Boys’ Basketball: Western B tournament overview

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Players to watch

Falmouth — Jack Cooleen (Sr. C), Matt Packard (Sr. G), Matt Kingry (Sr. G), Jeremy Lydick (Sr. F); Spruce Mountain — Jake Bessey (Sr. G), James Barker (Sr. F), Zach Bonnevie (Sr. G), Nate Shink (Sr. F); Yarmouth — Josh Britten (Sr. G), Chris Knaub (Sr. F), Sam Torres (Sr. G), Christian Henry (Jr., F); York —Liam Langaas (Sr. G), Aaron Todd (Jr. C), Kyle Robinson (Sr. G), James McCafferty (Sr. F); Leavitt — Jordan Hersom (Sr. C), Tim Dow (Sr. F), Tyler Walton (Sr. G), Andrew Middleton (Soph. G); Lincoln — Jalen Lincoln (Sr. G), Riley Leavitt (Sr. F), Nic Phinney (Sr. F), Dylan Leavitt (Sr. F); Wells — Jake Moody (Soph. G), Dylan Stevens (Jr. G), Zach Deshaies (Sr. F), Cole Boston (Sr. F); Poland — Ricky Bryant (Sr. F), Drew Peterson (Sr. F), Jake Littlefield (Sr. F), Logan Nichols (Sr. G).

Favorites

Falmouth is the only undefeated boys’ team in the state in any class. The Yachtsmen have a playmaker in Kingry, a scorer in Packard, a spot-up shooter in Lydick and a big man in Cooleen. The 6-foot-7 center is equally comfortable catching the ball and scoring in traffic or extending possessions by out-reaching the opponent for offensive rebounds. But don’t engrave the Yachtsmen’s name on the trophy just yet. Yarmouth and York took Falmouth to overtime in the final two games of the regular season. Britten and Langaas give each team a player capable of carrying the team on his back and winning it all.

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Dark horses

Whoever escapes the Spruce Mountain-Wells quarterfinal would qualify. The Phoenix are the mystery team in the draw, having merged after years of Class C tournament tradition as Jay and Livermore Falls. The Jay program that produced four-fifths of the starting lineup missed the tournament by one spot each of the past three seasons, so the playoffs are a completely new environment to the senior-laden Phoenix. Moody and Stevens have been a huge one-two punch for the Warriors. Leavitt has a chance to make some noise, as well, with man-among-boys Jordan Hersom in the middle, Walton at the point and Dow and Middleton a potent combination on the wing.

Fun facts

Falmouth won the 2010 Class B title before an extremely rare losing record and tournament absence a year ago. In addition to the two OT contests, another close game was a December battle with quarterfinal opponent Poland. The Knights threw a scare into the Yachtsmen before falling 61-58 on the road. Poland’s Jake Littlefield (wrist) and Drew Peterson (leg) are back in the lineup after missing the rematch, a 64-39 loss on Jan. 27 … Jay and Livermore Falls won a combined five regional titles during their separate lives in Western C … Lincoln’s first-year coach, Chris McKenney, starred for the Eagles’ state championship team in 1989 … Hersom achieved the unlikely distinction of 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his Leavitt career … Yarmouth’s Britten has been accepted via early admission to Bates …. Spruce’s big four of Bessey, Bonnevie, Barker and Shink all averaged between 10 and 15 points per game.

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