Hampden Academy boys basketball coach Russ Bartlett (kneeling) shares a laugh with someone on the bench during a game in January 2019. The Broncos take on Brewer on Friday night. Credit: Pete Warner

The Hampden Academy and Brewer boys basketball teams meet for the first time this winter on Friday night, and both teams enter the game feeling good about the first week of the season.

Both teams are 2-0 and among five undefeated teams in Class A North along with Messalonskee of Oakland, Cony of Augusta and Medomak Valley of Waldoboro entering the 7:30 p.m. contest. It’s the second game of a doubleheader at the Brewer High School gymnasium that begins at 6 p.m. with a matchup between the girls teams.

Both the Hampden and Brewer boys have defeated the same teams, Skowhegan and Nokomis of Newport, with Hampden winning by an average of 28 points and Brewer by 20.5 points per game.

Hampden, which was ousted in last year’s regional quarterfinals, is led by BDN All-Maine senior guard Bryce Lausier, who is averaging 27 points.

Brewer, which advanced to the Class A North semifinals last winter, placed four scorers in double figures during Tuesday’s 66-51 win at Skowhegan. Dylan Huff led the way with 15 points, followed by Kyle Goodrich and Trevor Pearson with 13 points each and Colby Smith with 11.

Brewer must cope with the length of Hampden’s lineup, which features four starters — Lausier, senior forward Mikey Raye, junior forward Brayden Cole and sophomore center T.J. Henaghen — between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-7.

Friday’s game will mark the first of back-to-back pointworthy encounters for Hampden, which hosts high-scoring Cony of Augusta on Monday night at The Stable.

Cony, led by guards Simon McCormick and Dakota Dearborn, scored 98 points during a win over Erskine Academy of South China on Tuesday night and is averaging 80.5 points.

Elsewhere, Houlton is off to a 2-0 start in its return to Class B North after winning the Class C regional crown last winter. Senior guard Keegan Gentle scored 28 points on Wednesday night to lead coach Tim Brewer’s club past County rival Presque Isle 54-37.

But the road gets tougher for Houlton, which travels to 2-0 Hermon on Saturday and hosts defending state champion Caribou on Monday. Those are followed by games Dec. 18 against Class C power Central Aroostook of Mars Hill and Dec. 21 at Ellsworth.

Another interesting Class B matchup Saturday afternoon sends Winslow to Caribou for a battle of 2-0 teams.

On Wednesday night, Washington Academy of East Machias served notice of its intent to contend in Class B with a 45-43 victory over host Ellsworth. Cecil Gray led WA with 22 points and seven rebounds while Jackson Curtis paced Ellsworth, also with 22 points and seven boards.

Calais and Madawaska were scheduled to play their mutual openers Thursday night. Those Class C teams were on the road against Class D opponents as Calais visited 2-0 Jonesport-Beals and Madawaska traveled to 1-1 Van Buren.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...