Four down. Four to go.

The second half of the season begins Friday night and it usually flies by faster than the first. Maybe a guide to get you ready for it will help you stop and smell the potpourri or something. So here is a look at the local teams and the regions they play in:

Class A East

Playoff teams: Six

Games to watch: Bangor at Windham 10/4; Windham at Portland 10/11; Portland at Lewiston 10/18; Lewiston at Edward Little 10/25

Cheverus is living up to its preseason ranking and has hushed some of the early whispering that this team may be more vulnerable than recent years. The Stags haven’t had much competition early but they’ve shown this is probably one of their most physical teams in years. There’s a grudge match against a depleted Thornton Academy team in a couple of weeks, but there isn’t much else standing between them and the heavy heading into the playoffs. Portland, Windham and Bangor will battle it out for the other bye. Edward Little, Oxford Hills and Lewiston may end up battling it out for the final two playoff spots.

Class B East

Playoff teams: Six

Games to watch: Brunswick at Mt. Blue 10/4; Lawrence at Hampden 10/4; Hampden at Cony 10/11; Brunswick at Lawrence 10/18; Mt. Blue at Skowhegan 10/25; Lawrence at Messalonskee 10/25.

Everyone expected a dog fight but Brunswick has torched the competition so far, with impressive wins over Cony and Skowhegan. The Dragons’ first big road test comes Friday in Farmington. Mt. Blue probably needs that game more after a couple of stunning road losses. Cony survived its showdown with Lawrence but still has a minefield of Skowhegan, Hampden and Greely to navigate before it meets rival Gardiner. Everyone will be watching how Lawrence fares with its tough second-half slate (at Hampden, Westbrook, Brunswick, at Messalonskee). Hampden’s signature win is Skowhegan, which is nice, but the Broncos have Lawrence and Cony on tap.

Class C West

Playoff teams: Six

Games to watch: Wells at Yarmouth 10/4; Yarmouth at Cape Elizabeth 10/11; Wells at Leavitt 10/18; Leavitt at Spruce Mtn. 10/25.

Leavitt separated itself early, but Spruce Mountain, Wells and Yarmouth aren’t going away any time soon. The Hornets have taken advantage of a lull in their schedule but will get all they could ask for in the final two weeks. They’ve given up the fewest points in the state, but Wells and Yarmouth have shown pretty stout defenses of their own. Spruce Mountain has opened up on offense and probably won’t be stopped before it gets its shot at the Hornets in what could be the game of the year. Poland, Gray-New Gloucester and Mountain Valley still have games against each other that will determine who is staying home for the playoffs.

Class D West

Playoff teams: Eight

Games to watch: Boothbay at Oak Hill 10/12; Winthrop/Monmouth at Boothbay 10/18; Dirigo at Lisbon 10/19; Lisbon at Oak Hill 10/26

There aren’t a lot of premium games in the second half because most of the contenders have faced each other already. It’s too bad because it should be one of the most compelling races. Winthrop/Monmouth flexed its muscle in the first half with wins over Lisbon, Dirigo and Oak Hill. The Ramblers’ depth and a fairly easy October, save for the trip to Boothbay, should allow them to focus on preparing for the playoffs. Lisbon and Oak Hill have tougher second-half schedules but wouldn’t mind if their season finale decided at least the second seed. Boothbay couldn’t hang with Lisbon but will have plenty of opportunities to prove itself in the second half. The more likely darkhorse is Dirigo, which has played consistently solid defense while finding its offensive identity.


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