Mt. Abram’s Wyatt Sieminski, left, and teammates close in on Oak Hill’s Caden Thompson during a Mountain Valley Conference game Monday night at Mt. Abram. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

While many of the state’s basketball teams got going Friday night, the Oak Hill boys had to wait.

A threat made against the middle school caused the Raiders’ game against Carrabec to be postponed to this Saturday, and Oak Hill instead opened up its season Monday with a 52-49 victory over Mt. Abram. Jackson Arbour led the Raiders with 16 points, while Caden Thompson added nine.

Oak Hill’s Maverick Swan gets a shot up between Mt. Abram defenders Wyatt Sieminski, left, and Trevor Phelps during a Mountain Valley Conference game Monday night at Mt. Abram. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Oak Hill hadn’t practiced since the previous Thursday, so coach Tom Smith wasn’t sure how Monday would go.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “We just came out and played basically a 3-2 zone, made them shoot from the outside (and) we made some shots. Jackson Arbour made like four out of his first five 3-pointers, and that got us off on the right foot. From there, we really didn’t look back.”

Arbour and Thompson, both forwards, combine with point guard D’andre Daniels to give the Raiders a strong senior trio. Ramon Spearman, the team’s second-leading scorer a season ago, has been unavailable for the start of the season but is expected back by Friday.

With those players in place, Smith expects the Raiders to be a competitive bunch in the Mountain Valley Conference this season.

“This team has progressed. We lost a lot with Gavin (Rawstron graduating) — for four years he’s been the focal point,” Smith said. “But I think this team learned from him how to lead, score when they need to, pass when they need to. … I think we’re underestimated. If these guys play as hard as they did (Monday) night, it is going to be a very good season for us.”

RECLASSIFICATION IS going to make this an interesting season in girls basketball.

Hampden Academy, which won the Class A North titles in the previous two full MPA seasons, has joined Class AA North, making that one heck of a region. It features two-time defending AA state champ Oxford Hills, up-and-coming Cheverus, Bangor, Portland, Windham and improving Lewiston.

“It’s going to be crazy,” said Windham coach Brody Artes. “And our crossover games (AA South) are with Gorham, Thornton and South Portland. There’s no nights off for us. This is one of those years where we’re going to be battle-tested heading into the playoffs. So that will be good for us.”

Class B South saw the greatest movement.

York and Leavitt moved in from Class A South, Medomak Valley from Class A North and Oceanside from Class B North.

That ought to make for a great tournament come February.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how that shifts the balance of power a bit,” said Wells coach Don Abbott, whose team won the Class B state crown in 2020. “Having two years removed (from the playoffs), I don’t know what it expect. I know York has a nice senior group and will be handful. And I heard Oceanside is good.”

Gray-New Gloucester, after winning Class B state titles in 2017 and 2019, moved up to Class A South two years ago. This year, the Patriots are joined in the higher class by old B South foe Freeport, which Gray-NG defeated 49-42 in overtime in the season opener Saturday.

Brunswick coach Sam Farrell said A South should be more intriguing this year, too, with several teams expecting to contend.

“There’s not that juggernaut team this year, it is much more open,” Farrell said. “And because there was no tournament last year, no one knows what to expect. This could be a year in which a No. 7 or No. 8 seed wins it all if they develop at the right time.”


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