Sierra Carson of Oxford Hills gets to the basket during the Class AA North championship game in Portland on Feb. 24. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


WHO: Oxford Hills (20-1) vs. Gorham (12-9)

WHEN: 6:05 p.m. Monday

WHERE: Cross Insurance Arena, Portland


KEY PLAYERS: Oxford Hills – Sierra Carson, sr., G (17.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.0 steals); Ella Pelletier, so., G/F (14.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists); Tristen Derenburger, jr., G (9.4 points); Molly Corbett, sr., G (7.2 points). Gorham – Ellie Gay, jr., F (14.4 points, 7.3 rebounds); Kalin Curtis, jr., F (7.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals); Summer Gammon, jr., F (6.2 points, 4.1 rebounds); Julia Reed, so., G (8.1 points, 2.1 steals).


WHAT TO WATCH FOR: What happens when Oxford Hills shoots 3-pointers? It’s no secret that the Vikings love to shoot, and for good reason, with four players – Corbett, Derenburger, Pelletier and Carson – who are above 33%. And if Oxford Hills is hot from outside, the final could be a runaway. If the Vikings go cold, however, Gorham must win the rebounding battle and prevent second-chance looks. That has been the key to the Rams’ playoff resurgence, as Curtis and Gammon have been tough on the glass and Gorham has rebounded well each game. The Rams will also need to protect the ball, as turnovers fuel the transition game in which the Vikings, and Carson in particular, thrive.

Drew Bonifant

South Portland players celebrate with fans after the Red Riots’ 55-44 win over Thornton Academy in the Class AA South boys’ basketball regional final on Feb. 25 in Portland. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer


WHO: Portland (16-5) vs. South Portland (18-3)

WHEN: 7:45 p.m. Monday

WHERE: Cross Insurance Arena, Portland



KEY PLAYERS: Portland – Remijo Wani, sr., F (12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals); Jeissey Khamis, jr., C (7.0 points, 5.5 rebounds); Pitia Donato, sr., G/F (8.8 points, 7.6 rebounds); Kevin Rugabirwa, jr., G (6.6 points). South Portland – Jaelen Jackson, sr., G (17.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists); Gabe Galarraga, jr., F (11.1 points, 6.3 rebounds); Ben Smith, sr., G (6.2 points, 2.7 rebounds); Jayden Kim, jr., G (8.4 points, 2.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: It’s about the matchups and which team can find something to exploit. Both clubs play fierce defense and can get out and run, though Portland would prefer a lower-scoring game. Can the Bulldogs keep Jackson in check after his sublime regional final effort (7-of-10 shooting, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals)? Will South Portland have an answer for Khamis, who dominated a big, physical Oxford Hills team with 19 points, 19 rebounds? Is this the playoff game where Wani, Portland’s best overall offensive player, gets rolling? … Both teams have deep benches, with players who have proven they can contribute. … South Portland is the defending Class AA champion. Portland beat South Portland in the first two AA title games in 2016 and 2017.

Steve Craig

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