Saturday, December 7, 2013
EASTERN CLASS A
FAVORITES: Unbeaten Cony has made a quick turnaround, again sitting at the top of the rankings. And having already beaten No. 2 Edward Little three times this season (including the KVAC title game), it's going to be tough to slow the Rams down.
WATCH OUT FOR: Edward Little, which has one of the state's premier players in Ashlee Arnold; No. 5 Messalonskee, which has a history of playing great ball in Augusta; and No. 7 Hampden Academy, the defending regional champ playing some of its best ball right now.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Mia Diplock, Cony, senior guard (16.2 ppg, 4.8 apg); Josie Lee, Cony, junior guard (12.4 ppg, 4.6 apg); Ashlee Arnold, Edward Little, junior guard (16.3 ppg, 33 3-pointers made); Megan Pelletier, Messalonskee, senior forward (13.4 ppg, 11.8 rpg); Mary Badeen, Messalonskee, senior guard (16.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.2 spg); Gabby Foy, Mt. Blue, junior guard (15.5 ppg); Ashley Danforth, Hampden, senior guard (11.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg).
DID YOU KNOW: As a player, Cony Coach Karen Magnusson played in four Eastern Maine championship games, winning one to advance to the state title game against McAuley (where the Rams lost). Magnusson went on to a strong college career at UMaine-Farmington, where the Beavers were ranked in the Division III Top 25 her senior season.
EASTERN CLASS B
FAVORITES: Two unbeaten teams sit atop the standings: Presque Isle and two-time defending regional champ Nokomis. One of them will likely come out of the region.
WATCH OUT FOR: Nokomis, which has eliminated Presque Isle in the regional semifinals each of the last two years. The Warriors have depth and something a lot of contenders lack: inside strength. They will be tough. Camden Hills and Gardiner both have the players to make a run.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Chandler Guerrette, Presque Isle, junior guard (13.7 ppg, 2.9 apg); Marissa Shaw, Nokomis, senior forward (11.7 ppg, 9.4 rpg); Jordan Knowlton, Camden Hills, junior forward (22.9 ppg, 14.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 3.1 spg); Alanna Vose, Medomak Valley, senior guard (21.7 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3.9 spg); Hannah Shaw, MDI, sophomore forward (15.6 ppg, 12.8 rpg); Jenna Moore, Gardiner, senior guard (9.9 ppg).
DID YOU KNOW: Camden Hills is back in the tournament after last year's rare miss. The Windjammers were 9-9 a year ago but rebounded with a strong 15-3 record -- all the losses coming within six days. Camden Hills lost consecutive games to Gardiner, Nokomis and Oak Hill.
EASTERN CLASS C
FAVORITES: This should be a wide-open tournament. Orono goes in No. 1, but the Red Riots lost three games. No. 2 Calais is undefeated but played only 15 games because of scheduling issues.
WATCH OUT FOR: No. 4 Stearns, which lost only twice and is playing exceptional ball right now, and No. 7 Narraguagus, which has already lost four games this year to Calais, its quarterfinal opponent. "It's hard to beat a team three times," said Calais Coach Dana Redding, "let alone five."
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jillian Woodward, Orono, junior center (13.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg); Leya Bryant, Orono, senior guard (8.5 ppg, 2.2 apg); Sigrid Koizar, Stearns, junior guard (17 ppg, 9 rpg, 5 apg); Madison McVicar, Calais, freshman guard.
DID YOU KNOW: Jillian Woodward, Orono's leading scorer and rebounder, is the daughter of University of Maine men's coach Ted Woodward.
EASTERN CLASS D
FAVORITES: Top-ranked and defending state champ Washburn rates as the team to beat. The Beavers are young but talented and deep, something that should carry them far.
WATCH OUT FOR: Second-ranked Fort Fairfield, which lost twice to Washburn, and fourth-ranked Van Buren, the only team to beat Washburn this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Parise Rossignol, Van Buren, sophomore guard (30.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 8.1 apg); Mackenzie Worcester, Washburn (23.3 ppg); Carmen Bragg, Washburn, sophomore guard (14 ppg); Ashlie Wilson, Van Buren, senior center (12 ppg, 8 rpg)
DID YOU KNOW: Rossignol, whose father (and coach), Matt, scored 2,257 points in his high school career at Van Buren, passed 1,000 points in just her 35th high school game a few weeks ago. She scored 44 points in the preliminary round and has 1,153 points in 39 games.