Portland (21-0) vs. Hampden Academy (21-0)
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Cumberland County Civic Center
• Justin Zukowski, sr., G (8.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.6 apg)
• Jayvon Pitts-Young, sr., G (12.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.9 apg)
• Matt Talbot, sr., C (15.9 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.2 apg)
• Steve Alex, jr., F (10.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.2 apg)
• Travis Godbout, sr., F (8.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.0 apg)
Hampden Academy starters
• Nick Gilpin, soph., G, (8.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 6.0 apg)
• Cam Scott, sr., G, (7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.0 apg)
• Zach Gilpin, sr., C, (23.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.5 apg)
• Matt Martin, sr., F, (4.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2 apg)
• Isaiah Bess, sr., F, (13.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Keys For Portland: The Bulldogs will look to push the ball on the break whenever they can. They want to keep the game fast-paced by pressing and running. Portland will look to exploit its quickness and athleticism. All five starters can score so the Bulldogs are good at spreading the offense around. They will need to do that against the Broncos, who are also well-balanced. Portland will need to contain Zach Gilpin and Isaiah Bess. Staying out of foul trouble is essential. In the regional final, both Pitts-Young and Alex fouled out. Center Matt Talbot is a key inside, scoring and defending against Hampden Academy’s big men. He’s the one player Portland can’t afford to lose to fouls.
Keys For Hampden Academy: The Broncos have won 43 straight games and are the defending state champions. Coach Russ Bartlett calls Portland the “best team we’ve played in two seasons.” Hampden will look to get the ball to Zach Gilpin and Isaiah Bess, their two leading scorers. This is an offense that averages 72 points per game. Like Portland, it will look to push the ball whenever possible. The Broncos can’t focus on stopping one or two players because the Bulldogs are deep in players that can burn a team. Defensively, Bartlett said it’s important that they contain Portland’s dribble, stop penetration and control the backboards. The Broncos want to limit turnovers.
Waynflete (18-2) vs. Houlton (21-0)
Saturday, 8:45 p.m., Augusta Civic Center
• Harry Baker-Connick, jr., G (6.0 ppg, 5.0 apg)
• Abel Alemayo, soph., G (6.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.7 apg)
• Serge Nyirikamba, sr., C (23.0 ppg, 10 rpg, 1.2 apg)
• Henry Cleaves, sr., F (7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
• Milo Belleau, soph., F (12.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.0 apg)
• Isaac Cone, sr., G (8.87 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.0 apg)
• Jacob Drew, jr., G (7.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
• Kyle Bouchard, jr., C (24.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 6.0 apg)
• Elijah Crockett, sr., F (11.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 apg)
• Nick Guiod, sr., F (15.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 rpg)
Keys For Waynflete: Executing their offense, taking care of the basketball and getting through the inevitable anxiety that comes from a game of this magnitude will be essential. Waynflete will look to give Serge Nyirikamba scoring opportunities while also getting the other players involved in the offense. Defensively, the Flyers will look to slow down Kyle Bouchard, but there are other players they will have to be aware of. Said Coach Rich Henry: “This late in the season both teams are pretty confident about the things they do. They know who they are. It may come down to how well the role players perform.”
Keys For Houlton: The Shiretowners average 70 points a game so getting the offense cranking with good ball movement and strong transition play will be important. Getting the ball in Bouchard’s hands in good positions on the floor will be important. He’s the team’s go-to player who makes his teammates better. Houlton wants to contain Nyirikamba and keep a check on the other Flyers who can score. Getting back in transition is a key to negating Waynflete’s quickness.
Valley (17-4) vs. Hodgdon (19-3)
Augusta Civic Center, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.
• Jordan Gillespie, sr., G (10 ppg, 3 rpg, 7 apg)
• Dylan Belanger, sr., G (13 ppg, 6 rpg, 4 apg)
• Collin Miller, soph., C (12 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 apg)
• Cody Laweryson, soph., F (10 ppg, 4 rpg, 5 apg)
• Teagan Staples, sr., F (8 ppg, 10 rpg, 2 apg)
• Keegan Gardner, jr., G (3 ppg, 4 rpg, 6 apg)
• Deyrell Vargas, sr., G (12 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg)
• Chris Hudson, jr., C (24 ppg, 16 rpg, 5 apg)
• Tyler Sherman, sr., F (11 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 apg)
• Devin Quint, jr., F (8 ppg, 4 rpg, 1 apg)
Keys For Valley: Valley is back in the state final for the first time since 2005 when it lost to Central Aroostook. The Cavaliers won six straight state titles from 1998 to 2003. For them to win again, they will need to slow down Chris Hudson who averages 24 points a game. Valley will concentrate on playing tight, halfcourt defense. Offensively, Valley will look to spread the ball around as its balanced offense is a strength. The Cavaliers beat a very good Hyde team in the regional final.
Keys For Hodgdon: Hodgdon captured Class C state titles in 1995 and 1996. Hodgdon is in its fourth season back in Class D. The Hawks will look to be patient on offense. If Valley plays man defense, the Hawks will look for backdoor cuts. If Valley plays a zone, the team will work the corners. Hodgdon has three players who average in double figures. Defensively, the Hawks don’t want to overplay the man, but will double team down low.
— Tom Chard, Staff Writer