.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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