It’s tournament basketball week in Maine and there’s no more exciting time in high school sports. Schools in four classes are playing for regional titles at the Bangor Auditorium, the Augusta Civic Center, the Portland Expo and the Cumberland County Civic Center. State championships will be contested next week.
Here are some of the highlights so far:
Boys Class A
In Western Maine games, top seeded and unbeaten Cheverus struggled before getting past No. 8 Marshwood 52-40. Louis DiStasio led the Stags with 16 points. Second-seeded Bonny Eagle won its quarterfinal against Westbrook but No. 5 Portland upset No. 4 South Portland behind 19 points from Mike Herrick and No. 6 Deering knocked off No. 3 Thornton, 41-33. The seedings held in the quarterfinal round in Class A East with No. 1 Bangor, No. 2 Hampden, No. 3 Edward Little and No. 4 Mt. Blue all winning.
Kennebec Valley Athletic conference southern division player of the year Bo Leary led Edward Little past Mt. Ararat with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Northern KVAC player of the year Graham Safford led Hampden past Lewiston with 22 points. The semifinal matchup between Bangor and Mt. Blue featured a pair of coaches with over 1,000 combined career wins. Bangor’s Roger Reed has 554 while Mt. Blue’s Jim Bessey has 463.
Boys Class B
In Eastern Maine, Nokomis threw a scare into second-seeded and unbeaten Ellsworth before falling 76-73. Nokomis junior Chris Braley scored 43 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a losing effort. In Winslow’s 64-58 win over Medomak Valley, senior Mike McCann scored his 1,000th career point while teammate Justin Murray dropped in 30 for the winners. No. 5 Gardiner upset No. 3 Presque Isle while unbeaten and top-seeded Camden Hills cruised to a 79-44 win over Caribou.
In the West, the top four seeds — Greely, Cape Elizabeth, York and Yarmouth all won, although Cape needed overtime to knock off No. 7 Wells.
Boys Class C
In Class C West, the top four seeds each won with No. 2 Boothbay downing No. 10 Traip, No. Dirigo topping No. 8 Livermore Falls and No. 3 Old Orchard beating No. 6 Monmouth. In the closest game of the day, No. 4 Waynflete of Portland topped No. 5 Wiscasset 50-48 in double overtime behind 26 points from senior Joe Veroneau.
Boys Class D
The No. 2 versus No. 7 matchups in both Eastern and Western Maine proved eventual.
In Eastern Maine, No. 2 Jonesport-Beals survived Fort Fairfield 72-70. Fort Fairfield’s Travis Noyes scored 26 points to become the school’s all-time leader with 1,073 for his career. In Western Maine, No. 2 Greenville edged Valley behind 34 points from Tony DiAngelo. In another Western Maine game, No. 1 Forest Hills got past No. 8 Rangeley when Evan Worster hit a jumper with 4.2 seconds left. Vinalhaven and Richmond won semifinal games and will meet in the finals for the second year in a row.
Girls Class A
In Class A East, No. 8 Messalonskee pulled off the upset of the tournament in the quarterfinals, knocking off top-seeded Morse 53-43. Megan Pelletier scored 20 points for the Eagles who took advantage of foul problems by Morse star Nikoline Ostergaard. Edward Little, Hampden and Cony also won.
In the West, top-seeded Deering survived No. 9 Bonny Eagle 37-30 while No. 2 McAuley cruised past South Portland 52-27 behind 24 points from UMaine bound Becca Knight. No. 3 Gorham downed Windham 54-33 behind 34 points from senior Mia Rappola while Sanford defeated Cheverus, 45-42.
Girls Class B
In the East, the top four seeds won with No. 1 Presque Isle downing Gardiner, No. 2 John Bapst beating Hermon, No. 3 Medomak Valley over Caribou and No. 4 Nokomis topping Caribou. In beating Mount Desert Island 69-33, Nokomis made nine 3-pointers.
In Western Maine, defending state champion York blitzed Gray-New Gloucester 55-14. The Wildcats are holding opponents to 22 points a game. No. 2 Leavitt and No. 3 Lake region also won while No. 5 Greely upset No. 4 Mountain Valley, 42-39.
Girls Class C
In Western Maine, No. 1 Hall-Dale topped Georges Valley 59-30 behind 24 points from senior Taylor Massey. Livermore Falls, Traip and Waynflete also won quarterfinal games.
In the East, No. 8 Dexter pulled the upset of the tournament by knocking off Calais 43-33. Second-seeded and unbeaten Central topped Penquis, 52-44, while No. 5 Washington Academy defeated No. 6 Houlton and No. 4 Orono nipped No. 5 Woodland.
Girls Class D
The top four seeds won in Western Maine led by No. 1 Richmond which stopped Hebron 53-37 behind 24 points from sophomore Jamie Plummer. Senior Cindy Schultz scored 29 points including the game-winning shot in Valley’s 54-53 win over Greater Portland Christian. In Eastern Maine, top-seeded Washburn advanced with a 56-26 win against Bangor Christian while No. 2 seed Central Aroostook beat Shead 74-38. No. 5 Fort Fairfield and No. 5 Deer Isle-Stonington also advanced.
Seedings are set for the boys hockey tournaments next week. In Class A East, Lewiston (15-1-2) is seeded No. 1 while defending state champion Biddeford (16-0-3) is No. 1 in the West. In Class B East, defending state champ Brewer (17-0-1) is No. 1 while Greely (14-3-1) drew top seeding in the West.
St. Dominic of Auburn won the girls state championship with a 6-1 victory over York. The Saints finished at 20-1.
Championships in three classes were determined recently. In Class A, Noble High of Berwick won its 11th state title in 13 years by a comfortable margin over runner-up Marshwood. Cony’s Will Lundquist, the 135-pound champion, was named outstanding wrestler. In Class B, Mountain Valley won its first title since 2007, beating Eastern Maine champ Camden Hills by 27 points. Belfast’s Brent Waterman, the 125-pound winner, was named outstanding wrestler.
In Class C, Foxcroft Academy edged three-time defending state champion Lisbon by six points for the title. Lisbon’s Forrest Cornell, who won at 119, was named outstanding wrestler.
BANGORS WRAPS UP 5TH SWIMMING TITLE
The Bangor boys won their fifth straight state championship, beating runner-up Cape Elizabeth by 68 points. The Bangor girls made it a sweep for the Queen City with a 33 point victory over second-place Morse. In Class B, the Greely boys made it two in a row beating second-place Ellsworth, while the Mount Desert girls topped Greely for the title.
In Class A, the Scarborough boys and girls each won championships, the boys for the seventh year in a row. Mt. Ararat finished second among the boys while Bonny Eagle was girls runner-up. In Class B, the Waterville girls sealed their win over Greely in the final event of the day, the 4x200 meter relay, while Falmouth topped Waterville for the boys title.