CLASS AA NORTH

CHEVERUS

Coach: Ryan Soucie, third year

Last season: 11-8, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Tobias Ephron, sr., G; Will Shibles, sr., G; Matt Duchaine, jr., G; Patrick Foster, jr., G; Owen Burke, jr., F

Outlook: Replacing the 1-2 scoring punch of Jack Casale (graduated) and Jesse Mathews (in prep school at Kimball Union) will be the Stags’ biggest challenge. Ephron (5.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is a good defender and is experienced at the point. Soucie believes returning starters Shibles (4.1 ppg), Duchaine (a 6-foot-5 player who made 27 3-pointers as the sixth man) and Foster can score in double figures. Cheverus will look to apply defensive pressure and vie for a home playoff berth in a competitive division.

Ben Onek averaged 10.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for Deering last season. The 6-foot-6 forward is a threat on the fast break and can pull up and make 3-pointers. Staff photo by Ben McCanna

DEERING

Coach: Todd Wing, fifth year

Last season: 12-7, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Ben Onek, jr., F; Darryl Germain, so., G; Junior Butera, sr., C; Ricky Despacho, sr., G; Caleb Delano, sr., G/F; Paul Nthinda, jr., F

Outlook: Onek, a 6-foot-6 inside-outside threat who averged 10.6 points and 7.2 rebounds, is the only returning starter, but the Rams could go with a frontcourt of Onek, 6-5 Butera and 6-7 Nthinda, a transfer from Florida. Germain and Despacho saw significant varsity action last season. Steady and versatile Delano will have a bigger role. If Deering shoots better from outside, it will battle Windham and Edward Little for the role of Portland’s top challenger.

PORTLAND

Coach: Joe Russo, 28th year

Last season: 19-2, won state championship

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Terion Moss, sr., G; Griffin Foley, sr., F; Manny Yugu, sr., G; Simon Chadbourne, jr., G; Pedro Fonseca, jr., F; Trey Ballew, jr., F

Outlook: The Bulldogs are favored to win a third straight state title. Moss, the 2017 Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, scores (17.6 ppg), rebounds, sets up his teammates, bedevils opposing guards (3.7 steals) and makes big plays. Foley (12.7 ppg) is another all-state caliber player and superior finisher on the break. High-energy Yugu, 3-point specialist Chadbourne, and multi-positional players Fonseca and Ballew combined to average 20.7 points in the regular season, then raised their games in the playoff run. About the only question is whether Lino Ben and Ben Fisher can combine to give the Bulldogs a paint presence.

WINDHAM

Coach: Chad Pulkkinen, third year

Last season: 13-7, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Nick Curtis, sr., PG; Mike Gilman, sr., G; Dierhow Bol, jr., C; Hunter Coffin, sr., G; Nazari Henderson, sr., F; Cory Hutchison, sr., F

Outlook: Curtis and Gilman each averaged more than 17 points as juniors. Curtis is a penetrator who averaged 5.7 assists and gets to the foul line. Gilman is among the state’s purest 3-point shooters (58 made on 41 percent shooting). Bol gives the Eagles a 6-foot-6 shot blocker and top rebounder. Top defender Coffin, Henderson and emerging offensive threat Hutchison also return. Were it not for Portland, the Eagles would be favored to win their first regional title.

ClASS AA SOUTH

BONNY EAGLE

Coach: Mike Francoeur, third year

Last season: 6-13, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Zach Maturo, so., G; Will Hendrix, jr., F/C; Connor Siriois, sr., G; Nick Thorne, sr., G

Outlook: The Eagles return 13 of 14 players, including SMAA Rookie of the Year Maturo, a 6-foot-1 slasher. Seniors Sirois, three-year starter Thorne, returning starter Christian Napolitano and Casey Maturo are expected to lead a youthful bunch. At 6-4, Hendrix is a three-year varsity player who will provide points and rebounds. The Scots probably aren’t ready to challenge regional favorite South Portland, but they’re capable of a top-four finish.

GORHAM

Coach: Mark Karter, fifth year

Last season: 5-15, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 0

Impact players: Sean Pocock, sr., F; Nick Strout, so., G; Tom Nelson, jr., F; Jordan Bretton, so., G; Ryan Reno, so., C

Outlook: Youth will be served in Gorham, at all positions. The Rams will look to use the 3-pointer more, with multiple players capable of scoring from long range. Gorham needs to play tough defense to create fast-break opportunities. Reno is 6-foot-6. Consistent improvement is Gorham’s focus.

MASSABESIC

Coach: Chris Binette, third year

Last season: 2-16

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Isaac Desvergnes, sr., G; Nick Amabile, sr., G; Alex Schepis, sr., G; Ethan Roy, so., F; Nick Roberge, so., F

Outlook: The Mustangs are young and not very big, but Binette loves their competitiveness and team speed. Senior captains Desvergnes, Amabile and Schepis are scoring threats. Roy was the sixth man last year. Junior center Bobby Woods (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) is a second-year basketball player with raw skills, though currently injured. If the young talent emerges quickly, Massabesic could challenge for a top-four spot.

NOBLE

Coach: Kevin Jackson, third year

Last season: 0-18

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Luke Carlock, sr., G/F; Garrett Brown, so., G/F; Bryce Cantin, jr., F; Tyler Oliver, jr., G

Outlook: Carlock is the returning starter from a second straight 0-18 season, but five other players, including Brown, have varsity experience. The Knights have limited size and must work diligently to rebound. Improved commitment to the summer program has Noble more prepared this season. Last winter, the Knights were 15th in scoring and last in defense in the 17-team SMAA.

SANFORD

Coach: Ryan Martin, first season

Last season: 8-11, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Matthew Romano, jr., F; Michael Lunny, sr., C; Ethan Emard, sr. G; Leyton Bickford, so., F

Outlook: Martin, the 2008 Mr. Maine Basketball at Maranacook, was hired last spring and worked with his team over the summer. Emard, the lone returning starter, is injured to start the season. Romano contributed (5.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists) as a reserve. Bickford is a promising 6-foot-4 player, and Lunny is a strong 6-2. The Spartans pressure the ball well and can score in transition. Sanford should be able to go 10 or 11 players deep and has enough talent to surprise teams.

SCARBOROUGH

Coach: Phil Conley, second year

Last season: 7-13, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Morgan Pratt, sr., G; Reece Lagerquist, sr., C; Nick Fiorillo, jr., G/F; Jaquan Seme, sr., F

Outlook: Scarborough looks ready to improve. The 6-foot-7 Fiorillo (14.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 36 3-pointers) emerged last season as a top player in the SMAA and is faster and stronger. Scoring threat Pratt (7.7 points) and top defender Seme, the former sixth man, are complementary combo guards. Lagerquist is a strong athlete in the middle. Tyler Gobeil adds backcourt depth. State champion quarterback Zoltan Panyi can contribute in his first year of high school basketball.

SOUTH PORTLAND

Coach: Kevin Millington, third year

Last season: 17-4, lost in state final

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Riley Hasson, sr., F; Noah Malone, sr., G; Liam Coyne, sr., G; Connor Buckley, sr., G

Outlook: The two-time South champs will be looking to run, with Hasson, Malone, Coyne and Buckley all capable of playing point guard. Malone (10.1 points) and Buckley (8.0 points) are the leading returning scorers. The 6-foot-4 Hasson is an all-around contributor, and Coyne is among the top defensive players in the league. The Red Riots are considered the regional favorite, have size with juniors Shippen Savidge (6-7) and Scott Lewis (6-6), and incoming players with ample subvarsity success.

