There were no championship celebrations this winter for local basketball teams, but the highlights were plentiful nonetheless.

For the first time in for years, Greely wasn’t able to add to its trophy case.

The Rangers’ boys, the three-time defending Class A champion, felt the toll of recent graduations, but with senior standout Logan Bagshaw leading the way, remained a contender, going 14-4. Greely, ranked fourth in Class A South, defeated No. 5 Leavitt by seven points in the quarterfinals, then gave undefeated York fits in the semifinals before falling one possession short.

“I’m really proud of these guys,” said Rangers’ coach Travis Seaver. “We came a long way. We’ve had so much success, but we had so many changes and we’ve grown. The seniors have been special. Every one of them had a part in it.”

Greely senior Brooke Obar led the Rangers to the regional final. File photo

Greely’s girls had won back-to-back championships and despite having to part with an all-time standout, Anna DeWolfe, who is now starring at Fordham University in New York City, the Rangers extended their three-year win streak to 48 games before falling at Kennebunk. That would be Greely’s lone blemish, as it went 17-1 and locked up the top seed in Class A South yet again.

The Rangers dominated No. 8 Mt. Ararat by 43 points in the quarterfinals, then rode the heroics of senior Brooke Obar to fend off the upset bid of No. 4 Gray-New Gloucester in the semifinals. Greely finally met its match in the regional final, dropping a close 47-44 decision to eventual state champion Marshwood.

“I’m so proud of the girls,” said Rangers’ coach Todd Flaherty. “We’ve had a great run and the seniors have been fantastic. It’s always hard to say goodbye. We have some nice returners and some nice young players on the way, so we’ll be alright.”

Falmouth’s boys and girls also enjoyed success in Class A South.

The Yachtsmen girls won just twice in 2018-19, but with a young nucleus, roared back into contention this winter, winning 11 times.

Falmouth, the No. 7 seed, then shocked second-seeded Kennebunk in the quarterfinals before losing to Marshwood in its first semifinal appearance since 2009.

Falmouth senior Michael Simonds paced another deep Yachtsmen playoff run. File photo

The Yachtsmen boys started the year 0-2, but came on strong and wound up third in the region. Falmouth toppled No. 6 Marshwood by 21 points in the quarterfinals and upset No. 2 Kennebunk by 13 in the semifinals. The Yachtsmen then led undefeated, top-ranked York by four at halftime of the regional final before going cold and falling by a 52-34 score.

“We gave it our best shot,” said Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “I’m disappointed in the game, but I’m not disappointed in the season and the careers of these seniors.”

The Class B girls’ tournament produced the biggest surprise.

Freeport, a two-time regional finalist, which featured 1,000-point career scorer Caroline Smith, was the favorite this winter and after capturing 14 regular season games, earned the top seed for the tournament. The Falcons got pushed to the brink in the quarterfinals, but held off No. 8 Cape Elizabeth’s upset bid.

Yarmouth, meanwhile, went just 10-8 in the regular season, good for the No. 5 seed in the region, but the Clippers saved their best basketball for the big stage, dominating fourth-seeded Mountain Valley by 29 in the quarterfinals.

Yarmouth’s girls’ team celebrates an upset win over Freeport in the Class B South semifinals. File photo

That set up a Freeport-Yarmouth semifinal showdown and despite losing both regular season meetings to the Falcons, the Clippers weren’t intimidated and led Freeport most of the way en route to a stunning victory behind the heroics of junior Margaret McNeil, sophomore point guard Katelyn D’Appolonia and bench contributors Ava Feeley and Maya Panozzo.

“There’s not much you can say,” Falcons’ coach Seth Farrington said. “Once our wounds heal a little bit, we’ll look back at this four-year run and think pretty highly of it.”

Yarmouth moved on to face No. 3 Wells in the regional final, which marked just the Clippers’ second-ever appearance in that round, but despite a valiant effort, Yarmouth lost by four to the eventual state champion Warriors.

“It’s been so much fun because you could see these kids start to believe,” said Clippers’ coach David Cousins. “The girls will walk away disappointed, but they’ll wake up tomorrow and know they had a great run. I’m very excited for next year.”

On the boys’ side, Freeport was up-and-down, but earned the eighth and final seed in Class B South, then nearly upset No. 1 Maranacook in a thrilling quarterfinal, losing by just two when it couldn’t muster a final shot.

“There’s not a lot of time to reflect, but we talked how great an experience it was,” said Freeport coach Bill Ridge. “We went out and executed how we wanted, but we just fell short.”

Yarmouth went 8-10, but missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

In Class C South, the North Yarmouth Academy boys made history, as senior standout Te’Andre King eclipsed Tim DeLuca as the program’s all-time leading scorer and the Panthers won 14 games, their best mark in 15 seasons.

NYA senior Te’Andre King became the school’s all-time leading scorer and paced the Panthers to the semifinals this winter. File photo

NYA, ranked fourth for the tournament, defeated No. 5 Richmond by 17 points in the quarterfinals, as King went off for 34 points and 14 rebounds. The Panthers were then ousted by eventual repeat state champion, No. 1 Winthrop, in the semifinals.

“We battled and I’m very proud of our effort and that we didn’t quit,” said NYA coach Jason Knight. “We’ll expect to be competitive again next year.”

The NYA girls posted a 15-3 mark, the Panthers’ best ever in the regular season, but after a preliminary round victory over Hall-Dale, NYA, the No. 3 seed in Class C South, was upset by No. 11 Traip Academy in the quarterfinals.

What a season it was and before we look forward to December, when the 2020-21 campaign tips off, here’s a tip of the cap to the best of the best this winter:

Northern edition boys’ Player of the Year: Logan Bagshaw, Greely
Northern edition girls’ Player of the Year: Caroline Smith, Freeport
Game of the Year: Feb. 19, York 59 Greely 57 (boys)

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

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