TOURNEY 2018 PREVIEW: Hampden To Clash With Greely In State Finals
Maine high school basketball state championships begin Thursday night with just two different schools competing, as Hampden and Greely are both featured in the girls and boys Class A matchups.
The girls' matchup, which tips off at 6 p.m. at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, features the north's top seed, Hampden, and the south's No. 2 seed, Greely.
The Broncos, 16-2 in the regular season, advanced to the state championship by defeating Messalonskee in the regionals. Hampden standout Bailey Donovan, a 6-foot-3 senior center, was held to just 6 points in regulation as she battled foul trouble, but Donovan chipped in 5 points in overtime, lifting her team to a 42-37 triumph.
Greely, also 16-2 in the regular season, advanced to the state championship by knocking off previously undefeated Brunswick, the south's top seed. Brooke Obar scored 18 points in the final two quarters of the Rangers' 66-49 regional finals win over the Dragons.
Hampden clearly has the size advantage over Greely, but the Rangers have more quickness and a number of good shooters, including junior Anna DeWolfe, freshman Camille Clement and Obar, a sophomore.
The Hampden boys, 17-1 in the regular season and the north's No. 1 seed, downed Medomak Valley 43-21 in their regional final matchup. Kory Winch scored 14 points for the Broncos while senior Ian McIntyre, a 2018 Mr. Maine Basketball nominee, chipped in 11 points.
Greely, defending Class A state champs, recorded its 43rd consecutive win by defeating Westbrook 60-50 in the regional finals.
Both teams are deep and get contributions from a number of players. In the Rangers' regional-round victory, three players reached double figures in scoring, including Andrew Storey (14) and Zack Brown (13). Center Jack Kane, a 6-foot-8 senior, chipped in 13 points, six blocks and five rebounds.
Good news for Hampden/Greely fans
The schedule originally called for an 8:30 start time for the boys, but with only two schools involved in the games, the boys matchup will start shortly after the awards ceremony for the winner of the girls game.
Spectators were originally required to pay two separate admission fees to watch both games, but again, with only two schools involved in the championship games, fans can now attend both games after paying admission just once.
Fans who cannot attend the games can hear live coverage on Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket.