M-sportsBB THE PLAYOFFS Morse boys' basketball ranked third in Eastern A
Hyde, Mt. Ararat face prelims; Brunswick falls short
The tradition-rich Morse boys' basketball team is coming off its best regular season in years and has to be viewed as a team capable of winning the Eastern Class A title.
The Shipbuilders won their final two contests to finish 14-4, good for the No. 3 seed in the region, setting up a quarterfinal round playoff game Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center against either No. 6 Mt. Blue (13-5) or No. 11 Leavitt (5-13). The Cougars and Hornets played a preliminary round game in Farmington Wednesday night (too late for this edition).
Morse didn't face Mt. Blue this year. The Shipbuilders beat Leavitt 50-35 on Opening Night, Dec. 5, and won 64-49 in Turner Jan. 8.
If Morse advances to the semifinals, Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Augusta, it would face No. 2 Brewer (14-4), No. 7 Cony (12-6) or No. 10 Lawrence (9-9). The Shipbuilders didn't face the Witches this year. They were swept by the Rams, 53-38 at home Dec. 30 and 60-49 on the road Jan. 27, and beat the Bulldogs twice, 46-31 on the road Dec. 19 and 44-40 at home Jan. 16.
Mt. Ararat was hoping to join Morse in Augusta. The Eagles lost their final two regular season games to finish 10-8, good for the No. 8 ranking in Eastern A. Mt. Ararat had to host No. 9 Oxford Hills (7-11) in a prelim Wednesday (too late for this edition).
During the regular year, the Eagles won 58-43 at Oxford Hills Dec. 13 and eked out a 63-59 home decision over the Vikings a month later.
If Mt. Ararat advanced, it would face No. 1 Edward Little (16-2) in the quarterfinals Saturday at 9:30 p.m. in Augusta. Way back on Dec. 5, in the opener, the Eagles lost 71-64 at home to the Red Eddies. On Jan. 8, Mt. Ararat went to Edward Little and lost decisively, 69-44.
If Mt. Ararat is able to advance to the semifinals, it would meet either No. 4 Hampden Academy (11-7) or No. 5 Bangor (13-5) Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. in Augusta.
The Eagles didn't face either team this season.
Brunswick failed to qualify this winter. The Dragons wound up 7-11.
In Western Class C, Hyde is a potential darkhorse. The Phoenix won their final seven contests to finish 12-2, good for the No. 3 seed. Wednesday (too late for this edition), Hyde hosted No. 14 Gould (7-8) in the preliminary round. The Phoenix drubbed Gould twice in the regular season, 73-33 and 75-48.
If Hyde advances, as expected, it would meet either No. 6 St. Dom's (10-8) or No. 11 Old Orchard Beach (10-6) in the quarterfinals Monday at 2:30 p.m. in Augusta. The Phoenix fell 65-56 at the Saints back on Dec. 8. They didn't play the Seagulls this winter.
If Hyde reaches the semifinals, it would play Thursday at 7 p.m. in Augusta.
Looking ahead, the Eastern Class A Final is Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in Augusta. The Class A state game is also in Augusta this year, Saturday, Feb. 28, beginning at 4 p.m.