The Greely High girls’ basketball team was clearly the best in the area in the regular season.

Not only did the Rangers earn the top seed in Class A South with an 18-0 record – extending their winning streak to 34 – but also defeated South Portland (No. 1 in Class AA South), Oxford Hills (No. 1 in Class AA North) and Gray-New Gloucester (No. 1 in Class B South) twice.

And now Greely, the defending Class A state champion, might even be better. With the Class A South quarterfinals starting Monday, the Rangers are finally healthy. Junior guard Brooke Obar, who missed 10 games with an ankle injury, returned late in the regular season, joining senior guard Anna DeWolfe and sophomore guard Camille Clement to form a potent offensive trio.

“They’re back to being a three-headed monster,” said Sam Farrell, coach of second-ranked Brunswick (17-1), which lost to Greely without Obar, 67-46 on Dec. 28.

Obar, said Greely Coach Todd Flaherty, “makes us a lot harder to guard … I think our offense struggled at times without her decision-making on the floor. Then on defense she can guard anyone. She gives us a lot of flexibility.”

The South girls’ basketball tournaments get into full swing this week, with Class A quarterfinals Monday at the Portland Expo, Class B quarterfinals Tuesday at the Portland Expo, Class C quarterfinals Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center and Class AA semifinals Tuesday (South) and Wednesday (North) at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Greely’s quarterfinal is at 7:30 p.m. Monday against No. 8 Fryeburg.

Brunswick is led by senior guard Charlotte MacMillan, who averaged a team-high 14 points. But she has plenty of help in seniors Marley Groat, Emily Larochelle and Rosalie White, and freshman Logan Brown.

Third-ranked Marshwood’s quarterfinal is against neighboring York and pits York Coach Steve Freeman against his son, Marshwood Coach Steve Freeman. The Hawks beat York twice in the regular season.

“I’ve got to make sure we have the right mindset going in,” said Marshwood’s Steve Freeman. “They need to understand that York can beat us. Because they can.”

In Class B, Gray-New Gloucester (16-2) certainly looms as the favorite – its only losses were to Greely – but Coach Mike Andreasen is having none of that. “Those wins mean nothing to us,” he said. “Other then what color uniforms you wear and where you sit on the court.”

The Patriots, with everyone back from last year’s team that lost in a regional semifinal, play pretty good defense, giving up an average of 27.4 points a game.

While Bri Jordan and Jordan Grant are their top two players, Mikaela Ryan and Eliza Hotham each have provided solid contributions. “Teams now have to contend with all our parts,” said Andreasen.

Yarmouth (12-6) had a seven-win improvement over last year to secure the fourth seed in Class B. “Give the credit to the girls,” said first-year coach David Cousins. “They worked very hard and deserve to get where they are.”

In Class C, North Yarmouth Academy (14-4) is the third seed, its only losses to Yarmouth, Gray-New Gloucester and Greely (twice). The Panthers, who play Monmouth Academy at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Augusta, have a balanced offense, led by guard Catherine Reid, making them difficult to defend. “We’re blessed with a lot of options,” said first-year coach Tom Robinson.

The Class AA South semifinals feature the same four team as last year – South Portland, Scarborough, Gorham and Bonny Eagle.

Gorham beat South Portland and Scarborough to advance to the state final for a third consecutive year last season. The Rams (13-6) are finally healthy for their game against the Red Storm, with guards Brittany Desjardins and Olivia Michaud back after injuries. “We’re healthy, moving the ball better than we have and the kids are playing with more confidence,” said Coach Laughn Berthiaume. “All things are positive.”

Gorham also has senior center Mackenzie Holmes, who has 1,721 career points, 1,010 career rebounds and 361 career blocked shots.

South Portland (18-1) will take on a Bonny Eagle team that has won 11 of its last 13. Coach Lynne Hasson said the playoff disappointments of the last couple of years have strengthened this club. “We’ve got a little unfinished business,” she said. “The kids have worked their butts off this year.”

Seventh-seeded Deering made it to the Class AA North semifinals and will face No. 3 Bangor (12-7) at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The Rams (5-14) have been a different team since the return of standout guard Delaney Haines, winning four of the six games she played. Fourth-ranked Portland (10-9) ended Edward Little’s AA state title reign in the quarterfinals and will take on No. 1 Oxford Hills (17-2) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH


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