David Keohan helped Thornton Academy reach the Class AA South regional final last season when he averaged 16.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Staff photo by John Ewing

THORNTON ACADEMY

Coach: Bob Davies, 15th year

Last season: 17-3, lost in regional final

Returning starter: 1

Impact players: David Keohan, sr., F

Outlook: It’s essentially a brand new team, but All-Telegram pick Keohan (16.4 points, 7.9 rebounds) is back. Sophomore Will Mitchell averaged 3.1 points last season. Junior guards Anthony Bracamonte and CJ LaBreck are good athletes who excelled in football. Jack Webb (6-foot-5, 295 pounds), Will Chapman, Adam Lovejoy and Andre Hart saw limited varsity action last season. Thornton will continue to play tight man-to-man defense, and despite the roster overhaul, is seen by opposing coaches as a top-three team in the region.

CLASS A NORTH

CAMDEN HILLS

Coach: Jeff Hart, 36th year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Noah Heidorn, sr. G/F; John Curtin, sr., F; Daniel Peabody, sr., C/F

Outlook: After a three-year absence from the playoffs, the Windjammers expect to continue to improve this season and make the playoffs. Three-year starter Heidorn is a good pull-up shooter. The 6-foot-7 Curtin and sturdy 6-5 Peabody are also returning varsity players who should give the team a solid paint presence.

MEDOMAK VALLEY

Coach: Nick DePatsy, 11th year

Last season: 18-1, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 0

Impact players: Brent Stewart, sr., G; Gabe Allaire, so., F; Ryan Creamer, jr., G; Josh Goldrup, sr., G; Chris Bowman, jr., G; Ethan Spear, jr., F

Outlook: Stewart is the only returning varsity player from a team that went undefeated in the regular season, but DePatsy is optimistic, especially after a solid summer and preseason that featured scrimmages against quality Class AA teams. Stewart, Creamer and Goldrup will be the pacesetters, and the 6-foot-4 Allaire has a versatile offensive game. Bowman adds a hard-working element.

CLASS A South

BIDDEFORD

Coach: Justin Tardif, fifth year

Last season: 8-11, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Kyle Norton, sr., G; Carter Edgerton, jr., G; Cody Saucier, jr., F; Desean Cromwell, sr., C; Jackson Olaya, sr., G

Outlook: Norton (team-high 13.7 points per game) and Edgerton are the returning starters, and Saucier and Cromwell (6.4 points) played in every game. Norton is out until the first of the year because of an injury, but Tardif believes he has several players capable of scoring in double figures. Often one of the smallest teams, the Tigers have modest size with the 6-foot-3 Cromwell and 6-2 senior Zachary Reali. Biddeford improved by seven wins last season and looks to continue its upward climb.

BRUNSWICK

Coach: Todd Hanson, 22nd year

Last season: 11-8, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 0

Impact players: Colby Bucknam, sr., C; Kyle Hanson, sr., G; Noah Cox, jr., G

Outlook: The Dragons don’t have a returning starter but do have eight varsity veterans with “a high basketball IQ,” who work well together, according to Coach Hanson. The 6-foot-6 Bucknam was the sixth man and a good post scorer. Kyle Hanson will play the point for his father. Cox is a good perimeter shooter. Despite the turnover, Brunswick figures to be a team that wins more than it loses.

FALMOUTH

Coach: Dave Halligan, 31st year

Last season: 15-6, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Jack Bryant, sr., G/F; Nick Hester, jr., F

Outlook: Injuries have set Falmouth back. Sophomore Michael Simonds, regarded as the team’s top returner, broke his leg in the final football game, and co-captain Nikko DePatsy (knee) is also unlikely to return. That leaves Bryant, a good rebounder, as the only player with significant varsity experience. Hester is a promising 6-foot-7 player. Guards Sam Manganello and Alex Marcotte, junior forward Doug Cooke and sophomores Emmett Hamilton (6-4 center) and Brady Douglas will look to fill the gaps and keep Falmouth in the top tier. “We’re going to be competitive. Nobody needs to feel sorry for us,” Halligan said.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY

Coach: Sedge Saunders, 20th year

Last season: 8-11, lost in prelim

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Joe Lebrun, sr., F; Ryan Hewes, sr., G; Cody Gullikson, sr., F; Scott Parker, sr., G/F

Outlook: If the undersized Raiders can rebound well, they can take the next step and get past the preliminary round. Lebrun, Hewes, Gullikson and Parker are returning starters and captains. Nate Knapp, a junior guard, and junior forward/guard Tucker Buzzell are good athletes who have improved their basketball skills and looked good in preseason. With 12 upperclassmen on the roster, Fryeburg has depth and experience.

