PORTLAND — Ethan Murphy delivered Cape Elizabeth’s first state title since 1988 with a layup at the buzzer as the Capers defeated Medomak Valley, 44-42, with a late comeback Friday at Cross Insurance Arena. 

Muphy’s lay-in capped a 7-0 run in the final minute, denying the Panthers a chance to end a 25-year state title drought. 

“I still don’t know if I have words for it,” Murphy said. “I caught the ball, I thought time was running low. When I looked up and saw 0.0 it was crazy. I heard the horn and we won the game. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. No doubt.” 

The Capers (18-3) trailed 42-37 with 50 seconds left before Finn Bowe gave them a pulse with his only 3-pointer of the game to pull within two with 39 seconds left. Medomak Valley missed the front end of a one-in-one and Jack O’Rourke tied the game at the other end with 21 seconds to play. 

“You got to persevere and you have to keep working,” Cape Elizabeth coach James Ray said. “We were still there. It was still a two-possession game and things turned in a hurry. That’s why you never quit.” 

The Panthers missed a contest shot in the paint on their final offensive possession, leading to Muphy’s heroics on the other end as Edward Galvin hit him in stride for the game-winning assist. 


“We have a team poster that we do every year,” Ray said. “We put a slogan on it. The slogan this year was ‘It begins with character.’ Their character didn’t waiver, even when it didn’t look good.

Cape’s comeback seemed unlikely after it went the first 5:06 of the quarter without a point and more than seven minutes without a field goal. Murphy had the Capers’ first bucket of the fourth quarter with 53.5 seconds to play. 

“We knew if we played hard we’d have a chance,” Murphy said. “Our team never quits. I definitely had some doubts in my mind, especially when Eddie came out with some cramps, but we kept playing hard, got some lucky breaks with some free throws and we made it happen when it counted.” 

Murphy finished with a team-high 13 points, nine coming in the second half. 

Cape’s drought to start the quarter allowed the Panthers (19-3) to open the frame on a 10-0 run to grab a 39-34 advantage. Nick DePatsy has six points during the run. He finished with a team-high 14 points.  

It was a game of runs. The Capers went to the locker room trailing 17-15, but responded with a 19-point third quarter to build a 34-29. James Bottomley drained a 3 from the corner at the buzzer, one of four 3s the Capers hit in the third quarter after making just one in the first half. 

Cape finished strong and started strong. The Capers raced out to a 7-1 lead in the opening quarter. O’Rourke drained his first of three 3s on the night and Galvin and Murphy each had a basket. 

But the Panthers responded with a run of their own. They closed the first quarter by scoring 11 of the final 15 points to grab a 12-9 lead. 

The teams combined for 11 points in the second quarter. 

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