The York High boys have won three straight games to get in position to make the Western Class B tournament.

The Wildcats (7-5) are ranked 11th with the top 10 reaching the postseason.

“We’re kind of cruising along at the moment,” said Coach Randy Small.

York has six games remaining, all against quality opponents. There’s a chance to move safely into the tournament field by winning three or four of those games.

“We can control our own destiny. That’s what you want to have,” said Small. “It could come down to our final two games of the season against Fryeburg Academy and Lake Region. We’re playing some teams we haven’t played yet.”

One of those teams is Cape Elizabeth at York on Friday night. The Capers (10-2) are ranked third. The Wildcats also have games remaining against top-ranked Yarmouth and No. 8 Poland, the defending regional champion.

Fryeburg Academy, Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth and Poland are one-time opponents in the regular season for York. The Heal point potential is accentuated when you only play a strong team once.

“We have five guys on the floor who just don’t quit,” said Mark MacGlashing, the lone returning starter. “We don’t have a superstar. Everyone contributes. I think everything is in front of us. We have six games remaining. They’re all tough. We could go 6-0 or 0-6. If we play well, we can win them all.”

York has bounced back from a 1-3 start. Small cited wins over Waynflete in back-to-back nights in York’s Christmas tournament as helping turn things around.

The defense, a staple of Small’s teams, has been strong from the start. The Wildcats allow a league-best 42 points per game.

York opened with a loss to Falmouth, beat Wells, then lost to Lake Region and Gray-New Gloucester. The Wildcats then beat Freeport, Kennebunk and Traip Academy to improve to 4-3. Two more losses followed, the first a five-pointer to Falmouth, before the current three-game winning streak. York won 64-50 at Traip on Monday,

“That Traip game was our best game of the season so far,” said Small. “We’ve been competitive in all our losses.”

Offensively, Small said the team has been balanced.

“It seems to be someone different every game stepping up. Zach Gauthier was our leading scorer in our last game and he hasn’t been the leading scorer in any of our other games,” said Small. “We don’t have a go-to player. We might have someone score 10 points and two or three others in the six- to eight-point category.”

York has made the tournament in Small’s first five seasons. The Wildcats hope to make it six straight in what’s looming as an open Class B tournament.

“There are a bunch of teams in the middle with similar records. The Heal points are very tight,” he said.

Small said the team has been bolstered by the return of guards Kevin McKenna and Zane Insko from high ankle sprains.

The Old Orchard Beach boys have experience on the bench in assistant coach Ron Cote, a former head coach of the Biddeford High boys’ and girls’ teams, the Scarborough girls, and the head coach of the University of New England men’s team.

“I feel very fortunate to have him,” said Coach John Regan. “Ron is very energetic. He attends all of the practices. He’s able to do what he likes to do. What coach wouldn’t want to have a Ron Cote on the bench with him?”

Regan asked Cote to give a clinic to his team a year ago. Cote did and it went so well that Regan asked him to join his staff.

The Seagulls (5-6) are on the cusp of making the Western Class C tournament with point-worthy games Friday night at North Yarmouth Academy and Saturday at home against Waynflete.

Old Orchard is ranked 12th and 12 teams make the tournament. After the weekend, the Seagulls have a home game Tuesday night with Traip Academy.

“We have some opportunities to get into the tournament,” said Regan.

Old Orchard missed a chance to pick up valuable Heal points Monday with a 50-47 loss to Class B Greely.

“We played very well against Greely,” Regan said. “We had the lead with a minute to go. They cashed in on some free throws.”

RYAN GULLIKSON of Fryeburg Academy is the leading scorer in the Western Maine Conference at 22.5 points per game. Jack Simonds of Falmouth is second at 20.0, followed by Alan Young of Poland at 19.8.

Falmouth and Poland have two players in the top 10 in scoring. Along with Simonds, Colin Coyne is tied for 10th with Eddie Galvin of Cape Elizabeth at 13.7 points per game. John Fossett of Poland joins Young in the top 10. Fossett is averaging 14.8 points a game.

