Bangor High School advanced all four of its entries, while Stearns High School of Millinocket and Rumford each put three teams into the next session during the Round of 64 in the Bangor Daily News Best Boys Basketball Team of All Time bracket contest.
For the moment, Bangor has one team remaining in each of the four regions: the Rams’ championship squads from 1959, 1993, 1995 and 2001.
Voting for the Round of 32 began at 1 a.m. Wednesday and will give fans the opportunity to select their favorite teams until midnight. Those winners advance to Thursday’s “Super 16.”
Stearns’ 1963 New England Championship team enjoyed the most lopsided victory in the first round, earning 87 percent of the vote in its matchup against 2004 Class D state champion Calvary Chapel Christian of Orrington.
The Minutemen’s 1964 and 1965 ballclubs also won their contests against the 1954 Greenville Class M championship team and the 2017 Class C gold ball winners from George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill, respectively.
There were a couple of matchups that demonstrated fans’ appreciation for both teams. Orono’s 1969 Class B championship team led by Peter Gavett and Co. won a barn burner against the 2001 Valley of Bingham contingent that was part of the program’s 101-game winning streak. The Red Riots moved on by a single vote.
In a hotly contested duel pitting a pair of Portland’s memorable champions, Deering’s 2006 ballclub slipped past the 1981 Cheverus team, securing a two-vote margin. The 1975 Foxcroft Academy ballclub led by Kevin Nelson also prevailed by two votes, edging the 2020 Caribou team that secured the Vikings’ second straight Class B title in a double-overtime game.
Two of South Portland’s three teams were eliminated from the competition, including the 1992 squad — which won the state title by beating Bangor in the memorable five-overtime game at the Cumberland County Civic Center — bowing out by a narrow 2.2 percent margin against the 2013 Hampden Academy team paced by Zach Gilpin and Nick Gilpin.
Make sure to vote in subsequent rounds to determine Maine’s Best Boys Basketball Team of All Time.