Day 2

Quarterfinal Saturday is a LOT

Day 2

First things first. Saturday's newsletter was accidentally completely behind the paywall because I forgot to put the line in that makes most of it free. You can read it all here. These are things that happen on very little sleep.

Quarterfinal Saturday is a lot.

The one thing you learn when you start doing a full day in one venue--especially Quarterfinal Saturday--is that you quickly end up in a bubble with little to no idea what's going on in the other two. If something crazy happens, you might hear about it, but other than that, you're in the dark.

So I'll do my best after doing 12 games at the Expo in 31ish hours.

Let's start with the 9am game at the Expo between the Spruce Mountain girls and Yarmouth. Both teams started slowly, like a true 9am game. Spruce shot 11% from the floor in the first quarter. Yarmouth isn't your typical 6 seed and their length was bothering the Pingree sisters, but as great teams do in tournament play, they found scoring elsewhere. In this case, it was from Avery Bessey, who went 5-8 from 3 to give Spruce a much-needed jolt of caffeine. You need that in a 9am game.

Yarmouth hung close, but with thirty seconds to play, Spruce had a 6 point lead and seemed poised to advance. Then, Cate King scored on a put-back, Spruce missed a 3, Lauren Keaney (who had left the game for a spell with an injury) hit a 3 with 6 seconds left. But Yarmouth failed to call time, despite having 3 timeouts remaining, and Spruce ran out the clock. They dodge a bullet.

They'll face the Medomak girls in the semis.

Medomak Valley got an early break when York's standout big McKayla Kortes picked up her second foul 38 seconds into the game. The Panthers opened up a 7-point lead before Kortes checked back in, but she promptly picked up her third.

It was around that time Kytana Williamson decided she had seen enough.

She finished with 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Up in Bangor, in the Game of the Day, Caribou took the defending champions of Orono to the limit. From the BDN:

Leading 48-47 with 35 seconds to go, Orono junior Will Francis hit two clutch free throws and then made a high-flying block on the other end, where senior Pierce Walston recovered the loose ball and found senior Ben Francis for an emphatic and-one play to seal it.
Orono edges Caribou in B North boys quarterfinal
Orono will play the winner of No. 1 Ellsworth and No. 9 Winslow in the semifinals Wednesday.

In Augusta, #7 Telstar had #2 St. Dom's on the ropes.

But St. Dom's was able to put the hammer down, ratchet up their press, and eventually win by 7.

After years of futility, you have to imagine the Wiscasset boys were feeling good about winning their first quarterfinal game since 1995 and you would be right.

It didn't come easily either. They beat #4 Buckfield 49-47.

Back in Portland, it looked like Wells sophomore Megyn Mertens was going to be too much for Lake Region. She had 21 and Wells led 35-27 in the fourth quarter.

But then Margo Tremblay took over. Her 10 4th quarter points fueled a 12-0 Lake Region run to take control of the game. After 2 Maxons fouled out, Payton Fazzina's 3 in the final seconds got Wells within 2, but they couldn't get off a final shot at the buzzer.

Lake Region advances to play Oceanside, who won handily (Bailey Breen had 33 & 15), but Biddeford's Jordyn Crump made it interesting by going 5-5 from the NBA line.

On to the evening sessions. In Augusta, Camden brought a bassoon.

There was only 1 band at the Expo and we need more. Lake Region's band was fantastic. Even if you can't get a full band, go the Messalonskee/Machias route and have 3 guitars and a drum kit and just rock out. We will love it. I promise.

They also brought Will Duke and Nolan Ames.

The Windjammers were an underdog in the seeding, but favored by the Model. In the end, favorites in A North went 8-0, which I'm pretty sure is a first since we went to 5 classes.

The favorites were not so lucky in Bangor, where the Central Aroostook girls were favored by 13 over Katahdin. And apparently Hunter Hartsgrove took exception to that, because she went off for 37 in a blowout.

Eastern Maine Sports spoke to her after the game.

But the biggest upset was in Portland, where 2-time defending regional champion Falmouth squared off against Westbrook.

The storyline with Falmouth has centered on 2 things: Chris Simonds and coach Dave Halligan's quest for his 600th career win (he's at 598).

For all their pedigree, Falmouth came out cold. Westbrook came out hungry, the definition of a team playing with house money. The Blue Blazes held Simonds to 9 points and forced 25 turnovers to beat Falmouth 50-43. And it could have been worse. Westbrook lost David Mbuyamba (15 & 8) and Gio Staples (8 points) for stretches with injuries and Mike Shungu missed 2 monster dunks that would have brought the house down.

The Blazes will face Noble, who made a statement with a 76-50 win over Greely. Jamier Rose was everywhere for the Knights. I had him at a near triple-double with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, and 5 steals as Noble won their first quarterfinal game since 1985.

Kade Ippolito had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Greely.

Back in Bangor, the Ellsworth girls set the girls all-class record for 3s made in a game.

Ellsworth sets girls tournament 3-pointer record
The Eagles now own the Maine high school girls tournament record for all classes after hitting 14 3-pointers in a win over Presque Isle.

Speaking of 3s, the Freeport boys went 10-15 from three in their win over Kennebunk. The Rams were able to force 18 turnovers to keep it close.

At this point, I'm really fading.

But there's one more game!

The Fryeburg boys led #1 GNG by 8 in the first quarter, but then the Patriots found their rhythm. They went on a 14-2 run to take the lead. Fryeburg made some noise in the 3rd quarter, but GNG was just too much.

Jagger Helwig kept Fryeburg alive in this one. He broke the southern A tournament record by going 8-10 from 3. He had 26. Noah and Nate Hebert each scored 18 for GNG.

And that's it.

12 games is a lot. I'm sure there were people in each of the venues who worked all 12 games over two days, but I want to mention Ethan Snow, because I watched him do it. So if you enjoyed any of the streams from the Expo this last weekend, he worked them all, in one capacity or another.

There will be more live stats today from Portland, as I'm planning to cover the Girls A South quarterfinals, but first I'll hit Augusta for some of the Girls D South quarterfinals. I always try to catch some class D games because they tend to get ignored, plus you get some great games, like last year when the Vinalhaven girls came back down 20 points in the 4th to win in overtime and then had to race to catch the ferry.

LIVE Stats
Live stats of selected games

If you haven't checked out the LIVE stats yet, they're pretty cool and look like this:

Also apparently there was a dunk contest.

This is a game of contrasts in scheduling.

On the one hand, you have Fort Kent. The 2 seed in C North played 10 games against Class D schools, going 8-2. They also have 6 losses, which is a lot for a 2 seed. They also played 10 games against team inside the top 51, so despite the games against D, they actually played a pretty hard schedule.

As luck would have it, they'll play Mount View. The seventh-seeded Mustangs went 9-6 against Class B. They beat Mount Abram early in the year and "only" went 2-6 against tourney teams. Those 6 losses? Medomak Valley (x2), Lincoln Academy (x2), Oceanside, and Winslow. And in 4 of those losses, they had a real shot at winning. They're the ranked 2nd in C North against teams in the top 25.

Oh, and they didn't play a single team in their region during the regular season, which is fun.

It would not shock me if they made a run. If they do, it starts today.

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