Players to watch: Sr. G Shannon O’Malley, Leavitt; Sr. F Allie Belaire, Leavitt; Jr. G Elizabeth Goulette, Leavitt.

Favorites: Greely, Messalonskee.

The Rangers and the Eagles seeme poised for a showdown in the state championship game. Both teams made clean and easy work of their respective schedules, and they should do likewise in the region tournaments. Greely’s only loss was a three-point setback to Class AA favorite Gorham, but that might be as impressive as any of the Rangers’ wins.

Darkhorses: Brunswick, Skowhegan, Nokomis.

Neither of these three teams gave Greely or Messalonskee much competition this season. Brunswick lost by 19 to the Rangers, while Skowhegan and Nokomis fell to the Eagles by 39 and 37 points, respectively. But if either of these three teams catch either Greely or Messalonskee on an off day … probably not, but who knows?

Overview: Leading up to the likely Greely-Messalonskee showdown in the state championship games, the best Class A region tournament games will probably be those without the Rangers and Eagles. For instance, if the seeds hold, the semifinal tilts between the second and third seeds — Brunswick and Marshwood in A South, Skowhegan and Nokomis in A North — should be fun to watch.

It also will be interesting to see how last year’s region champions fare. York, the defending state champion is third in A South, while Lawrence is fourth in A North.

Leavitt made an unlikely run to the A South semifinals last year. Chantel Eels has graduated, but several other players return from that squad. If the eighth-seeded Hornets survive their prelim against No. 9 Morse, they’ll get the first crack at Greely.

Predictions: Greely in A South; Messalonskee in A North.

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