Poland Regional High School’s Sarah Moody, center, gets her hand tangled with Gray-New Gloucester’s Jordan Grant as Grant goes up for a layup during their game in Gray earlier this season. At right is Poland’s Moragn Brousseau. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal File Photo)
It might not have been as pretty as last year, but after 18 games were played, the Oxford Hills and Gray-New Gloucester girls’ basketball teams found themselves back at the top of the Heal point standings in their respective regions.
The Vikings and Patriots both cruised through the 2016-17 regular season with one-loss records, and both teams went on to reach state championship games.
Gray-New Gloucester claimed the Class B title, while Oxford Hills lost to powerhouse Gorham in the AA championship.
Five girls’ basketball teams throughout the state finished the regular season unbeaten: Brunswick in A South, Boothbay in C South, Houlton in C North, Vinalhaven in D South and Deer Isle-Stonington in D North.
The postseason tips off with preliminary games Tuesday. Here is a look at each region that includes a local postseason team:
Oxford Hills has been steady since the calendar flipped to 2018, and rose to the top with a strong finish to the regular season.
The Vikings are 12-1 since Jan. 1, and the lone setback came against Greely, which is ranked third in the latest media poll, one spot ahead of Oxford Hills. Since that loss, the Vikings have won 10 straight games, and all by double digits.
All eight AA North teams were given postseason berths this season, and the quarterfinals will be played on the higher seed’s court. Oxford Hills opens the postseason against No. 8 Deering.
Portland bounced back from a last-place finish in 2016-17 to second place this year. The Bulldogs face No. 7 Bangor in the quarterfinals.
Edward Little is the third seed and will open the postseason with a third meeting of the season with rival Lewiston, the sixth seed, on Wednesday. Cheverus hosts Windham in the 4-5 game.
Leavitt played its way to the seventh seed in A South. The Hornets’ award is another postseason matchup with No. 2 Greely. The Rangers have knocked the Hornets out of the past two tournaments.
Top-seeded Brunswick will face the winner between No. 8 Morse and No. 9 Falmouth.
No. 3 Marshwood plays No. 6 Lincoln Academy, which has moved up from Class B, and No. 4 York goes against No. 5 Kennebunk in the quarterfinals.
Gray-NG emerged from a logjam at the top of B South to claim the region’s top seed. The Patriots defeated Freeport on the last game of the season to lock down No. 1.
Poland picked up enough points in its season finale to pass Freeport for second place.
The Patriots will face the winner of the region’s only preliminary, between No. 8 Spruce Mountain and No. 9 Sacopee Valley.
Poland faces No. 7 Mountain Valley in the quarterfinals, while Freeport has the unenviable task of opening the postseason against No. 6 Wells.
Oak Hill earned the fifth seed and will go against fourth-seeded Lake Region.
Boothbay and Monmouth are again C South’s best. This year, they actually claimed the top two seeds, so any meeting in the postseason will be in the region final, not the semis as it was in 2017.
The No. 1 Seahawks and the No. 2 Mustangs earn the region’s only byes through the preliminary round.
No. 8 North Yarmouth Academy and No. 9 Traip will vie for the chance to face Boothbay in the quarterfinals. The winner of No. 7 Kents Hill and No. 10 St. Dominic Academy will meet Monmouth.
Other C south prelims: Fifth-seeded Hebron will host 12-seed Mt. Abram on Tuesday in a rematch of last year’s prelim, which was won by the Roadrunners.
No. 14 Winthrop travels to play at No. 3 Old Orchard Beach. Richmond, after playing a tougher MVC schedule this year, earned the sixth seed and faces No. 11 Waynflete, and No. 4 Madison goes against No. 13 Carrabec.
Rangeley earned D South’s second seed and racked up more than twice the Heal points of third-place Temple. But the Lakers, like the rest of the region and probably the entire classification, look to be chasing defending state champion Vinalhaven after the Vikings won the teams’ two meetings this year by 14 and 19 points.
Vinalhaven will meet No. 8 Valley in the quarterfinals, and Rangeley squares off with No. 7 Pine Tree Academy.
Temple claimed the third seed and will face No. 6 Isleboro, and No. 4 Greenville plays No. 5 Seacoast Christian.
Maighread Laliberte of Oxford Hills breaks from Jade Perry of Edward Little during the third quarter in Auburn earlier this season. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal File Photo)