Nearly every Forecaster Country basketball team qualified for the tournament and the fun is underway.

The action began Tuesday and continues right through the state finals the last day of the month.

Soaring

Freeport senior standout Caroline Smith hopes to lead the Falcons past Yarmouth and the rest of the Class B South field in the days to come. File photo.

Freeport’s girls’ basketball team has played in two straight regional finals, but couldn’t take the next step. This winter, the Falcons were viewed as the favorite in Class B South and for the first time, they earned the top seed after going 14-4. Freeport completed the regular season with a 49-42 loss at Wells and a 38-29 victory at Lake Region last week. Caroline Smith scored 21 points and Mason Baker-Schlendering added 12 in the setback. Against the Lakers, Baker-Schlendering had a team-high 12 points.

The Falcons will take on No. 8 Cape Elizabeth (8-10) in the quarterfinals Saturday at 2 p.m., at the Portland Exposition Building (see our website for game story). Freeport downed the visiting Capers, 40-23, back on Dec. 12. The teams met just once before in the playoffs, in last year’s semifinals, a dramatic 49-42 overtime win for the Falcons.

“We just need to be healthy and play our style,” Freeport coach Seth Farrington said. “If we do, we’ll be a tough out. We have the one-game-at-a-time mindset. The kids do a good job with that.”

Yarmouth wound up 10-8 and fifth in Class B South after finishing with a 47-21 victory at Poland and a 43-38 home loss to Wells. In the win, Margaret McNeil led the way with 12 points, while Katelyn D’Appolonia and Calin McGonagle added 10 apiece. In the setback, McGonagle had 12 points and D’Appolonia finished with 11.

The Clippers will battle No. 4 Mountain Valley (10-8) in the quarterfinals Saturday at 12:30 p.m., at the Expo (see our website for game story). The teams don’t play in the regular season. They met just once prior in the postseason, a 46-38 Falcons’ victory in the 2003 Western B quarterfinals.

“We’re good enough to make a nice tournament run,” said Yarmouth coach David Cousins. “We just have to stay on top of our game.”

In Class A South, two-time defending state champion Greely capped a stellar 17-1 season with wins over visiting York (73-54) and host Fryeburg Academy (77-58). Against the Wildcats, on Senior Night, Brooke Obar had 24 points, Camille Clement added 17, Mollie Obar had 13 points and Katie Fitzpatrick ended up with 10.

“It was very special, a great environment,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s kind of a bittersweet moment because we’re all so close.”

“It was awesome, but it was sad to be my last home game with this group,” Brooke Obar said. “I love this group of girls. They’re like my second family. (Playing for Greely) was more than I ever dreamed of.”

“That’s the first time we’ve shot well in a long time, which was good to see,” added Rangers’ coach Todd Flaherty. “We always want to shoot well, but that was probably above and beyond.”

Clement had a game-high 20 points against the Raiders, while Brooke Obar added 18 and Mollie Obar finished witha  dozen.

Greely is the top seed in Class A South and has its first playoff test Monday (8:30 p.m. tip) of next week at the Expo, when it meets either No. 8 Mt. Ararat (8-10) or No. 9 Fryeburg Academy (3-15) in the quarterfinals. The Rangers and Eagles don’t play in the regular season and have no playoff history. Greely swept the Raiders this year, also prevailing at home, 75-37, Dec. 13. The Rangers are 4-0 versus Fryeburg Academy in the tournament, with a 66-28 quarterfinal round victory in last year’s quarterfinals the most recent.

“I feel great,” Flaherty said. “We have to play our best. That first round of games, anything could happen and things could get shaken up. There are a lot of interesting matchups.”

Falmouth won just two games a year ago, but improved dramatically this winter, finishing 11-7 after closing with a 48-36 win at Leavitt and a 41-31 home victory over Marshwood. Sloane Ginevan had 22 points against the Hornets. In the win over the Hawks, Anna Turgeon had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds and Cameron Birks added 12 points.

The Yachtsmen, coming off their best regular season since, 2014-15, will battle No. 2 Kennebunk (15-3) in the quarterfinals Monday at 3:30 p.m., at the Expo. Falmouth split with the Rams this winter, winning at home on Opening Night Dec. 6, 45-37, then losing, 51-31, Jan. 17 at Kennebunk. The teams have no playoff history.

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy finished 15-3 after a 51-49 home loss to Old Orchard Beach and a 55-26 victory at Sacopee Valley last week. Emily Drummond led the Panthers with 14 points in the setback. In the win, Anna Drummond had 18 points and Katie Larson added 10.

