Oxford Hills is one of the top teams in Class AA, scoring 65 points per game. But maybe the most impressive aspect of the team is the full-court, man-to-man press.

The Vikings hound opponents for 94 feet up the court with forwards and guards that are quick and have long wingspans.

“We have been really working on our rotations in our press,” Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier said. “It’s a man-to-man press but it we try to run and jump a little bit and it causes some chaos. We have been working at it and things are starting to come together.”

If the opposing team can get the ball past the halfcourt line and set up their offense, the Vikings have something else they haven’t had much of the past couple years: A post presence.

Viktoria Sugars, a junior forward for the Vikings, asserted her dominance down low early against Edward Little this week and, on both sides of the ball, was a force in the paint. After a shoulder injury early in the season, Sugars is finding her role on the team quickly.

“She’s sort of a physical post player that has helped us slow down the game a little bit,” Pelletier said. “She doesn’t freak out when the ball hits her hands and she’s very methodical and makes good decisions. Right now it’s just about getting her more minutes.”


After winning the AA state title last February, the Vikings may have gotten better.


The 2019-20 Mt. Abram Roadrunners do indeed live up to their nickname when they are controlling the tempo. It’s something they’ve done most of the season en route to a 6-2 record, with wins over Lisbon, Dirigo and Mountain Valley (twice).

They can’t control the tempo without the ball, though. They also can’t control their relative lack of size against opponents such as Mountain Valley’s 6-foot-8 center Cooper Davis. Yet thanks to forwards Nate Luce and Thomas Deckland-Madore, they were able to more than hold their own on the boards and other 50/50 possession battles to get the running game going in Saturday’s 68-63 win over the Falcons.

“I thought our bigs did a great job of getting the rebound and outletting and getting our guards out and running,” Zamboni said. “Our guards could trust that our bigs and other guys were trying to get those boards and they were going to get those loose balls.”

Guards Hunter Warren, Kenyon Pillsbury and Adam Luce helped Mt. Abram clean the glass, as did the return of senior forward Jackson Masterson from a knee injury.


“We have some guys who can come in and give us key minutes off the bench and play different roles,” Zamboni said. “Having Jackson back… it was limited minutes, but he came in and had a few assists and a few rebounds. He did well.”


Beating fellow unbeaten Spruce Mountain, 47-44, was a holiday treat for the Boothbay Seahawks last Monday. But for the Phoenix, losing was like watching Scrooge step into The Nest and suddenly steal their thunder.

But Spruce coach Scott Bessey had to give the Seahawks credit for pulling off this caper.

“They are great,” Bessey said. “We predicted them to be the No. 1 team in the conference. They’ve got height; they have experience. They are tough. They have perimeter shooting. They are a good team.”

Whatever leftover frustration the Phoenix had after Christmas they took out by scoring 111 points in Saturday’s win over Wiscasset. They get another break through the New Year holiday before starting a two-week homestand against Mt. Abram on Friday.



Mountain Valley thought it had turned a corner offensively when it scored 100 points in a win over Carrabec the Friday before Christmas. But back-to-back losses to Hall-Dale and Mt. Abram, which dropped the Falcons to 2-4, marked a return to the kind of stagnant offense that plagued the Falcons to start the season.

Part of the problem is the Falcons don’t have an experienced floor general to keep the offense on task.

“We don’t have a true point guard. We’ve just to work with what we have, and everybody’s got to do their part,” Falcons coach Scot New said. “We try to execute, it’s just hard to run things sometimes and we’re not moving the ball.”

The focal point of the offense is 6-foot-8 junior center Cooper Davis and the center usually delivers scoring punch, as he did with 36 points in the 68-63 loss to Mt. Abram on Saturday. But with defenses collapsing on the big man in the post, the Falcons should be taking advantage of open shots from the perimeter.

“We’ve got to make those shots from the outside to open everything up for Cooper on the inside,” New said.


They did a decent job against Mt. Abram, shooting 7-for-18 (39 percent) from the 3-point arc, although one of those makes was by Davis. But too many of those shots were a case of settling rather than patiently looking for the best shot.

“We look for Cooper so much,” New said. “We’d try to rotate the ball once and try to get the ball to Cooper off the first rotation, but it’s just not going to happen. Once you get the defense moving, things open up.”

Patience may come with more experience for New’s young (one senior) team. But New saw other issues that can be addressed more immediately and perhaps sharpen up what ball movement there is.

“We didn’t make good passes for guys that were open. We were just throwing it at the guys ankles and stuff like that,” New said. “We’ll do a better job with that.”




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