AUGUSTA — Five local teams enter the Maine Principals’ Association regional basketball tournaments as top seeds, while a sixth is an undefeated No. 3 seed.
The Cony boys and Skowhegan girls each enter their respective Class A North brackets at No. 1, while the Forest Hills boys and Rangeley girls each have the top spots in their Class D South fields. Winthrop enters the Class C South boys tournament at No. 1.
The Skowhegan girls own a perfect 18-0 record ahead of their Friday night quarterfinal matchup against No. 8 Camden Hills (7-11).
“It’s easy to get caught up in continuously winning, but it’s also incredibly humbling,” Skowhegan senior Annie Cooke said. “We know that we need to keep our heads, and keep pushing and get the end goal that we’re all looking for.”
Waterville sophomore Paige St. Pierre is pressured by MCI defenders Christa Carr during a Jan. 21 game. Morning Sentinel photo by David Leaming
On the boys side, Cony (14-4) is the No. 1 seed in an eight-team regional loaded with parity.
Rams coach T.J. Maines thought this could be a special year, even before the first tip of the season back in December.
“I fully expected to be really good,” Maines said ahead of Cony’s quarterfinal on Saturday night against Medomak Valley (12-6). “We just feel like if we play well, we can beat anybody we’re going to play. That’s our mentality. I think there’s a bunch of teams that feel the same way — if we play like we’re capable, we can beat anyone. I think that’s probably a common theme.”
The rest of the Class A North quarterfinal field stacks up with No. 2 Hampden Academy (14-4) squaring off with No. 7 Skowhegan (8-10), which made a last-week push to get into the tournament. No. 3 Mt. Blue (11-7) meets No. 6 Brewer (9-9), and No. 4 Lawrence (10-8) plays No. 5 Erskine (12-6).
In the girls tournament, No. 2 Hampden (14-4) faces No. 7 Erskine (10-8), No. 3 Lawrence (12-6) draws No. 6 Medomak Valley (11-7) and No. 4 Gardiner (12-6) squares off against No. 5 Messalonskee (10-8), a regional finalist last season.
In Class B North, the Waterville girls completed their first undefeated regular season since 2009 and head to the regionals as the No. 3 seed. The Purple Panthers will play the winner of a preliminary round game between No. 6 Ellsworth (13-5) and No. 11 John Bapst (6-12) in the quarterfinals at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Saturday.
Maranacook sophomore Cash McClure gets off a pass around Winslow defender Justin LaFlamme during a Dec. 18 game in Readfield. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy
Prelim games tip off across the state beginning Tuesday, weather permitting.
Finishing an undefeated regular season was an accomplishment, but Waterville remains focused on tournament hardware.
“I want them to celebrate (18-0),” Waterville coach Rob Rodrigue said. “I’ve coached for 20 years and I haven’t coached an undefeated team or been part of an undefeated team. It’s a great accomplishment, but I also told them that they need to stay grounded and get ready for the real run here.”
No. 5 Winslow (12-6) will face No. 4 Old Town (14-4) in another B North quarterfinal, while No. 9 MCI (9-9) must get through a prelim at No. 8 Oceanside (7-11) in order to advance to the tournament proper.
In Class B North boys, MCI (14-4) enters at No. 5 and will play No. 4 Oceanside (13-5) in the quarterfinals. No. 11 Winslow (8-10) — the last team to earn a postseason berth — travels to No. 6 Ellsworth (12-6) for a prelim.
At 16-2, the Maranacook boys head into Class B South as the No. 2 seed. The Black Bears are slated to meet No. 7 Yarmouth (8-10) in the quarterfinals. The Maranacook girls (9-9) held on for the ninth and final spot in their region and will play a prelim game at No. 8 Spruce Mountain (8-10).
Gardiner’s Bailey Poore, center, attempts to grab a rebound from a host of Skowhegan defenders during a Jan. 17 game in Gardiner. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy
No. 2 Oak HIll (16-2) plays No. 7 Cape Elizabeth (8-10) in the Class B South girls quarterfinals.
At Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, the Winthrop and Hall-Dale boys — both 17-1 — are locked into the Class C South regional quarterfinals. The Ramblers will meet the winner of a prelim between No. 8 North Yarmouth Academy (10-8) and No. 9 Dirigo (7-11) in the quarterfinals, while the Bulldogs await No. 6 Monmouth (12-6) or No. 11 Mt. Abram (7-11) in their quarterfinal round pairing.
The Madison boys (8-10), at No. 10, travel to No. 7 Old Orchard Beach (8-10) for a prelim.
No. 2 Winthrop (16-2) is one of only three teams locked into the Class C South girls quarterfinals, a region led by undefeated top seed Boothbay (18-0). The Ramblers will play the winner of No. 10 Richmond (8-10) at No. 7 Old Orchard (11-7) in the quarters.
In preliminary round games, No. 13 Madison (5-13) travels to No. 4 Hebron (10-4), No. 5 Hall-Dale (12-6) hosts No. 12 Traip (7-11) and No. 6 Monmouth (14-4) entertains No. 11 Carrabec (7-11).
Undefeated No. 1 Forest Hills (18-0) is paired with No. 8 Seacoast Christian (3-15) in the Class D South boys quarterfinals.
Maranacook’s Garrett Whitten, left, battles for a rebound with Cony defenders Ian Bowers and Matt Wozniak (31) during a Jan. 4 game in Readfield. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan
With no prelims in Class D South, No. 2 Temple (13-5) knows it will play No. 7 Pine Tree Academy (5-13) in the quarterfinals. No. 3 Valley (13-5) draws No. 6 Vinalhaven (2-14), and No. 4 Rangeley (12-6) faces No. 5 Greenville (8-10).
The top-seeded Rangeley girls (17-1) meet No. 8 Seacoast Christian (2-16) in their quarterfinal matchup. No. 2 Temple (14-4) will face No. 7 Vinalhaven (3-14) and No. 4 Valley (9-9) plays No. 5 Forest Hills (7-11).
Travis Barrett — 621-5621
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Source : https://www.centralmaine.com/2019/02/11/top-seeds-ready-to-roll-in-basketball-tournaments/