Day 1

The tournament, my friends, does not disappoint.

Day 1

Oh, man. The Tournament, it does not disappoint.

Let's start in Portland, where #6 Spruce Mountain was taking on #3 York. The Wildcats led for most of the first half, but neither team was shooting well, so the biggest lead they'd been able to get was 6.

In the second half, they traded the lead a couple of times, and you started to wonder if Spruce was going to end their rough streak of quarterfinals games. With just under 5 to go, Jace Bessey knocked down a transition 3 to tie the game, but it got waived off. Offensive foul on the screen by Cai Dougher. It was a pretty bang-bang play. That gave Dougher 4 fouls. Up until this point, Dougher was their leading scorer with 11. He finished with 11. In the next Spruce possession, he get called for another offensive foul for using his off-hand to drive baseline. If it was a foul, it was minimal. He fouls out. In the next 2 possessions, Spruce gets called for 2 more iffy calls. York capitalizes on each one and suddenly, over the course of a minute and change, a tie game is a 12-point lead.

York advances.

Meanwhile, in Bangor:

MDI would stretch this to 48-26 and Maranacook would rally, but it was too little, too late.

MDI boys stun second-seeded Maranacook in B North quarterfinal
The Trojans will play No. 3 Old Town (16-3) at the Cross Center at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

And there goes my bracket.

Over in Augusta, Girls A North went according to seed and they didn't seem to be all that close, which is very unlike A North and might be a bad sign for some of the higher seeds on the Boys side tomorrow.

We'll see.

Having said that, don't sleep on Camden.

Back in Portland for the Game of the Day, everyone assumed Medomak Valley and Yarmouth would have some fireworks. And they sort of did, just not what anyone expected.

Medomak started strong. They got early 3s from Mason Nguyen and Kristian Schumann to build an 8-2 lead despite Yarmouth's Evan Hamm blocking everything in sight. He finished with 4 of Yarmouth's 6 blocked shots.

It was 13-8 after 1. And then Yarmouth scored to make it 13-10 and you could feel the anticipation. But Medomak strung some baskets together to stretch it back out to 9, then answered some Yarmouth buckets to get it to 11.

Mason Nguyen beat the buzzer to make the lead 27-14 at the half.

Everyone spent the half expecting the Yarmouth run.

But it was Medomak who went on a run. They shot 9/13 from the floor in the third as part of a 24-2 run to put the game out of reach. They won 61-33. Kory Donlin led the way with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Steve Craig has a write-up for the PPH.

Boys’ basketball: Medomak Valley overwhelms Yarmouth, 61-33
The fourth-seeded Panthers dominate a rematch with Yarmouth, earning a spot in the Class B South semifinals.

And so ends the careers of Matt Gautreau and Evan Hamm, two of my favorite players to watch in this region.

I have one last request:

Back in Bangor, the #3 Maranacook girls were hoping to fare better than the boys as they also played MDI, only this time the 6 seed.

MDI opened up to a 20-0 to end the game before it even started, giving the Big East teams a pair of resounding wins to open up quarterfinal play.

I'm sure Facebook will be calm and reasonable about this.

But let's see what that does to the Gold Ball Odds...

Back in Portland, we finish with the Oceanside boys and #8 Mountain Valley.

Mountain Valley's Tanner Henry kicked off the scoring with a three. Then his steal led to a Ben DeSalle bucket. Then he picks Cohen Galley's pocket, which leads to another DeSalle bucket.

Timeout Oceanside.

Out of the timeout, Carter Galley turns it over and Henry hits another 3. 10-0 and the Mountain Valley crowd is losing their minds.

Zeb Foster scores to get them on the board (he had 12) and a little over a minute later, we're all tied up. Oceanside out-scores Mountain Valley 40-11 over the rest of the half.

It was Cohen Galley who had the hot hand, but as we learned later in the game, there was a reason for that.


video: me

He needed 38 to join his brother in the 1K club and he got exactly 38.

There were some murmurs in the crowd about why he was still in, but this makes sense to me. You've got an opportunity to get it out of the way. It's one less distraction going into a semifinal that figures to be very competitive. And what happens if you take him out 8 short and he's in foul trouble all night and only scores 4 in a loss? Get it out of the way.

I was supposed to publish this yesterday, but Thomas Curtis is back with a look at the first round of AA Quarterfinals.

The AA Round-Up: February 15, 2024
AA kicks off the quarterfinals

Load up on caffeine. It's gonna be a long day.

Let's go to B North Boys, courtesy of Jay Baines' superior brackets. (Hire him, MPA!)

Caribou is here thanks to a prelim win over their rivals in Presque Isle. They have the third best offense in the region, at 61.1 ppg and other than a hiccup at Hermon on January 20th, have taken care of business. They've struggled with Ellsworth and lost a close one early in the year to Old Town, but they still rank as the 5th most dominant team in the region. It's a tough region.

Orono, of course, is the defending champs, and evidence of their victory still hangs in the rafters of the Expo.

They're 4th in scoring, 4th in Point Differential, and the Model thinks they should be the 2 seed. If you want to pick them to repeat as champions, I won't argue with you.

The thing that might give you pause: one of their three losses? At Caribou.

Can the Vikings do it again? Or will the Red Riots continue to defend their crown?

Either way, I gotta finish this up because they tip at 9am.

The Model's picks for the rest of today's games are after the jump.