What rivals couldn’t do to the surviving teams in the high school basketball tournament this week Mother Nature accomplished Friday, slowing their momentum with a fresh helping of snow across most of the state.
Just two tourney games statewide were played Friday, the Eastern Maine Class C girls semifinals at the Bangor Auditorium.
Six other games — the Eastern C boys semifinals in Bangor, the Eastern A boys and girls finals in Augusta, and the Western A girls semifinals in Portland — were postponed, leaving full schedules for Saturday and six regional finals now slated for Monday.
Among the teams that will have to wait for their chance at regional glory are the third-seeded Hampden Academy girls, which now will play No. 8 Messalonskee of Oakland for the Eastern A crown at 6:05 p.m. Monday at the Augusta Civic Center.
“We had a team dinner at [senior forward] Whitney Moore’s house Thursday, and after dinner we sat around and watched the DVR of the semifinal [victory over Edward Little of Auburn on Wednesday],” said Hampden coach Chad Bradbury. “Everyone was getting excited and the adrenaline was pumping, and now to see it come to a standstill, it’s like hitting a wall.”
Bradbury has scheduled a team practice for Saturday afternoon, hoping to get his players pumped up again for the chance to win the program’s first Eastern Maine title since winning the 1976 Class A state championship.
“You just have to deal with it the best you can,” said Bradbury.
The Hampden-Messalonskee matchup will be followed at approximately 7:45 p.m. Monday by the Eastern A boys final between top-seeded Bangor and third-ranked Edward Little, who have combined to win the last four regional titles in their division.
Saturday’s schedule at Augusta remains unchanged, with Western D finals (Valley of Bingham vs. Richmond girls and Vinalhaven vs. Richmond boys) beginning at 1:05 p.m. and Western C finals (Livermore Falls vs. Hall-Dale of Hallowell girls and Boothbay vs. Dirigo of Dixfield boys) starting at 7:05 p.m.
In Bangor, tournament officials began preparing for the possibility of scheduling changes at the Eastern B, C and D tourney on Thursday evening, announcing to the crowd in attendance for that night’s Class D boys semifinals of potential revisions that turned out to be the case after snow began falling in the region at mid-morning Friday.
As a result, the Eastern C boys semifinals have been moved from Friday night to Saturday morning, with Sumner of East Sullivan against Penobscot Valley of Howland at 9:05 a.m. and Penquis of Milo against Lee Academy at 10:35 a.m.
For top-ranked Lee and No. 4 Penquis, it will mean playing late in the morning rather than late in the evening, which may not be that much of an adjustment for those teams since they won their quarterfinals during a morning session Wednesday.
“I don’t think it makes that much difference once you step onto the Auditorium floor,” said Lee coach Randy Harris.
One team the delay may help is second-ranked Penobscot Valley, which has been trying to nurse back to health senior guard Eddie Cobb, the team’s second-leading scorer who sat out the Howlers’ quarterfinal victory over Washington Academy of East Machias on Tuesday after suffering a left ankle injury during practice a day earlier.
Cobb practiced with the team on a limited basis for the first time since that injury on Friday.
“It gives us more time,” said Penobscot Valley coach Jamie Russell. “And the extra hours Eddie will get before the game with it being Saturday morning will be mostly sleeping, so he’ll be off the ankle that much longer.
“Right now I think he’s going to play [Saturday]. If I had asked him to play Friday night, it would have been really shaky.”
The Eastern C boys semifinals will be followed by the Eastern D championship games Saturday afternoon, with the girls contest between Washburn and Deer Isle-Stonington at 2:05 p.m. followed by the Central Aroostook of Mars Hill and Jonesport-Beals boys matchup at 3:45 p.m.
The Eastern B finals now will make up the night session at Bangor on Saturday, with defending regional champion Nokomis of Newport against Medomak Valley of Waldoboro in the 7:05 p.m. girls game, followed at 8:45 p.m. by the boys clash between unbeatens Camden Hills of Rockport and Ellsworth, a rematch of the 2010 final won by Camden Hills.
The Class C regional finals in Eastern Maine will be played Monday, with the girls game at 4:05 p.m. and the boys game at 5:45 p.m.
The Western A girls semifinals scheduled for Friday night have been moved back to Saturday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, with Sanford against Deering at 7 p.m. and Gorham against McAuley of Portland at 8:30 p.m.
The Western B finals will be played as originally scheduled on Saturday, with the girls game between unbeatens Leavitt of Turner Center and defending state champion York at 2 p.m. and the boys game between Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth at 3:45 p.m.
The Western A finals have been moved to Monday, with the girls game at 6 p.m. and undefeated defending state champion Cheverus of Portland against Bonny Eagle of Standish in the boys game at 8 p.m.