WHO: Greely (21-0) vs. Messalonskee (16-5)
WHEN: 2:45 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Augusta Civic Center
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Greely, seeded first in the South, beat No. 8 Kennebunk (76-31), No. 4 York (59-54) and No. 2 Falmouth (47-26) in the playoffs. Messalonskee, seeded fifth in the North, beat No. 4 Gardiner (53-46), No. 8 Skowhegan (64-55) and No. 3 Oceanside (61-40).
KEY PLAYERS: Greely – Matt McDevitt, sr. F (15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists), Jordan Bagshaw, sr. G (14.7 points, 3.4 assists), Ryan Twitchell, sr. F (13.6 points, 8.9 rebounds), Shane DeWolfe, jr. G (5.6 points, 2.8 assists), Zach Brown, so. G/F (6.6 points, 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals); Messalonskee – Nate Violette, sr. G (19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, James Kouletsis, sr. G (11.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists), Griffin Tuttle, sr., F (5.9 points, 4.8 rebounds), Chase Warren, jr. G (4.1 points, 4.1 assists), Cole Wood, jr. F (7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds).
WHAT GREELY MUST DO TO WIN: Greely is looking for its first state championship since winning Class B in 1998. The Rangers will win if they limit their own turnovers, take high-quality shots and keep Messalonskee off the free-throw line. While the 6-foot-7 McDevitt is a capable 3-point shooter, Greely is better when he’s working toward the basket. That opens at-the-basket looks for sure-handed Twitchell and jumpers for Bagshaw and Brown. Greely doesn’t like to go beyond its top two reserves (sophomore guard Michael Coppersmith and junior center John Kane), so any significant foul trouble could cause problems.
WHAT MESSALONSKEE MUST DO TO WIN: The underdog Eagles are making their first state final appearance and expect to draw a large partisan crowd. Violette is a versatile scorer who will probably have to contend with Greely’s DeWolfe being inches away from him the whole game. Kouletsis does a lot of everything, especially hustle. The smaller Eagles will have to make shots from outside and get better-than-average production inside from Tuttle and Wood. They will want to speed Greely up on offense, hoping to force turnovers and rushed shots that can lead to needed transition baskets at the other end.