NYA, which has set a new program mark for regular season wins in a two-year span (29), hosted No. 14 Hall-Dale (6-12) in the preliminary round Tuesday. The teams don’t play in the regular season and had no postseason history.

If the Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals Tuesday, Feb. 18 at the Augusta Civic Center, they would meet either No. 6 Monmouth Academy (12-6) or No. 11 Traip Academy (8-10). NYA doesn’t play Monmouth during the regular season. Monmouth has taken two of three prior playoff encounters, but the Panthers won last year in the quarterfinals, 52-35. The Panthers split with the Rangers this year, winning, 51-41, Dec. 6 in Kittery and falling, 34-31, at home Jan. 28. The teams met once before in the playoffs, a 49-34 Traip Academy victory in the 2018 Class C South preliminary round.

Magic number is four

Greely’s Logan Bagshaw is hoping to bow out as a four-time Class A state champion. Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

Four local boys’ teams qualified for the tournament and one, Greely, is seeking a fourth straight championship.

The Rangers ended the regular season with a 62-46 setback at undefeated, top-ranked York and a 62-57 home win over Fryeburg Academy. In the loss, Nick Butler had 18 points and Logan Bagshaw added 13.

“If we see them again in a couple of weeks, I think we’ll be a little smarter and know a couple of things we can adjust,” said Greely coach Travis Seaver.

Against the Raiders, Bagshaw erupted for 38 points and Butler added 15.

Greely finished 14-4 and earned the No. 4 seed in Class A South. The Rangers will face No. 5 Leavitt (14-4) in the quarterfinals Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (see our website for game story). The teams don’t play in the regular season and met just once before in the tournament, way back in the 1963 Class M semifinals, a 51-38 Greely win.

Falmouth also wound up 14-4 and earned the third-seed in Class A South after a 60-54 triple-overtime home loss to Leavitt and a 53-46 win at Marshwood. Against the Hornets, Emmett Hamilton had 14 points and Nicco Pitre added a dozen. In the victory, Mike Simonds led the way with 18 points and Macklin Williams finished with 14.

The Yachtsmen will meet the Hawks again in the quarterfinals Saturday at 4 p.m., at the Expo (see our website for game story). Marshwood finished 11-7 and sixth in the region. Falmouth won both meetings this year, also taking a 49-41 home decision Jan. 9. The teams have no playoff history.

In Class B South, Freeport closed with a 56-45 home win over Wells and a 65-51 loss at Lake Region to wind up 10-8, good for the eighth and final playoff berth in the region. In the victory, Gabe Wagner had 27 points. Against the Lakers, Tre Morris had 14 points, Blaine Cockburn added 13 and Colby Arsenault finished with 11.

The Falcons will go up against top-ranked Maranacook (16-2) in the quarterfinals Friday at 9 p.m., at the Expo (see our website for game story). The teams have no history.

If Freeport springs a major upset, it will face either No. 4 seed Mountain Valley (9-9) or No. 5 Lake Region (8-10) in the semifinals Tuesday of next week at the Expo. The Falcons split with the Lakers this year, winning at home, 67-58, Jan. 17. The teams have no playoff history. Freeport doesn’t face Mountain Valley in the regular season. The teams split two prior playoff encounters, with a 54-47 Freeport win in the 2008 Western B quarterfinals the most recent.

Yarmouth closed with wins over visiting Poland (62-38) and host Wells (45-42) to wind up 8-10 and ninth in Class B South, but only eight teams made the playoffs. Jason Lainey had 15 points and Will Cox 14 against the Knights. In the win over the Warriors, Cox set the pace with 18 points. The Clippers fell short of the postseason for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.

In Class C South, NYA wound up 14-4, its best mark since 2004-05, after beating visiting Old Orchard Beach (79-49) and host Sacopee Valley (71-42) last week. Against the Seagulls, Te’Andre King finished with 31 points and 20 rebounds, Chris Hamblett had 27 points, four assists and five steals and Bryce Poulin added 10 points and 10 rebounds. In the win over the Hawks, Hamblett had 27 points and seven steals, King added 19 points, 12 rebounds and six steals and Logan Welch had 10 points.

The Panthers earned the No. 4 seed and will meet either No. 5 Richmond (11-7) or No. 12 St. Dom’s (8-10) in the quarterfinals Monday of next week (tip time of 7:30 p.m.) at the Augusta Civic Center. NYA swept the Saints this year, winning in Auburn Jan. 4 (64-38) and Yarmouth three days later (73-41). The teams have no playoff history. The Panthers have played Richmond twice in the postseason, splitting two games, with a 63-55 win in the 1998 Western D quarterfinals the most recent.

Press Herald staff writer Steve Craig contributed to this story.

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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