GREELY

Coach: Travis Seaver, sixth year

Last season: 22-0, won Class A championship

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Zack Brown, jr., G; Shane DeWolfe, sr., G; Jack Kane, sr., F; Mike Coppersmith, jr., G; Drew Storey, jr., F; Logan Bagshaw, so., G

Outlook: After graduating Telegram Player of the Year Matt McDevitt, scoring guard Jordan Bagshaw and inside force Ryan Twitchell, a drop-off seems inevitable. But the Rangers are still seen as the team to beat in Class A South. Brown, an unsung scoring threat, and defensive thorn DeWolfe are an experienced backcourt. Kane is a rugged 6-foot-6 post player, and Coppersmith often provided scoring and intensity off the bench. Storey is another 6-6 player ready to contribute.

KENNEBUNK

Coach: Barrett Belanger, fourth year

Last season: 8-12, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Cole Hoffman, sr., F; Cam Lovejoy, jr., G; Tripp Bush, jr., G; Zack Sullivan, jr., G; Max Murray, so., F; Kyle Pasieniuk, so., G

Outlook: The still-youthful Rams return as much scoring as any Class A team, with second-team WMC pick Lovejoy (15.4 points, 3.5 assists), Sullivan (11 points, 5.5 rebounds) and Pasieniuk (7.7 points). Lovejoy, Sullivan and Bush are three-year varsity players. The 6-foot-4 Murray is another promising player who was hurt early last season. The Rams should be a good defensive team. The key to rising above .500 will be sharing the ball effectively.

LINCOLN ACADEMY

Coach: Ryan Ball, fourth year

Last season: 6-13, lost in Class B South quarterfinal

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Bryce York, jr., G; Keyden Leeman, sr., G; Nathan Masters, sr., F; Joel Hatch, jr., F

Outlook: Bumped up to Class A this season, Lincoln will rely on its backcourt. York will handle the majority of the ballhandling duties and Leeman is the top scoring threat. Masters is out because of a broken bone in his arm but is expected to return and add rebounding, scoring and leadership. The 6-foot-3 Hatch can rebound and finish inside.

MARSHWOOD

Coach: Lewis Atkins, second year

Last season: 6-12

Returning starters: 0

Impact players: Brandon Libby, jr., C; Sam Aiguier, jr., PG; Ian Bryant, jr., G; Ian Parmley, sr., G; Jake Perry Sr., F

Outlook: The addition of Libby, a 6-foot-8 inside player who moved from New Hampshire and took part in summer workouts, is a definite plus. Bryant, the JV MVP last season, adds some scoring punch. Like many other Class A South teams, the Hawks have new players and a few veterans in bigger roles. Aiguier was in the regular rotation by the end of last season. He, Bryant and Parmley are good shooters.

MORSE

Coach: Brian Bennett, third year

Last season: 4-14

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Parker Onorato, sr., PG; Tom Warren, jr., F; Josh Doughty, sr., F; Tyriek Foster, sr., G

Outlook: After consecutive down seasons, Morse expects improvement, led by consistent scorers Onorato and Warren. Four other players are varsity returners while two others swung between varsity and JV. There isn’t a lot of size, but there is a penchant for playing pressure defense, and young talent is coming up. Prone to giving up leads last season, Morse expects to turn more of those games into victories.

