By Tom Chard
Teams that avoided having to play a preliminary-round game in the tournament have to wait a week or longer until the quarterfinals. How best to stay sharp is always a question.
Should a team practice the whole time or throw in a scrimmage? It really comes down to a coach's preference.
"I've done both," said Brunswick Coach Todd Hanson, whose sixth-ranked team plays No. 3 Lawrence in an Eastern Class A quarterfinal Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
"If you can find another team that mirrors your opening-round opponent, I'll scrimmage. But I'm not sure you get a whole lot out of it."
This time, Hanson felt it would be more beneficial if the Dragons conducted all practices. One benefit, say coaches, is the ability to concentrate on specific areas in smaller groups. They do their group work, then scrimmage among themselves.
Practice time was more precious for teams this tournament season. Because of last week's record snowfall, teams missed three days of practice.
Brunswick had a scrimmage last year before the tournament.
Lawrence Coach Mike McGee had his team scrimmage Penquis Valley.
Penquis Coach Tony Hamlin and McGee are good friends, coaching for over 30 years each.
Hamlin wanted his Patriots to go against a Class A team to prepare for their Eastern Class C tournament. And in Penquis, Lawrence got to play a team that could end up winning the Class C state title.
Deering and Falmouth played Tuesday night at Deering. They played six 10-minute quarters with running time.
"We both got to work on specific areas," said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan.
Both teams made sure to give each other different looks. No. 2 Deering plays No. 7 Thornton Academy on Saturday night in Class A, and the No. 1 Yachtsmen play No. 8 Maranacook on Saturday afternoon in Class B, both at the Expo.
Some teams are banged-up after an 18-game regular season, so the time off allows players to heal. In this instance, there's no way a team would schedule a scrimmage.
RYAN CAMIRE of Sanford became the third boys' player in school history to break 1,000 career points. Camire achieved the milestone Tuesday night in a Western Class A prelim against Marshwood.
His 3-pointer with 1:18 remaining in the third quarter gave him 1,002 points. Camire finished with 17 points in a 52-49 win.
The ninth-ranked Spartans (11-8) will play No. 1 South Portland (15-3) at 9 p.m. Friday.
Other Sanford boys' players who have scored more than 1,000 points are Nick Scaccia (1967) and Jeff St. Laurent (1989).
TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL matchups aren't given the hype of semifinal and final-round pairings. That's understandable. But it doesn't mean the quarterfinals can't be exciting. The Nos. 4-5 matchups usually have the best chance to be entertaining, but there's nothing like when a No. 8 threatens to knock off a No. 1, and occasionally does.
The Portland-Westbrook game is a 4-5 pairing in Western Class A with the potential to be exciting.
The Blue Blazes beat Portland 63-60 at the Expo in the regular season.
In a Western Class C quarterfinal, No. 3 Dirigo meets No. 6 Old Orchard Beach is a rematch of last year's regional final won by Dirigo en route to the Class C state title.
They will meet at 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: