Western Class B Boys’ Preview: Spruce, Morse trying to break up WMC party

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Players to watch

Greely — Conner Hanley (Sr. F), Mike McDevitt (Sr. C); Morse — Jacob Freeman (Sr. G), Ethan Winglass (Jr. F); Spruce Mtn. — Deonte Ring (Jr. F), Peter Theriault (Jr. G); Yarmouth — David Murphy (Sr. G), Nathaniel Shields-Auble (Sr. C); Cape Elizabeth — Edward Galvin (Jr. G/F), Jack O’Rourke (So. G); Poland — CJ Martin (Sr. G), Alan Young (Jr. F); Lake Region — Jackson Lesure (So. G), Mark Williams (Sr. G); York — Michael Gallagher (Sr. G), Adam Legg (Sr. G).

Favorites

Greely dominated the Western Maine Conference, even beating Class A rival Falmouth along the way (the Yachtsmen later handed the Rangers their only loss). In McDevitt, who became the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder this year, they have perhaps the most dominant player in the tournament. He’s surrounded by plenty of shooters to give him room to operate in the paint. The Rangers are big and athletic and capable of pulling away quickly.

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The 2,3,6 and 7 seeds were delighted to see Yarmouth in the No. 4 spot. The Clippers had everyone’s number but Falmouth and Greely, dropping two games apiece to the top teams in the conference. With their speed and athleticism, they can cause a lot of problems for opponents on the big Portland Expo and (brand new) Cumberland County Civic Center floors.

Dark horses

Morse may be the No. 2 seed but they have to be considered a dark horse because they are such an unknown to all of the teams. The Shipbuilders won a lot of close games in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and play a halfcourt style that could frustrate some of the teams that like to push the tempo.

Spruce Mountain isn’t quite the unknown Morse is, having reached the quarterfinals last year and played in the Christmas tournament at the Expo. Bound for the KVAC next year, Spruce would like to make its last year in the Mountain Valley Conference a memorable one. But no one knows how well the Class C schedule prepared the Phoenix for the tournament.

Facts and figures

WMC teams have won the last six Western B titles. Mountain Valley was the last non-WMC team to pull it off, in 2006 and 2007, and is the only one to win it in the last 25 years… Greely and York met in last year’s quarterfinals, with the Wildcats, the No. 2 seed, winning 64-38… Morse is 6-1 in games decided by three points or less… Since 2010, the higher seed is 25-3 through the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. Falmouth (2010 regional final), Yarmouth (2011 semifinals and 2012 regional final) pulled off the only upsets.

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