Western Class D Boys’ Preview: Tigers on prowl for third straight title

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Players to watch

Forest Hills — Tanner Daigle (Jr. C), Brandon Ouellette (Jr. G), Matt Turner (Jr. G); Hyde — Wilson MacMillan (Sr. G), Warsame Mohamed (Sr. F), Akim Sanni (So. C); Greenville — Matt DiAngelo (Sr. F), Howie Stone (Sr. F); Valley — Dylan Belanger (Sr. G), Collin Miller (So. F); NYA — Chase Gendron (Jr. F), El Tayeb Dahia (Sr. G); North Haven — Aidan Emerson (Jr. G), Avery Waterman (Jr. G); Seacoast Christian — Logan Archer (Sr. C/F), Isaac LaCroix (Jr. G); Islesboro — Forest Boucher (So. G), Cameron Jack (Sr. F).

Favorites

Forest Hills graduated some immense talent that led it to the last two regional titles and its first state championship last year, but the Tigers haven’t missed a beat under 1989 Monmouth Academy graduate Anthony Amero. They have decent size up front, but are very small in the backcourt.

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Hyde carved up its schedule before falling to Class C contender Waynflete last week. The 6-foot-6 Sanni and 6-foot-4 Mohamed make the Phoenix formidable in the paint, especially when protecting the rim. Aside from the Waynflete loss, they haven’t given up more than 47 points in a game this year.

Dark horses

Greenville split with Forest Hills and Valley during the regular season. Valley lost twice to Hyde and Forest Hills but seems to save its best for the ACC floor. It may have to be at its best for its quarterfinal with NYA, which has a win over Hyde on its resume.

Facts and figures

Valley is coached by Luke Hartwell, one of the stars of the Valley dynasty. Hartwell and his twin brother, Jason, were forwards at the start of Valley’s run of six consecutive state titles from 1998-2003. Jason is an assistant coach, as is the twins’ father, Gordon… Waterman joined the 1,000-point club as a junior this season. His father, David, also achieved the milestone for North Haven… Hyde and Seacoast Christian met in last year’s quarterfinals, with the Phoenix coming out on top, 45-35. Hyde also swept their two meetings this season, 55-28 and 61-28.

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