Mount View’s Declan Knowlton draws a host of Maranacook defenders during a Dec. 23, 2019 game in Readfield. Knowlton is one of the top scorers for the Mustangs this season. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Mount View boys basketball coach Jeremy Von Oesen would have loved for his team to compete in a traditional Class B boys basketball tournament this year.

“If you look at Class B North this year, it’s really too bad we weren’t at the Cross (Insurance) Center with all these teams,” Von Oesen said. “There are so many teams that are so good. Ellsworth has come along really good, they have a really good freshman guard, I’ve watched a few of their games, they beat Bangor. You look at how Washington Academy returned kind of everybody. We pretty much returned everybody but one or two pieces, just like everyone else, kind of.”

The Mustangs (8-4) enjoyed a strong and abbreviated winter season. They’ve finished several games with five double digit scorers. Draedyn Furrow and Declan Knowlton averaged nearly 15 points each per game. Tyler Russell, Joe Grassi, Noah Hurd and Sean Raven averaged nearly 10 points per game for the Mustangs.

Despite no Class B North tournament this season, all is not lost.

Mount View will compete next week in regional playoffs, along with Camden Hills, Oceanside, Medomak Valley, Belfast and Boothbay.

“We’re pretty balanced scoring across the board,” Von Oesen said. “We try to find matchups that work for us in different games. It’s been really successful these last four or five games. We’ve had a lot more success in attacking our opponents in the matchups that we like.”

Though a couple regular-season games remain before the playoffs begin Friday, Von Oesen said he believes the Mustangs will meet Boothbay in the first game of the tournament. Boothbay won’t be the only quality opponent in the tournament, as Oceanside, Camden Hills  — which Mount View defeated earlier this season — and Medomak Valley should also provide challenges. If Mount View wins Friday, it will have to turn around and be ready for its next opponent the following day.

“If we do (win), we have to play the next day against a fresh opponent that didn’t play the night before,” Von Oesen said. “I tried to get the game moved to Thursday, but there’s (the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference cheering submission day). We’re not able to do it Wednesday, because there’s still a couple of games that matter. But if we’re fortunate enough to (win) on Friday night, we’re looking forward to getting it done again on Saturday.”

On the girls side, Mount View head coach Mark Cooper said his team has managed to do much with little. The Mustangs (4-8) carry just eight players on their roster.

“We’re a young team,” Cooper said. “Right now, I’m starting a junior, three sophomores and a freshman. I have a total of eight girls, that’s it. No (junior varsity) squad. I started with 11, then one decided she didn’t want to play. One became ineligible. Another decided ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’ Of my subs, I have a senior and two freshmen. We’re young coming off the bench, too. We’re going to make a lot of mistakes. We’re averaging anywhere from 25 to 30 turnovers. Our shooting percentage isn’t that strong. But I foresee next year — if this gets back to the way it used to be — I’ve got some eighth graders that could get some minutes next year. We should be fighting for a prelim spot, or even get to Bangor and see what happens.”

The Mustangs are led by junior Hannah Coolen, the team’s top scorer. Cooper said Coolen is on pace to break the 1,000 career point barrier next season. She’s aided by 6-3 sophomore Kricket Thompson and Sydney Vogel.

“I’m glad we got these 12 games in, I’m glad we got the playoff game,” Cooper said. “If (Coolen) had a normal year and a normal amount of games, then she would have gotten 1,000 points on Senior Night of her junior year… She’s great. She passes, she rebounds, she defends. I just wish she was another four or five inches taller. She gets beaten up,  but she just gets right up and knocks down the foul shots. She’s a really solid player.”

Cooper said Oceanside — which has had its way with teams in the region this season — will be the targeted team in the tournament. Medomak Valley will likely provide a tough matchup as well. Boothbay is led by senior Glory Blethen, a 1,000-point career scorer and finalist for the Miss Maine Basketball award.

“The team to beat is Oceanside,” Cooper said. “They’re stacked…. Audrey Mackie, I suspect she’ll be a 1,000-point scorer down the road. She’s a really solid player.”

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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