MT. ARARAT

Coach: Jeff Hogan, first season

Last season: 4-14

Returning starters: N/A

Impact players: Tanner Greenleaf, sr., G; Nick Merrill, sr., G; Ryan Mello, sr., F; Max Spelke, jr., PG; Austin Damon, jr., F; Jared Balser, jr., F

Outlook: Hogan was Portland’s freshman coach the past two seasons. He inherits six seniors and six juniors who will be asked to increase tempo and shoot a bunch of 3s. Mt. Ararat averaged 44 points last season but should improve on that figure. Balser is a potential 6-foot-8 force, and senior captain Spelke will run the show. Three-year varsity players Merrill (a perimeter threat) and Mello, and slasher Greenleaf have the skills and desire to score. Hogan believes he has the depth to make his go-go style work.

Zac Manoogian is the leading returning scorer in the SMAA after averaging 18.4 points per game for Westbrook last season. Staff photo by Derek Davis

WESTBROOK

Coach: Dan LeGage, third year

Last season: 13-6, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Zac Manoogian, sr., G; Landon Sjoberg, sr., F; Kyle Champagne, jr., PG; Deng Jany, sr., F

Outlook: Manoogian (18.4 points) is the leading returning scorer in the SMAA and can shoot from distance and get to the line. Team leader Sjoberg (6.3 points), returning starter Champagne (4.9 points, 3.1 rebounds) and the 6-foot-3 Jany (5.8 rebounds) are also tested veterans. If the Blue Blazes develop some depth and make a higher percentage of their shots, they can challenge Greely for the top spot in Class A South. A lack of size could cause matchup problems.

YORK

Coach: Paul Marquis, first season

Last season: 12-8, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Alex Nickerson, sr., G; Alex Zinkevicz, sr., F; Chris Cummins, jr., G

Outlook: Overall, York is young, athletic, quick and quite inexperienced with four sophomores and a freshman on the varsity roster. Marquis, formerly a girls’ coach at Traip Academy and Noble, thinks his team has depth, can run the court, and will defend with pressure. Matt Talty, a junior, is the likely point guard, and 6-foot-5 Zinkevicz will man the middle.

CLASS B NORTH

OCEANSIDE

Coach: Matt Breen, 14th year

Last season: 17-4, lost Class A North final

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Michael Norton Jr., sr., F; Cooper Wirkala, jr., G; Jack Lombardo, jr., G; Trevor Reed, jr., G; Josh Peaco, sr., C

Outlook: After advancing to the Class A state final in 2016 and the North final in 2017, the Mariners are now in Class B. Norton is an athletic all-around player, and the 6-foot-4 Wirkala is a skilled scorer. Lombardo and ball-hawking Reed should form a strong backcourt. Peaco, at 6-6, gives the team an inside presence. Breen believes Hermon and defending champ MDI are the teams to beat. Other coaches use the word “loaded” to describe Oceanside.

CLASS B SOUTH

CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach: Jim Ray, 24th year

Last season: 12-8, lost in Class A South semifinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Finn Bowe, sr., G/F; Andrew Hartel, jr., C; David Hare, sr., G

Outlook: The 6-foot-4 Bowe, injured for the second half of last season, is one of the state’s most efficient scorers. In the six games prior to his injury, he averaged 21.5 points. Having improved 6-9 Hartel and point guard Hare back will help spread the floor. Junior forward Tanner Carpenter is another player expected to contribute as the Capers look to contend after moving from Class A to B.

FREEPORT

Coach: Bill Ridge, third year

Last season: 5-13

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Ethan Sclar, sr., G; Toby Holt, jr., F; Nate Thomas, sr., F; Eriksen Shea, jr., G; Colby Wagner, sr., F; Gabe Wagner, so., G

Outlook: The guard-heavy team lacks size, but it does have depth to play up-tempo, which will be the Falcons’ preferred pace. The overall commitment to rebounding and defense will determine the team’s level of success.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER

Coach: Ryan Deschenes, sixth year

Last seaason: 10-10, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 4

Impact players: Josiah Rottari, sr., G; Zac Brady, sr., F/C; Oliver Grant, sr., G; John Martin, jr., G; Hunter Colby, jr., C; Ryan Lachance, jr., F; Josh Magno, jr., G

Outlook: The Patriots have 10 returning varsity players, so this will be a deep team with some interchangeable parts. Martin was first-team all-WMC Class B choice as a sophomore, when he averaged 17.5 points and led the league in 3-pointers. Rottari was fifth in the WMC in 3s while shooting 48 percent. Deschenes expects his team to slot into a tier behind regional favorites Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth.

