HS basketball teams jockeying for playoff spots

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 08, 2011, at 6:16 p.m.

The last three nights of the schoolboy basketball regular season won’t be without mystery.

Teams are still battling for top seeds, preliminary-round byes, the homecourt advantage for the preliminary round, or just to earn a berth in the prelims.

Here are the scenarios in each division entering Tuesday night’s games.

Class A: Bangor, Hampden, Edward Little of Auburn and Mt. Blue of Farmington are the top four seeds, with Lawrence and Mount Ararat of Topsham also firmly ensconced in the tournament field. Lewiston and Brunswick currently hold the final two spots in this eight-team postseason field, separated by one point in the ratings. Brewer conceivably could still wrest one of those spots away but would have to upset top-ranked Bangor when they meet Thursday at the Bangor Auditorium. Messalonskee of Oakland (at No. 5 Lawrence of Fairfield on Thursday) and Cony of Augusta (vs. Erskine Academy of South China on Thursday after hosting Brunswick on Tuesday night) also remain hypothetically alive.

Class B: The 10 teams in this postseason field are set, led by unbeatens Camden Hills and Ellsworth, who were tied for first place entering Tuesday night’s play. Five teams, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Winslow, Presque Isle, Mount Desert Island and Gardiner, are in contention for the four other preliminary-round byes, while Caribou, Hermon and Nokomis of Newport will fill out the playoff field.

Games to watch over the final days of the regular season include Hermon at MDI on Wednesday night, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle at Medomak Valley and Maranacook of Readfield at Gardiner on Thursday, and Presque Isle at Caribou and MDI at Ellsworth on Friday.

Class C: Lee, Penobscot Valley of Howland, Penquis of Milo, Stearns of Millinocket and Calais are likely the top five teams. Sumner of East Sullivan visits Washington Academy at East Machias on Wednesday night with the winner likely to earn the sixth and final bye while the loser hosts a prelim next week. Madawaska, Piscataquis of Guilford, Fort Kent, George Stevens of Mars Hill and Foxcroft Academy are battling for the final three preliminary-round berths. In games set for Wednesday, Madawaska is at Class D Fort Fairfield, Foxcroft visits rival Dexter, Piscataquis is at Central of Corinth and George Stevens plays at Orono. Fort Kent closes out its regular season at Limestone-Maine School of Science and Mathematics on Thursday.

Class D: Unbeaten Central Aroostook is comfortably in first place, while Schenck of East Millinocket and Jonesport-Beals are the likely second and third seeds. Both have pointworthy games left, Schenck hosting Stearns on Wednesday and Jonesport-Beals at home against Calais on Thursday.

Washburn and Machias also will draw preliminary-round byes, while Katahdin of Stacyville, Deer Isle-Stonington, Easton and Fort Fairfield are bound for postseason, with one earning the final bye.
Wisdom of Saint Agatha entered its regular-season finale against Limestone-MSSM on Tuesday night holding a one-point lead over Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook for the final Eastern D playoff berth. Southern Aroostook may overtake the Pioneers if it can defeat Easton on Wednesday.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/02/08/sports/hs-basketball-teams-jockeying-for-playoff-spots/ printed on April 25, 2014