Edward Little’s Landon Cougle (22) defends as Lewiston’s Yusuf Dakane drives to the basket during the first half of Thursday night’s game in Auburn. The Red Eddies and the Blue Devils meet again in the Class AA North quarterfinals this Thursday in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Edward Little and Lewiston played two tightly contested rivalry showdowns during the regular season.

An unscheduled Part 3 will play out Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m., in the Class AA North boys basketball quarterfinals at Lewiston High School.

“Some things don’t come easy,” Lewiston coach Elgin Physic said with a laugh Monday evening.

The Blue Devils finished the regular season with a 13-5 record and ranked third in the AA North Heal point standings. The Red Eddies (6-12) are the sixth seed.

Edward Little won both of teams’ first meetings this season, winning in overtime, 61-59, on Dec. 15, and then 42-41 on a buzzer-beating putback by Eli St. Laurent in the regular season finale last week in the final game at Edward Little’s gym.

“It’s going to be (ugly) against Lewiston, with how aggressive they are defensively,” Red Eddies coach Mike Adams said following the season finale.


Edward Little also ended Lewiston’s season last year in the AA North semifinals.

“Obviously, you know, they’ve had our number for the last couple of years,” Physic said. “It’s like anything else. Oxford Hills had our number last couple of years, and we got over the hump.”

The Red Eddies are the only team to beat Lewiston twice this season. The Blue Devils split with top-seeded Oxford Hills — and handed the Vikings (17-1) their only loss of the season — and did likewise with No. 4 Cheverus (13-5) and No. 5 Hampden (10-8). The Blue Devils also swept second-seeded Portland (13-5).

“I think it’s a little bit of a matchup thing. I think, obviously, it’s a rivalry thing as well,” Physic said of Edward Little. “I think it’s a combination of those things and some of some other variables. They just give us a tough time.”

The difference in the third round of Lewiston vs. Edward Little is the stakes: the winner moves on and the loser’s season ends.

“It’s a state tournament. It’s a new slate,” Physic said. “We’re going to just come out and just do our very best.”


The winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal will advance to face Portland or No. 7 Windham (5-13).

Oxford Hills is the defending regional champion and this year’s favorite. The Vikings open the postseason against No. 8 Bangor (2-16) on Thursday at 6 p.m. in Paris. The Rams gave the Vikings a tight game, ultimately losing 48-45, on Jan. 24 in Bangor, but Oxford Hills rolled to a 70-45 win in Paris on Feb. 3.

The Vikings also had one tight game and one rout against each of their potential semifinal opponents, Cheverus and Hampden.

Portland provided challenges in its two matchups with Oxford Hills. Both coaches, Joe Russo of Portland and Scott Graffam of Oxford Hills, said after the teams’ games this season that they wouldn’t be surprised if they face the other team again in the postseason.

However, while the Vikings have not looked unbeatable this season, they have been incredibly difficult to beat. They have found a way to win every close game, and their only loss came with their second-leading scorer, Cole Pulkkinen, and Jake Carson, a key reserve, out due to illness.

“Obviously, I think they’re a favorite. I mean, they’re 17-1. I just, you couldn’t say with a straight face that they aren’t the favorite,” Physic said. “But … our league is so tough. I mean, anyone can be beaten, anyone can go on a run.”


The AA North games move to the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland in the semifinal round, which begins Thursday, Feb. 23.

A look at the other regional basketball tournaments featuring teams from the Sun Journal’s coverage area:

Bangor’s Taylor Coombs comes away with a loose ball as Oxford Hills’ Sierra Carson reaches in during their game in South Paris earlier this month. Brewster Burns photo


Oxford Hills is the top seed, but the Vikings (17-1) didn’t seize control of No. 1 until they defeated Class A South top seed Brunswick on Feb. 6.

Cheverus (16-2), the No. 2 seed, is the only team to beat Oxford Hills. The Vikings, who won the 2019 and 2020 state championships, and the Stags, the reigning champion, seem like clear favorites in AA North, but third-seeded Bangor (15-3) has the talent to take down the top two seeds. Each matchup between those three teams might be determined by which squad has the better shooting night.

Oxford Hills hosts No. 8 Portland (3-15) in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 7 p.m.


Edward Little (7-11) reached the playoffs as the seventh seed, and will travel to face Cheverus on Friday at 5 p.m. The Red Eddies are a young squad, but one that is showing improvement. After opening the season with a 3-9 record, they won four of their final six regular-season games.

After making a steal, Mt. Blue’s Evans Sterling heads to the basket for a thunderous dunk during the first half against Leavitt in Turner on Jan. 31. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal


Mt. Blue (12-6) earned the fourth seed in what has turned out to be a stacked Class A North. The Cougars open the postseason with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 5 Cony (11-7) at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Top-seeded Brewer (17-1) is the favorite and has made a case as the top team in the state, but over the past few weeks hasn’t seemed quite as invincible as it once was.

The hottest teams entering the tournament are second-seeded Nokomis (13-5), which has won six straight games, and No. 3 Skowhegan (12-6), winners of four in a row, including a 49-48 win over Brewer earlier this month.

Mt. Blue and Cony split their two meetings in the regular season, though the Cougars were without leading scorer Evans Sterling in the Rams’ 71-63 win on Dec. 15. The winner of their quarterfinal will face either Brewer or No. 8 Camden Hills (5-13) in the semifinals next Wednesday.


Gray-New Gloucester’s Ella Kenney puts up a floater as she drives to the basket against Wells on Jan. 19 in Gray. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal


Mike Andreasen said the Gray-New Gloucester girls basketball team has a theme this year of “Back to normal.”

He explained that has a double meaning. First, is getting back to normal after the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The other meaning is for the Gray-NG program to get closer to regaining its status as a contender.