LAKE REGION

Coach: John Mayo, third year

Last season: 9-10, lost in preliminary round

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Tyler Bretton, sr., F; Ethan Chadwick, sr., F; Robbie Crockett, sr., F

Outlook: The Lakers have eight seniors, not including a couple players who are currently injured, and an abudance of players who got varsity experience last year. The Lakers should be a playoff contender again and could go deeper into the tournament.

POLAND

Coach: Tyler Tracy, eighth year

Last season: 6-12

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Peter Bolduc, sr., G; Tyler Romano, sr., G; Tyler Tucci, jr., F

Outlook: With just one returning starter, the Knights are largely inexperienced. Tracy says his team’s emphasis needs to be on ball sureness and becoming great defensively, but believes the Knights have the potential to take a big step forward between now and February.

SACOPEE VALLEY

Coach: Ben Murphy, fifth year

Last season: 3-15

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Travis Weeks, sr., F; Tyler Weeks, sr., G; Josh Hart, sr., G; Tyler Fenderson, sr., G; Troy Hendricks, sr., G; Mike Murphy, jr., G/F

Outlook: Travis Weeks and his twin brother, Tyler, will be counted on for offensive impact. Three other senior guards – Hart, Fenderson and Hendricks – help form a balanced attack. Murphy will fill all portions of the stat sheet. The strength of the team should be a balanced scoring attack and unselfishness on the offensive end.

WELLS

Coach: Troy Brown, 10th year

Last season: 16-6, lost in state final

Returning starters: 0

Impact players: Cam Cousins, sr., F; Matt Sherburne, jr., G; Tyler Bridge, jr., F; Liam Bell, sr., G; Dylan Mackay, sr., F; Christian Saulnier, sr., G

Outlook: While Wells technically doesn’t have a returning starter from the team that upset No. 1 Yarmouth to reach the state final, Cousins was the regional final star with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Sherburne, and the speedy and strong 6-foot-2 Bridge also played in that game, and Bell and Saulnier are varsity returners. Brown would like his team to play fast if it fits his revamped lineup. A return trip to the playoffs is likely.

YARMOUTH

Coach: Adam Smith, 14th year

Last season: 18-3, lost in regional final

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Nolan Hagerty, sr., F; Noah Eckersley-Ray, jr., G; Jonny Torres, jr., G; Ashanti Haywood, jr., G

Outlook: The 6-foot-7 Hagerty is one of the state’s top players – a threat to make a 3-pointer, a willing rebounder and effective close to the basket. Eckersley-Ray is a powerful rebounder and Torres has experience running the point. The Clippers are again a top threat in Class B, especially with 6-6 Jake Rogers and sophomore guard Aiden Hickey providing quality depth.

CLASS C SOUTH

BOOTHBAY

Coach: I.J. Pinkham, 41st year

Last season: 12-8, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Kyle Ames, sr., PG; Eli Gudroe, sr., C

Outlook: With returning starters Ames (15 ppg) and the 6-foot-4 Gudroe (8 ppg), Boothbay has a good outside-inside combination. Junior guard Steve Reny and sophomore forwards Hunter Crocker and Nick Morley have shown promise in the preseason. Pinkham thinks his athletic team can come together and be in a group with Madison, Winthrop and Dirigo chasing expected favorite Hall-Dale.

