Basketball tournament underway as postseason heats up

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(Ed. Note: Due to their timing and the timing of our print deadline, we’ll recap the indoor track, swimming and skiing state meets next week)

The basketball tournament is in full swing, the wrestling season is over and the boys’ hockey playoffs are about to commence.

It’s been quite a week in the Mid-Coast and here’s a look at what’s happened and what’s to come:

Boys’ basketball

Hyde’s boys’ basketball team was the last local squad standing at press time.

The Phoenix, ranked third in Western D, handled No. 6 Searsport, 64-41, in the quarterfinals Saturday. Hyde (now 15-4) advanced to meet longtime nemesis, second-ranked Valley (15-4) in Wednesday’s semifinals. If the Phoenix beat the Cavaliers, they’d go to the Western D Final Saturday at 2:45 against either No. 1 Forest Hills (19-0) or No. 4 Seacoast Christian (17-2). The Western D Final is Saturday, Feb. 28 in Augusta.

In Western B, Morse entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, but was upset by No. 6 Lincoln Academy in Saturday’s quarterfinals, 53-48, as its season ended at 13-6.

In Eastern A, Mt. Ararat earned the ninth and final playoff seed, but lost at No. 8 Brewer, 60-48, in last week’s preliminary round to finish 7-12.

Brunswick, ranked seventh, got to the quarterfinals, but was ousted by second-ranked Hampden Academy, the defending regional champion, 63-46. The Dragons finished the year 9-10.

Girls’ basketball

On the girls’ side, Brunswick made a big splash in the quarterfinals. The Dragons, ranked sixth, in Eastern A, upset third-ranked, defending regional champion Oxford Hills in the quarterfinals last Friday, 37-32, thanks to the heroics of Julia Champagne.

“I think Julia realized she was a senior and that there was 16 minutes to go and that she needed to pick it up,” Brunswick coach Sam Farrell said. “She made a conscious decision that she wanted to play more.”

The Dragons advanced to Wednesday’s semifinals (just their second trip to that round since 1987), where they battled second-ranked Lawrence (18-1). If Brunswick sprung another upset, it would meet either No. 1 Bangor (18-1) or No. 4 Edward Little (15-4) in the regional final this weekend. The Class A Final is Saturday, Feb. 28.

Mt. Ararat was the ninth seed, but was ousted in the preliminary round by No. 8 Hampden Academy (54-44) and wound up 6-13.

In Western D, Hyde’s tournament run ended Tuesday morning. The Phoenix, ranked fifth, were ousted by fourth-ranked Richmond (32-22) to finish 14-5.

Wrestling

At Saturday’s Class A state wrestling meet, Mt. Ararat tied Biddeford for ninth with 34 points (Marshwood won with 183), while Brunswick tied Deering for 14th with 17 points. Two locals reached the championship round. Brunswick’s Christian Jensen was pinned by Noble’s Austin Storey in 3 minutes, 26 seconds at 120 pounds, while Mt. Ararat’s Robert Heatherman lost a 6-1 decision to Marshwood’s Jackson Howarth at 160 pounds. In the consolation round, at 285 pounds, Mt. Ararat’s Pierce Knorr pinned Biddeford’s Austin Burnham in 3:43.

In Class B, Morse had 25 points to come in 11th (Ellsworth won with 148). Hunter Reed was third at 152 pounds, pinning Brooks Law of Foxcroft Academy in 4:55 in the consolation round. Teammate Raz Baltazar was fourth at 160 pounds, getting pinned in 3:40 by Winslow’s Patrick Hopkins in the consolation round.

Boys’ hockey

On the ice, the Brunswick boys were sixth in Eastern A (seven teams make the playoffs) with an 11-7 mark and will open the playoffs next week on the road.

Mt. Ararat was 3-14 and 10th heading into its finale Wednesday at Windham.

Sun Journal staff writer Kevin Mills contributed to this story.

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Brunswick’s Adrianna White guards Oxford Hills’ Aly Hanley during the Dragons’ 37-32 upset win over the defending Eastern A champions in the regional quarterfinals last weekend.

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