Grace Beaudet of Edward Little drives to the basket against Brooke Carson (12), Julia Colby (23) and Maggie Hartnett (11) during the first period in Auburn last month. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Players to watch: So. G Julia Colby, Oxford Hills; Sr. F Maighread Laliberte, Oxford Hills; Jr. C Jadah Adams, Oxford Hills; Jr. F Jade Perry, Edward Little; Jr. G Grace Fontaine, Edward Little; So. G Hannah Chaput, Edward Little; Sr. G Piper Norcross, Edward Little; Sr. F Victoria Harris, Lewiston; Sr. F Gabrielle Wilson, Lewiston; Fr. G Myah Nicolas, Lewiston; Delaney Haines, Deering; Hannah Talon, Windham; Tara Flanders, Windham; Abby Cavallaro, Cheverus; Emme Poulin, Cheverus; Lauren Jordan, Cheverus.

Favorite: Oxford Hills.

Oxford Hills (15-3) is 12-1 since the calendar flipped to 2018, and that lone loss game against Greely, which is ranked third in the latest media poll, one spot ahead of the Vikings. Since that loss, Oxford Hills has won 10 straight games, all by double digits.

Dark horses: Portland and Edward Little.

The Bulldogs weren’t as steady as Oxford Hills, but played well enough to earn the No. 2 seed.

The No. 3 Red Eddies’ defense could disrupt the rest of the region, especially when it’s complemented by a hot-shooting offense.

Overview: It’s hard to bet against the Vikings. They have the talent, skill on both ends of the court, and experience to again win the region and advance to the AA state championship. But it won’t be easy. Portland, Edward Little and Cheverus have all had flashes of brilliance. The Red Eddies can count on their defense, so will likely advance as far as its offense takes it. First, they’ll have to get through Lewiston, which might be closing the gap in the rivalry.

Prediction: Oxford Hills.

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