AUGUSTA — It’s been a year since Forest Hills was upset in the semifinal round of the Western Class D boys’ basketball tournament.

The Tigers were determined to erase that memory in the first eight minutes of their tournament opener Saturday.

Stocked with seniors who played a key role two years ago en route to a state championship, Forest Hills overwhelmed No. 9 North Yarmouth Academy 79-48 behind a 38-point performance from Ryan Petrin.

Next up for the undefeated Tigers (19-0) is a semifinal date Wednesday against No. 4 Seacoast Christian. North Yarmouth finishes 8-12.

The Tigers led 30-11 after one quarter, behind 15 points from Petrin and 11 from Matt Turner, a pair of senior veterans who started for the state title team.

“We were like kids before Christmas,” Forest Hills Coach Anthony Amero said. “We’ve been waiting to play in the tournament so long since last year, when we got beat.”

The loss came to rival Valley – the teams could meet in this year’s regional final – and it’s been a motivating factor for the Tigers.

“It’s been on the locker room wall since last year,” Amero said. “The kids have just worked so hard.”

Petrin, Turner, Brandon Ouellette and Tanner Daigle have played together for years and form a senior core that’s versatile and interchangeable. And this year, they’re even better.

“We’re bigger, stronger and faster,” Petrin said.

It showed Saturday.

Petrin, Turner and Daigle pounded the backboards and outmuscled the physically overmatched Panthers. The 6-foot-3 Petrin and 6-4 Daigle scored all their points in the paint, while Turner (20 points) showed his versatility inside and out. He drilled back-to-back 3-pointers from the top of the circle midway through the first quarter to give the Tigers a 16-5 lead.

Forest Hills has worked hard to improve its shooting.

“We wanted to be a better shooting team than we were last year,” Amero said. “Around the perimeter, we’re not afraid to shoot the ball. We’ve got four guys who can shoot the 3.”

Still, the Tigers are a team that likes to beat opponents down the floor, and Saturday’s game was a case in point. The college sized 94-foot floor worked to their advantage.

“I love it,” Petrin said. “We’ve played on these floors three or four times this year. I could play another game right now.”

The Panthers trailed 45-15 at the half but didn’t fold over the final 16 minutes. They got strong games from DJ Nicholas, Eoin Anderson and Jake Malcolm, and thanks to a late flurry of 3-pointers, were outscored by just a point in the second half.