Players to watch
Sr. G Ashlee Arnold, Edward Little (18 ppg), Jr. G Kory Norcross (10 ppg); Soph. F Cordelia Stewart, Bangor (14.9 ppg, 11 rpg), Sr. G Denae Johnson (12.8 ppg); Sr. F Mallory Nelson, Mt. Ararat (18.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Jr. G/F Caitlin LaFountain (14.5 ppg, 8 rpg); Fr. C Nia Irving, Lawrence; Sr. F Miranda Nicely (13.9 ppg), Sr. G Gabby Foy, Mt. Blue (11 ppg); Sr. G Abbie Eastman, Oxford Hills (10 ppg, 5.9 apg); Sr. G Cheyenne Malloy, Skowhegan; Sr. G Josie Lee, Cony (15.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg), Jr. G Emily Quirion, Cony (12.6 ppg)
Edward Little came up short in the regional final against Cony last year but returns a deep and talented team. The Red Eddies have an abundance of shooters with Arnold, Norcross, Tianna Harriman and Kate Sawyer, but now have a stronger post game with Brooke Reynolds, Emily Jacques and Eraleena Hairston. EL went 7-3 against the rest of the Eastern A field and its three losses were by an average of just 2.6 points.
Mt. Ararat started the year 10-0 and has won five straight down the stretch. Nelson is one of the top post players in the tourney while LaFountain has a strong inside-out game. The Eagles went 6-3 against the Eastern A field. Bangor is still relatively young but have size that few teams can match. The Rams won eight of its last nine and went 6-4 against the Eastern A tourney teams. Bangor's four losses were by an average of nine points.
Oxford Hills allowed just 39.3 points against and have played tough against some of the top teams. Four of their losses were by two points or less. The Vikings have size, outside shooting and have nothing to lose. They could very well be a thorn in the side of a team or two.
Only one No. 1 ranked team (Morse in 2011) has lost in the East A quarterfinals. ... After four straight years of being the second seed, EL is the top seed for the first time since 1992. ... The second seed is just 6-12 in the Eastern A regional final. ... Mt. Ararat's quarterfinal win last year was its first since 2004. ... Lawrence has won just one quarterfinal since the 1994 state championship season. ... Mt. Blue's six losses were by an average of nine points, four by nine or less. ... This is Oxford Hills' first trip to the quarterfinals since 2010. ... In four of the last eight trips to Augusta, Skowhegan has lost in the regional finals. ... Cony has lost just one quarterfinal since 1991.