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY

Coach: Jason Knight, sixth year

Last season: 14-6, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 1

Impact Players: Te’Andre King, so., F; Connor Dillon, sr., F

Outlook: The Panthers only have nine players, but expectations remain high with King and Dillon, a pair of 6-foot-4 forwards, leading the way.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH

Coach: Michael Burke, third year

Last season: 8-11, lost in preliminary round

Returning starters: 3

Impact Players: Ian Regan, sr. G; Kyle Allen, sr., F; Cody Blanchette, sr., G

Outlook: The Seagulls return a proven scorer and defender in Regan, but they’ll need to find others to put points on the board. With a team that is a mix of veterans and youth, making progress through the season will be the focus, with the goal of getting past the preliminary round.

TRAIP ACADEMY

Coach: Jeremy Paul, 15th year

Last season: 7-11

Returning starters: 2

Impact players: Charlie Driscoll, sr., G; Andrew Davis, sr., G; Dalan Hubbard, sr., G; Will Stuart, so., G

Outlook: As a team without much size, the Rangers will have to work hard to rebound so they can get out in transition and score easy baskets. Good communication and coming together as a team will be important for success.

WAYNFLETE

Coach: Rich Henry, 14th year

Last season: 15-6, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact Players: Christian Brooks, sr., F; Abdi Mohamed, sr., G; John Veroneau, sr., F; Burr Rhoads, jr., F; Alex Saade, jr., G; Diraige Dahia, so., G; Askar Houssein, fr., G; Solomon Levy, so., F; Jared Johnson, fr., F; Dominick Campbell, fr., F

Outlook: Henry says his team is the deepest it’s been in a long time, and he’s been impressed with the improvement his players have shown individually. There’s plenty of leadership on the team, including from some of the younger players. The Flyers should be battle-tested for the playoffs with a schedule that includes Class B powers Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth.

WISCASSET

Coach: Seth Farrington, first season

Last season: 10-10, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Zach Reed, sr., C; Kobe Carrier, sr., F; Matt Chapman, jr., F; Dylan Orr, fr., G

Outlook: Reed is the only returning varsity player, and he has a broken wrist and will be out until January. Farrington, who had been the girls’ coach at North Yarmouth Academy, likes his team’s effort and enthusiasm but knows it will take time for his players to adjust to the speed of varsity action.

CLASS D SOUTH

A.R. GOULD

Coach: Chad Sturgis, 10th season

Last season: 17-4, lost regional final

Returning starters: 1

Impact players: Malakai Brimage, jr., G/F; Ernie Lorange, jr., F/G; Alex Shoureas, sr., C

Outlook: The Bears have four returning players, but many of their players are young and have never played together before. Sturgis says the team has quite a few 3-point shooters and lots of athleticism, but it lacks a true point guard. The defense will be tenacious.

GREATER PORTLAND CHRISTIAN

Coach: John Willis, first year

Last season: 4-14

Returning starters: 1

Impact player: Mason Jones, sr., C

Outlook: Jones is the only veteran on a team stocked mostly with eighth- and ninth-graders. Willis says the focus this season is on development and rebuilding for the future.

PINE TREE ACADEMY

Coach: Trevor Schlisner, fifth year

Last season: 8-12, lost in regional quarterfinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Jared Tamalea’a, jr., G; Evan Owen, jr., G; Billy Alcime, sr., F; Alex Schlisner, sr., G

Outlook: Pine Tree Academy will lean heavily on its defense, because there aren’t any pure scoring threats on the roster. The team has added some new players with no basketball experience but who are willing to work hard. Success will come down to how quickly the inexperienced members pick up the system and how well the short bench plays.

SEACOAST CHRISTIAN

Coach: Skyler Archer, first season

Last season: 12-8, lost in regional semifinal

Returning starters: 3

Impact players: Jetstar Archer, sr., G/F; Marlon Bernardo, jr., G/F; Jesse Towne, sr., G/F

Outlook: New coach Skyler Archer, 19, is one year removed from playing for the Guardians, who have won 26 games over the past two seasons. His brother, Jetstar, is a 6-foot-4 veteran of who can play any position. Bernardo and Towne are also returning starters. New student Ian Condon, a senior, is a 6-5 inside scorer. The schedule includes six games against Class C teams and two against Class B Sacopee Valley.

– Steve Craig, staff report