At midway point, local high school hoops teams are positioned well

1 year ago

HOULTON, Maine – With the high school basketball season at the midway point, a bundle of local squads are positioned nicely for the playoffs.

The last countable day for regular season games is Thursday, Feb. 9, with the postseason beginning Tuesday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 15, with preliminary round games held at the higher seeds.

Although the schedule has yet to be released, tournament action at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor is likely to begin Friday, Feb. 17, with quarterfinal contests. But much more work remains to be done before teams reach the playoff point.

Unlike last season, which featured an open tournament format, teams will need to finish at a certain point in the standings, depending on which Class they compete in. 

For Class B North squads (Caribou, Houlton, Presque Isle), the top 12 teams will make the playoffs, with the top four squads earning a bye directly to Bangor. 

For Class C North teams (Hodgdon, Fort Kent, Fort Fairfield, Madawaska and Central Aroostook), the top 12 teams make the postseason, but only the first three squads will receive a first-round bye.

For Class D North squads (Southern Aroostook, Easton, Katahdin, Wisdom, Van Buren, Ashland, Washburn and East Grand), the first 10 squads make the playoffs, with the top six receiving a bye.

The Maine Principals’ Association Heal Points Standings as of Friday, Jan. 13 were as follows.

DYER BROOK, Maine — January 6, 2023 — Southern Aroostook’s Maddie Russell (left) is closely guarded by Hodgdon’s Anna Oliver as she drives to the lane during Friday night’s girls basketball game. Hodgdon beat SA 47-46.  (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

Girls basketball

In Class B North, Caribou (5-2) is ranked second, while Presque Isle (6-4) is fifth and Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian Academy (3-5) is sixth. Old Town is the top-ranked squad with a perfect 10-0 record thus far and a commanding lead in the standings. There are 16 teams in this region.

In Class C North, Hodgdon (10-0) is ranked second, while Fort Kent (5-4) is seventh; Central Aroostook (6-3) is 10th; Fort Fairfield (4-5) is 17th; and Madawaska (2-6) is 18th. Dexter (9-0) is the top-ranked team with a slim lead over Hodgdon. There are 19 teams in this region.

In Class D North, Southern Aroostook (7-2) remains the top-ranked team despite suffering two recent losses, while Wisdom (9-0) is ranked second; Katahdin (5-5) is fifth; East Grand (4-4) is sixth; Ashland (3-5) is eighth; Washburn (2-6) is ninth; Easton (2-9) is 10th; and Van Buren (0-9) is tied for 12th. There are 14 teams in this region.

HOULTON, Maine — January 11, 2023 — Soaring to the basket is Houlton’s Thadon Gentle (center) splitting between Presque Isle defenders Brent Greenlaw (left) and Dawson Beaulieu.  (Joseph Cyr| Houlton Pioneer Times)

Boys Basketball

In Class B North, Caribou (5-3) is ranked fourth, while Presque Isle (5-5) is ninth and Houlton/GHCA (2-6) is 16th. Ellsworth (9-0) is the top-ranked squad in the 17-team region.

In Class C North, Fort Kent (8-1) is the top-ranked squad, while Fort Fairfield (6-1) is fifth; Hodgdon (4-5) is 10th; Madawaska (4-4) is 13th; and Central Aroostook (3-6) is 15th. There are 19 squads in this region.

In Class D North, Easton (9-2) is the highest seeded County team at fourth, while Southern Aroostook (9-0) is fifth; Katahdin (6-4) is sixth; Wisdom (4-6) is seventh; Van Buren (2-7) is 11th; Ashland (1-7) is 12th; Washburn (1-8) is 13th and East Grand (0-9) is 14th. There are 14 squads in this region.