Gray-New Gloucester’s Aidan Hebert takes the ball up the court under pressure from York’s Lukas Bouchard last month in Gray. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

As the second seed last February, the Gray-New Gloucester boys basketball team made it to the Class A South semifinals before bowing out to Marshwood.

The Patriots have been even better this season.

“We were all working together, really,” senior Aidan Hebert said last month. “We were all just in the gym playing basketball together … yeah, we, we grinded this offseason. We continue to grind every practice, every day, and we have one goal.”

A state championship?

“Exactly,” Herbert said.

This year, Gray-New Gloucester (16-2) has earned the No. 1 seed for this winter’s A South tournament. The Patriots will play either eighth-seeded Fryeburg (8-10) or ninth-seeded Mt. Ararat (7-11) in the quarterfinals Saturday at the Portland Expo.


Twins Aidan Hebert and Noah Hebert and their uncle Nate Hebert were the top players on last year’s squad, and each is a better all-around player this season. Other players have stepped up and played bigger roles.

The Patriots also added John Patenaude, a transfer from Poland who gives them another scorer and makes them even more difficult to defend. They also have several players who can handle the ball.

“Very tough team to match up with,” York coach Jerry Hill said after a 71-54 loss to Gray-NG on Jan. 20.

The Patriots don’t have a lot of height, but their defense still creates mismatches.

“Their athleticism and they’re just strong. These kids work, they’re in the gym all the time,” coach Ian McCarthy said. “And that’s the beauty of the twins, they can guard every position.”

The A South tournament will be a tough one to get through. The Patriots’ two losses came against the region’s second (Falmouth, in the season opener Dec. 8) and third (Noble, on Feb. 5) seeds.


In between those two setbacks, Gray-NG went on a 15-game winning streak.

Gray-New Gloucester is one of two area teams, along with Mt. Abram, to earn No. 1 seeds. Here is a region-by-region look at the rest of the area teams to earn postseason berths:


When Caden Boone stole the ball from Edward Little in the closing seconds of the rivals’ regular-season finale Thursday, he not only sealed the victory for Lewiston. He also moved the Blue Devils from the fifth seed to the fourth seed, which means a home game for the AA North quarterfinals.

Lewiston (7-11) will host fifth-seeded Oxford Hills (7-11) on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Blue Devils won six of their final eight games, and two of those victories were at the Vikings’ expense. Abdirahman Dakane is Lewiston’s offensive catalyst, while Holden Shaw, Brayden Murch, Brady Delamater and Carter Holbrook have taken turns pacing Oxford Hills’ attack.


Edward Little (5-13) finished sixth in the region and will travel to play third-seeded Portland (14-4) on its home court in the quarterfinals. The Red Eddies can be dangerous if Eli St. Laurent, Marshal Adams and Diing Maiwen can put up points while the team overcomes its lack of height with rebounding and other hustle plays.


Mt. Blue has been one of the surprise teams in the state this season. The Cougars (15-3) were picked to finish sixth in A North, then won their first 12 games.

They enter the postseason as the region’s second seed and will open against seventh-seeded Lawrence (8-10) in the quarterfinals Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center.

Evans Sterling, one of the top players in the state and a Mr. Maine Basketball semifinalist, is Mt. Blue’s leader in most statistical categories. He also was the only player who entered this season with significant varsity experience, but coach Troy Norton and teammate Nolan Leso have both said that Sterling has helped elevate the play of the rest of the team.

The Cougars beat Lawrence twice in the regular season. If they advance to the semifinals, they’ll likely face third-seeded Messalonskee (15-3) in the semifinals. Mt. Blue and the Eagles split their two regular-season games.



No matter where they finish in the B South Heal point standings, the Spruce Mountain boys seem to always draw a difficult first-round foe. This year, the Phoenix (12-6) are the sixth seed and open the postseason against a strong No. 3 York team, which has fared well against a Class A-heavy schedule.

The Phoenix don’t have size and they’re an overall young team. However, they have a lot of shooting and a handful of players with significant postseason experience, particularly junior Jace Bessey and senior Ian York. Sophomore Cai Dougher has been part of the rotation since the beginning of his freshman season. Griffin Achorn and Austin Armandi have played a lot the past few seasons.

Mountain Valley (9-9) is B South’s eighth seed and will host a preliminary against No. 9 Cape Elizabeth (6-12). The Falcons have a lot of capable scorers and, therefore, a good chance to advance to face top-seeded Oceanside (18-0) in the quarterfinals.


Mt. Abram has followed up its perfect soccer season with a near-perfect basketball season. Now the Roadrunners, with a lot of those soccer players, are trying to add another 2023-24 Gold Ball to the school’s trophy case.


But so is C South’s No. 3 seed, Monmouth, which won the Class D soccer title in the fall.

Both squads are led by two of the state’s best players, Payton Mitchell (Mt. Abram) and Sammy Calder (Monmouth).

Both star players are surrounded by a lot of talent and deep benches. Cam Grey has made a lot of big shots for the Roadrunners, as has Mustangs freshman Levi Laverdiere.

Mt. Abram (16-2) and Monmouth (15-3), along with second-seeded Richmond (16-2), will find out their opponents for next week’s quarterfinal after this week’s prelims.

The Roadrunners will face either No. 8 Dirigo (10-8) or No. 9 Madison (9-9) in the quarterfinals.

Dirigo, the two-time defending state champion, won its first five games but later suffered through a pair of three-game skids. Junior Nathaniel Wainwright was a big role player on last year’s senior-laden state championship team, and he’s been a consistent standout for the Cougars this year.


Madison won its first six games but that was followed by a seven-game losing streak.

Sixth-seeded Winthrop (11-7) hosts No. 11 Sacopee Valley (8-10) on Wednesday for the right to meet Monmouth in the quarterfinals. The Ramblers, a traditional C South powerhouse, would appreciate another shot at the rival Mustangs, who won the teams’ one regular-season showdown 54-46 on Jan. 17.


St. Dominic Academy had some impressive wins this season, but not enough to overtake Valley (14-4) for the No. 1 seed, despite the Saints’ 17-1 record.

St. Dom’s features balanced scoring, with players rarely scoring more than 15 points but multiple reaching double figures each game. The Saints also have a lot of athleticism and can be monsters on the boards.

They’ll face No. 7 Telstar/Gould (6-12). The Rebels have some scorers and, as their win over Maranacook shows, might be a sneaky team in the postseason.

Two freshmen, Krosby Harvey and Brayden Monto, and sophomore Gaven Parsons have each had multiple big scoring games for Buckfield this season. The young trio will now gain some postseason experience, starting with the fourth-seeded Bucks’ (9-9) quarterfinal matchup with Wiscasset (9-9). The teams split their regular-season series.

Rangeley (5-13) is the region’s ninth seed after not having enough players to field a team last year. Big performances by Brayden Thompson, Anthony Whittier and Sam Morrill have helped the Lakers find success in their return to the court this season.

They’ll travel to face Islesboro (8-10) in a prelim. The winner moves on to face No. 1 Valley in the quarterfinals.

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