Jack Lapham of Kennebunk is the leading rebounder in the league at 11.6 rebounds per game. Simonds and Young are next, with Simonds at 10.9 and Young at 9.9.

Gabe Axelson of Greely is the assist leader at 4.6 per game. Haven Cutko of North Yarmouth Academy is next at 4.1. Tyler St. Pierre of Kennebunk leads in 3-point shooting with an average of 2.5 per game. Zach MacKinnon of Kennebunk is next at 2.3.

D.J. Nicholas of North Yarmouth Academy leads in steals with 5.2 per game. Gullikson is next at 4.5.

BASKETBALL HAS been the backdrop and a temporary relief from grieving for the South Portland High girls’ basketball team.

Martha “Marti” Sautter, the mother of Meaghan Doyle, died Nov. 11. Eight days later, Paul Black, the father of Holly Black, died after a lengthy battle with brain cancer.

Prior to Friday night’s home game against Cheverus, Doyle and Holly Black – who were supported by their teammates, friends and families – were part of an emotional tribute.

“I think it was a very difficult night for both girls but I think it meant a lot to them, too,” South Portland Coach Lynne Hasson said. “I know they really wanted to remember their parents in a public forum.”

Both players had written remembrances of their parents. Hasson said that she had read them beforehand and “I cried at my desk.”

The tributes were read to the crowd prior to the game, with Doyle and Black standing near the scorer’s table, their teammates behind them in a show of their continued support.

“It’s been an ongoing struggle,” Hasson said.

“They’re holding it together amazingly well but it’s been a struggle. Even for me as an adult, I’ve struggled with it. Do we make basketball a two-hour break or do you want to talk about things?”

Hasson and her daughter, starting guard Maddie Hasson, also have had to deal this season with the loss of a loved one. Lynne Hasson’s father-in-law, Robert Hasson, died Nov. 18.

“He was the most wonderful grandfather in the world,” Lynne Hasson said. “It’s not the same as losing a parent but it was just another difficult thing. Maddie was extremely close to her grandfather.”

On the court, the Red Riots continued their tribute by racing to a 20-2 lead en route to a 60-45 victory. Fittingly, Black scored the first basket.

“God bless Holly, she played one of her best games of the year,” Lynne Hasson said. “I figured it was going to go either way.”

But as if to emphasize that this will be a season of challenges, Doyle injured her knee in the third quarter.

An MRI revealed that it wasn’t an ACL injury – Doyle missed all last season with a knee injury – but Doyle likely will miss most if not all of the remaining regular-season games.

The girls’ basketball team raised “about $1,600” for cancer-related charities. Some of the money will be spent to buy tribute stones to be placed at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, where Paul Black and Marti Sautter spent their final days, Hasson said.

South Portland beat Marshwood on Tuesday to improve to 10-3. The Red Riots have played remarkably well given the circumstances.

In losses to Thornton Academy, McAuley and Deering they “struggled to contain their big kids,” Hasson said.

THE YORK girls’ team is 10-2 with a victory against Greely but still finds itself stuck in sixth place in Western Class B.

Like their male counterparts, the Heal points are there to be had, starting with Friday’s game against Cape Elizabeth. Rematches with Greely (in Cumberland next Friday) and Lake Region, teams the Wildcats have beaten, are also on the docket.

In his 33rd season, Coach Rick Clark said his task is to figure out how best to deploy a deep roster.

“As you get closer to the tournament you start to look at who you can put in and be as strong if not stronger,” Clark said. “Usually that’s eight, maybe nine players. I have the luxury that I’m still looking at all 12 kids.”

Sickness and injury have slowed the evaluation process. Starting guard Paige McElwain is out with a concussion.

Clark said he’s also seen several players improve, noting how 3-point threat Emma Thomson has improved her defense and strong defender Lily Posternak is becoming more of an offensive threat.

The constants have been Shannon Todd, a dynamic wing player who is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, Chloe Smedley and Mia Briggs.

“All three are averaging in double figures,” Clark said. “Other teams may have one or two but it’s pretty rare to see three.”