The York Wildcats under veteran coach Rick Clark have compiled a 21-0 record and will return to their second straight state game at 7:05 p.m. Friday at the Bangor Auditorium when they battle Eastern Maine champion Nokomis of Newport.
In Class A, Scarborough will take on Skowhegan at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland at 3 p.m. Saturday while Western C champ Madison, making its second state game appearance in three years, faces Calais at 7:05 p.m. in Augusta.
Class B: Few teams have come close to York, as the Wildcats’ 32-27 squeaker over Greely of Cumberland Center on Jan. 16 was the only game Clark’s team didn’t win by double-digits.
The Wildcats went on to beat the Rangers 50-38 to clinch their second consecutive regional title last week.
York features one of the state’s best players in junior center Nicole Taylor, a 2009 first-team BDN All-Mainer who passed 1,000 career points this season.
She averaged 18.6 points per game in regional tournament play, with her best output a 22-point performance in a 41-27 semifinal victory over Lake Region of Naples.
The Wildcats’ other offensive mainstay has been guard Stephanie Gallagher, who is averaging 10.3 ppg during the postseason play.
But the one eye-popping statistic has been York’s defense, which gave up only 28.3 points per game during the Western Maine tournament.
Class A: Scarborough has had to play its last two tournament games without senior Jenn Colpitts, who broke her wrist in the regional quarterfinals, but coach Jim Seavey’s Red Storm have plenty of balance to go around.
It all starts with Christy Manning, one of the favorites for Miss Maine Basketball this winter and the daughter of former Westbrook High star Lisa Blais.
Manning scored only five points in the Western Maine final against reigning state champ Deering of Portland, but her last two points were the ones that counted most, as she scored the winning hoop with just more than 10 seconds to go as Scarborough rallied for a 37-34 victory.
Manning has averaged just under 10 points per game in 21-0 Scarborough’s balanced offense while Sarah Moody has been the Storm’s other top offensive weapon.
Seavey’s team gained momentum late in the Western final after two of Deering’s better players, Ella Ramonas and leading scorer Kayla Burchill, had fouled out.
Burchill had picked up her fourth personal and slammed the ball in frustration, earning her a technical and fifth foul.
Scarborough and Skowhegan have met for state championships on the field hockey field and softball diamond over the last eight months, with Scarborough emerging victorious in both sports.
Class C: Madison has never won a state championship, having fallen to Lee Academy 59-47 in 2008.
Coach Al Veneziano’s club roared through a balanced Western C tournament with solid defense, and shut down one of the region’s best players in Waynflete’s Morgan Woodhouse as the Bulldogs beat the Flyers from Portland 37-23 in the final.
The Bulldogs surrendered a mere 27.3 points per game during their tourney run, and will have to do the same against a red-hot Calais team that averaged more than 50 per outing in the Eastern Maine tourney.
Madison’s offense has been powered by Ali Russell, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the Western Maine final.
She averaged 15 points per game during the tournament.