The Patriots, who won the 2017 and 2019 Class B state titles, might have accomplished the second meaning more than even they anticipated this season. They finished the regular season 15-3 and earned the second seed in Class A South. They also are the only Class A team to beat top seeded Brunswick (16-2).

Gray-New Gloucester opens the postseason next Monday (2:30 p.m.) at the Portland Expo against seventh-seeded Greely (8-10). The Rangers beat the Patriots 58-48 on Dec. 27, but the programs have gone different directions in the New Year, and Gray-NG capped the regular season with a 43-36 win over Greely.


The winner will face either No. 2 Mt. Ararat (14-4) or No. 6 Freeport (10-8) in the semifinals.

From left, Noah Hebert, Nate Hebert and Aidan Hebert listen to Gray-New Gloucester coach Ryan Deschenes talk to the team in a huddle before a scrimmage at Gray-New Gloucester High School on Monday, February 13, 2023. Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald


The Gray-New Gloucester boys had their program’s best regular season in several years.

Led by one of the state’s top shooters, Nate Hebert, the Patriots went 15-3 and earned the second seed in A South.

Gray-NG faces No. 7 Kennebunk (13-5) in the quarterfinals Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Portland Expo.

The Rams defeated the Patriots 67-63 on Dec. 20, but Gray-New Gloucester has won 14 of its 15 games since that meeting, including win streaks of nine and five games.


If the Patriots win, they’ll face either No. 3 Marshwood (13-5) or No. 6 Fryeburg (9-9). Gray-NG didn’t face the Hawks, but they swept two meetings against the Raiders, winning both games convincingly.

Falmouth (14-4) is A South’s top seed.

Jazzlyn Clark of Leavitt Area High School lays up a shot between Savannah Lorenz, left, and Arianna Bradeen of Mount View High School during a Dec. 27 game in Turner. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal


Spruce Mountain (17-1), with a junior-heavy roster, lost only one game and earned the second seed in B South.

Leavitt (7-11) is the seventh seed and Oak Hill (8-10) is the ninth seed.

B South is a difficult region to predict because the teams come from throughout the state and the teams don’t necessarily play a lot of games against each other. For instance, the top three seeds, No. 1 Oceanside (18-0), No. 2 Spruce Mountain and No. 3 Wells (16-2), didn’t face each other in the regular season.


The Phoenix have several players capable of shouldering the scoring load, and should be a dangerous foe for the other contenders. They’ll face the winner of Wednesday’s preliminary in Turner between Leavitt and No. 10 York (7-11) in the quarterfinals Saturday (10:30 a.m.) at the Portland Expo.

No. 8 Yarmouth hosts No. 9 Oak Hill for a prelim Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Spruce Mountain’s Ian York gets one of the first baskets of the Phoenix’s Dec. 27 game against Dirigo in Dixfield. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal


Spruce Mountain (14-4) and Mountain Valley (9-9) both earned spots in the boys B South tournament.

The Phoenix are again near the top, the third seed, but again open with a tough opponent, No. 6 Lincoln Academy (13-5), in the quarterfinals at the Portland Expo on Friday at 4 p.m. The 3-point shooting of Jace Bessey and Ian York can make Spruce Mountain tough to beat, and Elie Timler and Lucas Towers provide grit and can hustle their way to double-digit scoring. Freshman Cai Dougher will likely from a formidable duo with Bessey, a sophomore, the next two seasons, but Dougher also has had big moments this season.

Zach New is the catalyst for Mountain Valley, and he has been one of the program’s top players since his freshman season. But the Falcons have several other players, including Jake New, who can step up. The key will be getting multiple players contributing in the same game. The Falcons open with a preliminary matchup on the road at Maranacook (9-9) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.


Winthrop’s Madeline Wagner dives for a loose ball during a basketball game against Monmouth Academy on Friday in Monmouth. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal


Following Winthrop’s 39-34 loss to Monmouth on Feb. 3, coach John Baehr said that the Ramblers needed to play better basketball with the postseason coming up.

Three days later, the seventh-seeded Ramblers (12-6) closed out the regular season with a 58-43 win over third-seeded Kents Hill (16-2), which won its first 16 games of the season.

Only the top three seeds in C South automatically reach the quarterfinals, so Winthrop hosts No. 10 Traip (9-9) in a preliminary Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Monmouth (12-6), which is the sixth seed, hosts No. 11 Sacopee Valley (9-9), while No. 13 Mt. Abram (8-10) plays at No. 5 Richmond (14-3) and No. 13 Dirigo (6-12) plays at No. 4 Hall-Dale (14-4).

North Yarmouth Academy (17-1) is the top seed, but is expected to be without one of its top players, Angel Hunstman, for most, if not all of the postseason. Second-seeded Old Orchard Beach (15-3) is the second seed and the only team to beat NYA.


Monmouth and Dirigo players battle for a rebound during a Jan. 30 game at Monmouth Academy. From left are Austin Adams, Sammy Calder, Airick Richards and Lucas Harmon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal


Top-seeded Dirigo (17-1) is the defending state champion and the favorite to return to the Class C title game, but doing so won’t be easy.

The Cougars can expect challenges from No. 2 Monmouth (15-3), which dealt Dirigo its only loss, and No. 5 Mt. Abram, which, including Saturday’s Mountain Valley Conference championship game, has tested the Cougars three times this season, losing those games by two, five and three points.

Mt. Abram hosts No. 12 Hall-Dale (7-11) for a prelim on Wednesday, while No. 11 St. Dominic (8-10) is at No. 6 Carrabec (11-7).

Dirigo, Monmouth, third-seeded Richmond (15-2) and fourth-seeded Old Orchard Beach (16-2) are already in the quarterfinals.

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