This weekend’s state championship games in girls’ basketball feature two undefeated teams, one rematch from last season – Greely versus Hampden Academy in Class A – and several teams that have never won a state title.

Here is a closer look at championship games featuring teams from southern Maine (rankings below are based on this week’s Varsity Maine poll):

Class A
No. 1 Greely (21-0) vs. No. 6 Hampden Acad. (17-4)
Augusta Civic Center, 6:05 p.m. Friday

Greely is shooting for its second straight state crown and third dating back to the 2015 Class B title. Seeded first in the South, the Rangers won each of their regional playoff games by at least 15 points.

Senior Anna DeWolfe averaged 27.2 points, 5.9 assists, 4.5 steals and 4.6 rebounds through the regular season, and dropped 32 points in the regional final, one shy of Brunswick’s total score in the 54-33 rout. Sophomore guard Camille Clement added 17.9 points and 5.6 rebounds, and junior guard Brooke Obar, injured for a big chunk of the season, scored 12.4.

Senior guard Julia Martel averaged 2.7 steals per game during the season, the same as Clement. Junior Katie Fitzpatrick, who joined the starting lineup following the closure of Maine Girls’ Academy, and Clement each chip in with 2.4 assists per game.

The Rangers want to run. The higher the score, the better, as far as Coach Todd Flaherty is concerned.

“For us, the key is to make the game fast,” he said. “Push the pace, see if we can wear people down. That’s kind of our mantra.”

While Greely returns four starters from its championship squad, Hampden Academy assembled an entirely new cast around center Bailey Donovan, a 6-foot-3 senior averaging 19 points, 15 rebounds and 2.75 blocks per game. Nobody else scores in double figures, but the Broncos get significant contributions from Alydia Brillant, Amelia McLaughlin, Camryn Bouchard, Bella Soucy and Sydney Hodgdon. All but Bouchard – a senior – are juniors. Bouchard is the team’s long-range sniper, and Hodgdon hit a big 3-pointer in the North regional final, when Hampden avenged a pair of regular-season losses by beating top-seeded Skowhegan, 32-28.

“Last year’s team was more of a physical, strong, grind-you-into-the-ground team,” said Hampden Coach Nick Winchester. “This year’s team is not as strong physically, but if you look at overall athleticism and quickness, we have more of that, particularly in the backcourt.”

Hampden’s lone state title in girls’ basketball came in 1976, an overtime victory against Mt. Blue.

Class B
No. 4 Gray-New Gloucester (19-2)
vs. No. 10 Mt. Desert Island (19-2)
Cross Insurance Arena, Portland
1 p.m. Saturday

Perhaps nothing captures the excitement and energy of Maine high school tournament basketball more than the moment when the Mt. Desert Island girls first appear on the gym floor as the school’s peerless pep band launches into “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“It’s a huge confidence boost, a huge excitement boost,” said Coach Brent Barker. “We may have 75 to 100 kids in the band alone.”

In both 2001 and 2002, MDI knocked off favored Gray-New Gloucester thanks to Barker’s sister, Bracey, and that intimidating instrument section.

“I’ll be OK losing the battle of the bands,” said Patriots Coach Mike Andreasen, “if we win the battle of the basketball.”

Both teams cruised through their regional tournaments as the top seed. In the South, Gray-New Gloucester dispatched Maranacook, Wells and Freeport – all by double figures – while the Trojans beat Maine Central Institute, Winslow and previously unbeaten Waterville.

Junior center Jordan Grant is the dominant inside presence for Gray-New Gloucester, with 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Senior guards Bri Jordan (11.6 points, 7.7 rebounds) and Mikaela Ryan, and junior forward Eliza Hotham (8.2 points) are the main outside threats.

“We’re pretty balanced,” Andreasen said. “We have a group of people who can get the job done collectively. I think maybe that makes us harder to defend because you can’t just focus on one kid.”

This marks the third state title appearance in four years for Gray-New Gloucester, the 2017 champ. MDI is back for the first time since 2014.

The Trojans survived their regional final against Waterville despite 25 turnovers. Senior Julia Watras led the way with 17 points.

“Both of us want to push the ball up the floor and see, but we both want to take good shots,” Barker said. “We do want to control the tempo but not to the point we want to stall it.”

Class AA
No. 3 Oxford Hills (19-2) vs.
No. 2 Scarborough (19-2)
Cross Insurance Arena, Portland
6:05 p.m. Saturday

Oxford Hills and Scarborough have identical records and similar styles. Both have balanced scoring from a variety of sources, making it difficult for opposing defenses to focus on one aspect to attempt to shut down.

As the second seed in the South regional, Scarborough beat Massabesic, Gorham and South Portland, holding all three teams to 32 points or fewer. The 35-25 win over South Portland in the regional final snapped the Red Riots’ 17-game winning streak.

“Defense has been what has gotten us through the regional tournament,” Scarborough Coach Mike Giordano said. “We’ve played a little bit of zone, but we like what we do in straight man-to-man with some full-court pressure.”

Junior forward Julia Freeman is the team’s leading scorer at 12.8 points per game, but junior guard Bella Dickinson (8.4), senior wing Josie Couture (7.7) and junior guard Madison Blanche (7.6) are not far behind. Blanche, a 5-foot-7 guard, leads the team in rebounds (6.0), assists (3.7) and steals (4.0).

“They’re sort of similar to us,” Oxford Hills Coach Nate Pelletier said. “They’re guard-oriented, shoot the 3-ball really well. They’re not afraid to take the ball to the basket, and they like to pick up tempo and press some.”

The Vikings were the North’s top seed. Their only two losses were by six points to South Portland in December and by two points at Greely in January.

Junior point guard Julia Colby averages 17.5 points and 6.8 rebounds, with sophomore Cassidy Dumont at 10.5 and 4.0. Junior Cecelia Dieterich averages 4.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 10 points per game. All three are guards.

“Their guards are big and they’ve got shooters,” Giordano said. “They’ve been pretty consistent all year. Nate does a great job. They play hard for him and they’re always prepared.”

Oxford Hills is in the final for the second time in three years, still seeking its first state title. Scarborough won Class A in 2010 and is appearing in the final for the first time since then.

Class C
No. 8 Boothbay Region (21-0) vs. Penobscot Valley (18-4)
Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, 7:05 p.m. Saturday

As top-seeded Boothbay Region barreled through the South region, Penobscot Valley was clawing its way through the North bracket, knocking off Narraguagus, Stearns and Dexter, each by fewer than five points. The Seahawks, meanwhile, started slowly in a 32-26 victory over St. Dominic before cruising past Madison, then North Yarmouth Academy in the regional final.

A pair of athletic 6-foot sisters, senior Faith and sophomore Glory Blethen, present a formidable challenge for any Boothbay opponent. Faith averages 21.0 points and 10.4 rebounds, Glory 16.9 and 9.3. The outside shooting of senior guard Chloe Arsenault keeps teams honest.

Forward Lexi Ireland, and guards Judith King and Emily St. Cyr lead the Howlers, who employed a triangle-and-two defense against Dexter to complement their regular 1-3-1 zone.

“We’re ready for either one,” said Brian Blethen, father of Faith and Glory, and the Seahawks’ coach. “We’ve got some smart kids who can adjust to different defenses.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


Comments are not available on this story.