Players to watch: Forest Hills — Tanner Daigle (6-4 Sr. C), Matt Turner (6-1 Jr. G), Brandon Ouellette (5-7 Sr. G), Ryan Petrin (6-3 Sr. F); Valley — Cody Laweryson (6-2 Jr. F/G), Dillon Beane (5-11 Fr. F), Collin Miller (6-1 Jr C/F); Hyde — Antoine Montgomery (6-0 Jr. G), Kiefer Cundy (5-8 Sr. G), Andrew Palermo (6-2 Jr. F); Seacoast Christian — Isaac LaCroix (6-0 Sr. G/F), Caleb LaCroix (5-9 Soph. G), Tim Yeaton (6-1 Jr. C/F); Richmond — Zach Small (5-11 Fr. F); Cam Emmons (5-9 Sr. G), Tyler Soucy (5-10 Jr. G/F); Searsport — Troy Reynolds (5-10 Jr. G), Barrett (6-0 Soph. F), Jake Powell (6-3 Sr. F); Vinahaven — Cody Hamilton (6-0 Soph. F), Noah Slivinsky (5-10 Sr. G) Keon Arey (6-1 Fr. F/C); NYA — Jake Malcom (6-4 Soph. F), Eoin Andersen (6-2 Sr.), D.J. Nicholas (5-9 Sr. G).

Favorite: Forest Hills.

The Tigers are the only undefeated boys’ basketball team in the state. They are loaded with seniors, many of whom are playing in their fifth regional tournament (MPA rules allow the smallest schools in Class D to dress eighth-graders). Petrin and Daigle are a tall order for opponents to stop in the paint. Ouellette is a relentless defender. Last year was a rare hiccup for the Tigers, losing in the regional semifinal, but they have dominated this tournament in recent years, and all December and January results point to them being class of the February field.

Dark horses: Valley, Hyde, Seacoast Christian.

The Cavaliers saved their best for the end of the season, beating Hyde to clinch the No. 2 spot, and they have the confidence of being defending champions.

You can never count out Hyde in Augusta. The Phoenix have played a diverse schedule of Class C and D teams and are ready for the grind.

Tucked away in South Berwick, Seacoast Christian has its strongest-ever entry and could make some noise. The challenge for the Guardians, as always, is adapting to the larger tournament floor, but that is a common adjustment for most teams in the small-school division.

Facts and figures: Forest Hills went 18-0 for the first time in school history … This is the fourth consecutive year that Hyde, Valley and Forest Hills all have been seeded in the top four … Seacoast Christian is 0-3 all-time in Augusta, with losses to Hyde each of the past two seasons … This is Searsport’s first tournament appearance since a Class C East prelim in 2004 … Valley, Forest Hills, Hyde and Richmond have combined to win 19 of the past 20 regional titles … Vinalhaven is in the field for the first time since 2012, when it reached the semifinals … Forest Hills’ closest game of the season was an 18-point win over Temple Academy. Only five of its wins came against other quarterfinal teams.

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