The last time George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill lost a tournament game, there were only four classes of Maine high school basketball, and what now is known as the North was still considered Eastern Maine.
Since that 2015 Eastern Maine Class C quarterfinal loss to Orono, coach Dwayne Carter’s Eagles are 81-5 overall with 14 consecutive postseason victories and three straight state championships.
GSA has won 11 straight games in North tourney competition, all by double figures, with an average victory margin of 25.3 points.
While players have changed and newer standouts have emerged, the Eagles still look all the part of a prime contender for another gold ball as the field for the Class C regional semifinals has been set, with the South to determine its finalists Thursday night and the North to follow Friday afternoon.
Three of the four South semifinalists are the teams George Stevens has defeated in the last three state championship games: Hall-Dale of Farmingdale in 2018, Winthrop in 2017 and Waynflete of Portland in 2016.
Third-ranked Hall-Dale (18-1) faces No. 2 Waynflete (15-2) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the first Class C South semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center, followed at 8:30 by No. 1 Winthrop (18-1) against No. 5 Traip Academy of Kittery (14-5), which posted the lone quarterfinal upset in that region, a 70-60 victory over No. 4 Boothbay.
The South semifinals match teams that did not meet during the regular season.
Winthrop will seek its fourth consecutive trip to the regional final, Hall-Dale hopes to return for a second straight year and Waynflete will attempt to go back to the Class C South title game for the second time in four years.
In Friday’s North semifinals, No. 3 George Stevens (17-3) meets No. 2 Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (16-3) for the third time this winter. They split two regular-season games, with GSA winning 53-46 at Blue Hill on Jan. 12 and Mattanawcook winning 55-53 at Lincoln on Feb. 5.
That was the Eagles’ lone loss to a Class C team so far this winter, with the other defeats coming against Class B North semifinalist Ellsworth.
Houlton, which gave George Stevens one of its toughest tournament tests during the Eagles’ state championship run in a 12-point quarterfinal loss last year, is coming off perhaps the most impressive win in this year’s quarters.
Coach Tim Brewer’s club advanced with a 72-32 win over No. 4 Penobscot Valley of Howland, which entered the tournament with the best regular-season record in Class C North at 16-2 and had won its previous 12 games.
Sumner used a last-second shot from 1,000-point scorer Colby McLean to upset top-ranked Central Aroostook of Mars Hill in its quarterfinal. That marked the Tigers’ first tourney win in Bangor since their run to the 2011 Eastern Maine final at the Bangor Auditorium.
Houlton and Sumner did not meet during the regular season.