PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. F Cordelia Stewart, Bangor (11.g ppg), Sr. F Mary Butler, Bangor (9 ppg, 7 rpg); Jr. F Nia Irving, Lawrence (23.4 ppg, 18.2 rpg), Jr. G Dominique Lewis, Lawrence (13.8 ppg, 8.1 apg, 51 3’s); Sr. F Anna Winslow 14.4 ppg, 7 rpg), Sr. G Mikayla Morin (10 rpg, 3.3 apg); Jr. F Emily Jacques, Edward Little (13.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Sr. G Tianna Harriman, Edward Little (11.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg); Jr. G Caitlin Kane, Mt. Blue (14.4 ppg, 3 apg, 22 3’s), Jr. G Eryn Doiron, Mt. Blue (9.2 ppg, 3 apg, 19 3’s); Sr. G Julie Champagne, Brunswick (22.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 6.4 apg); Soph G Sophie Holmes, Messalonskee (17.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 30 3’s); Sr. G Erin Murphy, Hampden (10 ppg, 22 3’s).

FAVORITES

Bangor, Lawrence

These two teams have battled for the top seed all season. The Rams averaged 51.6 points and had the second-best defense in the KVAC. Butler and Stewart were both KVAC First Team picks. The Rams have more size than any other team and have some guards like Sarah Bragg and Emily Gilmore that can hit from the outside. Bangor won 10 straight to finish the regular season, including a 13-point over Lawrence.

Lawrence won 15 straight before the loss to Bangor. Irving was a KVAC First Team player, leading the league in scoring and rebounds. Lewis and Belanger were second team. Lewis led in assists and 3’s. Paige Belanger led the league in free throw percentage (80 percent) and was third in rebounds (11.4 rpg). The Bulldogs were the second-best scoring team in the KVAC at 65 points per game and  were fourth averaging 37.8 against.

DARK HORSES

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Oxford Hills

Hard to say that the defending East A champs from Oxford Hills are darkhorses. While Lawrence and Bangor were jockeying for the top seed, the Vikings were getting healthy and getting in sync – not unlike last year when Oxford Hills came on late to win the regional crown. Oxford Hills boasts the best defense in the KVAC, 34.3 points against. The offense averaged 44.3 but progressed as younger players emerged. Winslow and Morin are an all-star tandem while Tianna Sugars (8 rpg) gives them strength on the boards. Oxford Hills won 14 of its last 15 games and should be a tough out.

FUN FACTS

This is Bangor’s first top-seeding since 1999, fourth overall. The No.1 seed had never lost in the first round prior to 2011 but have done so twice in the last three years. … Lawrence has won just two quarterfinal games since the 1994 state championship season. The second seed is just 6-13 in the regional final. … Oxford Hills has been to the tournament eight times in the last 10 years and won two regional titles. … Fourth-ranked Edward Little has been one of the top two seeds in each of the last six years. The Red Eddies won eight of their last nine games. … The fifth seed is 24-14 in the quarterfinals. Mt. Blue’s schedule featured the top four teams in Eastern A among its final five games. The Cougars were 2-3 during that stretch, including a win over EL …Brunswick has just one quarterfinal win since 1987. The Dragons went 8-3 in its last 11 games after a 3-4 start. … The seventh seed has gone 6-29 in the quarters, one of those was Messalonskee’s win over Lawrence last year. The Eagles went 1-9 against the Eastern A tourney field. … Hampden lost five of its last six games prior to winning the East A prelim. The Broncos also went 1-9 against the Eastern A field.


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