Deering High’s Titayo Augusto drives to the basket against South Portland’s Owen Maloney during a game in February. Deering and South Portland will be among the top teams in Class AA this winter. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

1. South Portland: JP Estrella, a 6-10 junior, may be the best big man in Maine. Jaelen Jackson is probably the best returning point guard returning in Class AA South. That’s a pretty good place to start. Add in senior Owen Maloney, a 6-4 swing player who can stroke the 3 and impact the game at both ends, along with guard depth and perimeter shooting from Alex Domingos and Joey Hanlon, another big rebounder in Nolan Hobbs, and developing talent in reserve. The Red Riots are clearly the favorites in the region.

2. Falmouth: There’s even greater consensus among Class A South coaches that Falmouth is the clear favorite. Senior guards Brady Coyne and Jack Stowell are two of the top returning players in the league. Coach Dave Halligan, entering his 35th season, is also high on junior Jed Armstrong, a versatile 6-4 player, and sophomore center Chris Simonds, at 6-6 the tallest and youngest brother of a talented basketball family. “Overall we’re pretty balanced,” Halligan said.

3. Deering: Class AA North is expected to be a tough, deep league again, including the addition of perennial Class A power Hampden Academy. But Deering has the talent, size and depth to compete for top honors. Remijo Wani, a 6-3 junior, came into his own last season as the Rams’ most reliable scorer. Senior forwards Titayo Augusto and Max Chikuta and senior guard Nick Langella are also returning starters. Alex Willings, a 6-8 senior, returns to Deering after attending St. Dominic Academy last season.

4. Yarmouth: Coaches in Class B South point to Yarmouth as the team that has looked best over the summer and preseason sessions, with a cohesive, team-oriented style built around a veteran group. Coach Jonas Allen has seven seniors back from a team that went 8-2 last winter. Peter Psyhogeos, a 6-2 left-hander, averaged 16 points a game and Matt Waeldner, a 5-10 guard, averaged nine. Cole Snyder is another returning starter. “Yarmouth is the best. I’ve seen them twice,” said Wells Coach Troy Brown.

5. Medomak Valley: Expect Nick DePatsy’s team to be dangerous as it moves down from Class A North to Class B South. Senior Trevor Brown has led the team in scoring since his freshman season, and fellow seniors Patrick McKenney and Jake Bickmore add experience. Senior Jake Craig gives the team a 6-7 post presence, and there is plenty of talented, athletic depth with a variety of skill sets from players like senior Garret Hutchins and a strong junior core of Finn Parmley, Blake Morrison and Jaiden Starr.

6. Portland: The Bulldogs ruled the Class AA roost for years but fell on some hard times in 2019-20, winning just three games. This year’s team appears to have some key ingredients, especially good overall size and a potential, do-it-all standout in 6-3 senior guard Wani Donato. Spencer Cross is a returning starter and likely will be a top scorer. Jared Biaya is an improved 6-6 post presence after a strong summer. Aidan Christensen can be a needed zone-buster with his shooting touch.


7. Bonny Eagle: The Scots are a work in progress, but they do have some very interesting and athletic pieces, starting with strong 6-8 junior Elliot Bouchard. Senior point guard Aidan Walcott is the reigning 100- and 200-meter Class A sprint champ. Shooting guard Terrell Edwards is a sophomore who was Bonny Eagle’s starting quarterback. The only other senior is sharpshooter Mason Ryan. Dom Gordon, a 6-5 junior forward, and junior shooting guard Ben Osterrieder have shown they are ready to contribute.

8. Marshwood: Seven of the Hawks’ 13 players played on state championship teams this fall (Class A soccer and Class B football), so they know how to win. Several of them were part of a basketball team that went 11-7 in 2019-20 and finished sixth in the Class A South standings. Senior 6-3 shooting guard Aidan Sullivan is a four-year varsity player and, as a sophomore, averaged 10.3 points, 2.1 assists and made 29 3-pointers. Sullivan and skilled 6-4 junior forward Andrew Perry will provide the bulk of the scoring.

9. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers are in Class B South, but you might not guess it from their schedule, which has eight games against Class A teams and three against Class C squads. Junior forward Evan Reeves is a skilled 6-8 player who can score in a variety of spots. He’ll support 6-4 senior Will Bowe in the scoring department. Junior forward Owen Tighe adds good size at 6-4 and toughness, and new coach Jeff Mitchell likes the balance his guard combo of 6-3 Jake Frame and Sam Lombardo offers.

10. Gray-New Gloucester: The Patriots have as much experience as any team, with 11 returners, including four starters. Included in that mix are senior guards Jay Hawkes and Aubray Lincoln, who started in 2019-20 when GNG went 10-8 and finished seventh in the Class A South standings. Hawkes averaged 12 points per game last season, and Josh Michaud is a tough on-the-ball defender. A potential Achilles’ heel is a relative lack of size. Lincoln, a 6-foot-2 senior, will have to play center on defense.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.