McAuley (20-1) vs. Oxford Hills (17-4)
Saturday, 4 p.m.
Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland
• Allie Clement, sr., G (18.0 ppg, 3.0 apg, 3.2 steals)
• Olivia Dalphonse, jr., G (4.0 ppg, 2.7 apg, 2.8 steals)
• Jackie Welch, sr., G (8.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
• Olivia Smith, sr., F (9.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
• Victoria Lux, jr., F (13.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg)
Oxford Hills starters
• Mikayla Morin, jr., G (7 ppg)
• Anna Winslow, jr., F (17 ppg)
• Tiana Sugars, soph., C (7 ppg)
• Brooke Murch, sr., F (6 ppg)
• Crystal West, sr., G (8 ppg)
Keys for McAuley: The three-time defending state champs are at their best when pushing the pace and scoring in transition. If Clement and/or Welch can hit a couple early perimeter shots, the inside will open up for 6-foot-3 Smith and 6-foot Lux. Smith has shown the ability to raise her game in a tournament setting. McAuley’s defense often goes overlooked, but the Lions haven’t allowed any of their three playoff opponents to score more than 38 points and have given up more than 40 points just four times this season.
Keys for Oxford Hills: The Vikings have beaten all the top teams in the East and saw McAuley in a preseason scrimmage when both teams were missing key players, so they won’t be awed by the champs. The game may come down to whether the Vikings’ length – at guard and down low – can affect McAuley. In the Eastern Maine final, top-seeded Edward Little shot 21 percent from the floor. Winslow has progressed rapidly after averaging 4 ppg as a sophomore.
Carrabec (18-4) vs. Calais (19-2)
Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Augusta Civic Center
• Emma Pluntke, jr., C (8.1 ppg)
• Macy Welch, sr., F (8.3 ppg)
• Jessica Vaillancourt, sr., G (5.0 ppg)
• Hannah Atwood, soph., PG (6.4 ppg)
• Mckayla Willette, soph., F (7.5 ppg)
• Madison McVicar, jr., G (17.5 ppg)
• Paige Gillespie, sr., C (12 ppg, 12.5 rpg)
• Olivia Smith, jr., G (7.6 ppg)
• Mallory Black, sr., G (7.5 ppg)
• Kaitlyn Cundiff, sr., F (7.4 ppg)
Keys for Carrabec: The Cobras are making their first appearance in a state title game and are clearly the underdogs against six-time champ Calais, which returns many players who lost in the final a year ago to Waynflete. The 6-foot Pluntke and versatile reserve Kate Stevens provide above-average size. Carrabec is deep. Nine players have started during the year and Atwood, coming back from an injury, has increased her production in the tournament. “If we can contain (McVicar), I think we have a chance,” Carrabec Coach Skip Rugh said.
Keys for Calais: The Blue Devils are coming off a strong regional run. “This year I think we’ve hit on all cylinders,” Coach Dana Redding said. “Especially in Bangor, we’ve been playing the best ball we have all year.” With six seniors back from last year’s squad, the motto has been ‘Unfinished Business.’ In the multitalented McVicar and the 5-11 Gillespie – a four-year starter – the team has two of Class C’s premier players. Black is a good 3-point shooter. If Calais’ tight defense forces turnovers at its usual rate, it could be a tough night for Carrabec.
Forest Hills (21-0) vs. Washburn (20-2)
Saturday, 1:05 p.m.
Augusta Civic Center,
Forest Hills starters:
• Kori Coro, sr., G (16.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 47 3-pointers)
• Dana McNally, sr., G (6.1 ppg, 2.9 steals)
• Anna Carrier, sr., F (10.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
• Jocelyn Hoyt, sr., F (7.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
• Keely Taylor, jr., G (7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
• Joan Overman, jr., F
• Mackenzie Worcester, jr., G
• Carmen Bragg, sr., G
• Carsyn Koch, sr., C
• Nicole Olson, sr., F
Keys for Forest Hills: The Tigers must limit turnovers to keep Washburn from scoring easy layups in transition and weather an expected early attack from the three-time defending champions. “Most of their first quarters have been blowouts,” Coach Mike LeBlanc said. “We need to hang in there, and we’ve shown we usually play better as the game goes on.” Neither team has a true post presence. At 5-foot-5, Carrier is the Tigers’ tallest starter. Forest Hills’ only previous championship game appearance was its 1997 state title team.
Keys for Washburn: The Beavers average 70 points a game while allowing only 35, and they set an Eastern Class D tourney record with 232 points. Second-year coach Diana Trams didn’t have individual scoring averages for her team, but Worcester is the leading scorer and among the most prolific in the state. She scored 24 points in the state championship game as a freshman, and last year she registered her 1,000th career point during a 20-point game in the final.
— Steve Craig, Staff Writer