Three area teams survived the tournament week gauntlet and advanced to state championship games in their respective classifications.

The Oxford Hills and Spruce Mountain girls teams and the Dirigo boys team each won regional titles over the weekend and will play for state championships Saturday at either Cross Insurance Arena in Portland or Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Here is a brief look at each state final involving an area team, in the order that the games will be played Saturday:

Aubrey Kachnovich of Spruce Mountain drives to the basket past Abby Waterman of Oceanside during the Class C South final Friday at the Portland Expo. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

• Spruce Mountain (20-1) vs. Ellsworth (18-3), Class B girls final, 1:05 p.m. in Portland: The Phoenix pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when they beat top-seeded Oceanside, the defending Class B champion and winners of 53 consecutive games, in the B South title game, 56-47. The Mariners had the pedigree and a size and length advantage, but that combination wasn’t enough to keep up with Spruce Mountain’s skill, depth and physical play.

The Phoenix dominated their first two postseason games, beating York 64-44 in the quarterfinals and Wells 38-24 in the semifinals, prior to the regional final.

Spruce’s only loss this season was to Class A Freeport.


On its path to the state final, Ellsworth avenged all three of its losses by beating Caribou 71-51 in the B North semis and previously unbeaten Old Town 59-52 in the regional final.

Spruce Mountain is making its first state title game appearance. However, before the two schools were consolidated into one in 2011, Jay won the 2009 Class C state championship and Livermore Falls won the 1976 Class B title and played in the 1987 Class C title game.

Oxford Hills players erupt from the bench after teammate Gabbie Tibbetts drained a 3-pointer as time expired in the first half of the Class AA North final on Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

• Oxford Hills (20-1) vs. Gorham (12-9), Class AA girls final, at 7:05 p.m. in Portland: The Vikings had to overcome adversity in many forms to dethrone Cheverus in the AA North final. However, foul-outs, a big fourth-quarter deficit and stellar Stags Maddie Fitzpatrick and Emma Lizotte weren’t enough to deny Oxford Hills, which won 68-63 in double overtime.

The Vikings, who beat Portland in the quarterfinals and Hampden in the semifinals, are playing for their third state championship, having won in 2019 and 2020. This is their sixth state final appearance. They have reached four of the seven AA title games since the classification was founded in 2015-16.

With a 12-9 record, Gorham might seem like a Cinderella story. But the Rams are playing in their fifth AA title game — more than any other team — having won the first two in 2016 and 2017 before losing in 2018 (to Edward Little) and last year. Gorham also won six titles and made eight championship game appearances in Class B.

Either Oxford Hills or Gorham have appeared in every AA state final. This is the second time they both made it. The Rams, with Emily Esposito and Mackenzie Holmes, beat the Vikings 45-31 in the 2017 title game.


Dirigo’s Trenton Hutchinson, left, battles Monmouth Academy’s Sammy Calder (11) battles for a loose ball during the first half of the Class C South championship game Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

• Dirigo (20-1) vs. Calais (18-3), Class C boys final, at 8:45 p.m. in Bangor: After winning last year’s Class C title with a junior-laden team, the Cougars fulfilled their destiny by earning a trip back to the state final, where they will face C North’s champion Calais, which, like Dirigo, won its region as the top seed.

Dirigo’s path through the C South tournament included meetings with its two toughest foes this season: Mt. Abram, which played the Cougars close twice (three times if the MVC championship game is included), and Monmouth, the only squad to beat Dirigo this season. A big fourth quarter boosted the Cougars to an eight-point win, 71-63, over Mt. Abram, and they began to pull away in the first half of the C South final against Monmouth.

Dirigo and Calais are each vying for its fifth Class C championship. The Cougars, who are playing in their ninth state final, also won in 1982, 1983, 2012 and last year. The Blue Devils, participating in their 10th Class C final, won in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2015.


The Class A finals will be played Friday at the Augusta Civic Center. Brunswick (19-2), after defeating Gray-New Gloucester in the A South final, will play Lawrence (18-3) in the girls game at 6 p.m. The boys title game features Brewer (20-1) against Falmouth (17-4) at 7:45 p.m.

The AA and B boys championships are also at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Portland (16-5) earned a spot in the AA game by defeating Oxford Hills in the regional final. The Bulldogs will face South Portland (18-3) at 8:45 p.m.

In the B boys final, Orono (18-3) matches up with Oceanside (20-1).

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