A Midcoast showdown for early season bragging rights in Class A North highlights the weekend’s boys basketball schedule, weather permitting, with Oceanside of Rockland-Thomaston at Medomak Valley of Waldoboro at 5 p.m. Saturday in a rematch of the 2016 regional final.
Oceanside won that most recent clash 59-45 at the Augusta Civic Center to earn the school’s first Eastern/North title, and both teams are off to fast starts again this season.
Coach Matt Breen’s Oceanside club will enter the game ranked seventh in the division at 2-0 with victories over Erskine Academy of South China (53-41) and Waterville (78-40).
Medomak Valley leads Class B North at 3-0 after a 54-42 victory over Messalonskee of Oakland on Thursday night. Coach Nick DePatsy’s club also has defeated Gardiner (60-52) and Erskine (54-38).
As of Friday night, the game was still scheduled to be played but school officials will make a final determination by noon Saturday. If the game is postponed, it will be moved to Monday night, along with the girls matchup between the two schools.
Rams home debut delayed
The Bangor boys basketball team was finally set to play its first home game of the season, only to have Saturday’s scheduled matchup with unbeaten Cheverus of Portland at Red Barry Gymnasium postponed due to impending bad weather.
The game was to be part of a boys-girls doubleheader. No new date has been set.
Coach Carl Parker’s Bangor boys squad is 1-1 after splitting road games at Class AA North top seed Edward Little of Auburn and Lewiston. The Rams fell to EL 58-42 before senior guard George Payne led the Rams past Lewiston 57-47 on Tuesday night.
Bangor is now idle until a Dec. 23 road test at Windham, and the Rams’ first home game now won’t come until after Christmas — a Dec. 27 matchup against Deering of Portland.
That will mark the first of five straight home games for Bangor, with the Deering matchup followed by consecutive games against Hampden (Dec. 30), Brewer (Jan. 3), Portland (Jan. 7) and Edward Little (Jan. 12).
MDI, Hermon on collision course
The Mount Desert Island Trojans may get their first test of the year Saturday night when they visit Hermon in a Class B North battle of 2-0 teams.
Coach Justin Norwood’s MDI club has allowed just 40.5 points per game in victories over Old Town and Washington Academy of East Machias. The Trojans won those contests by an average of 30.5 points.
MDI features a nine-member senior class that includes such established performers as Riley Swanson, Russell Kropff and Graham Good. That compares to just one fourth-year player for Hermon, which is coming off a big 70-65 victory over Orono on Wednesday night.
Coach Mark Reed’s Hawks are led by junior guard Keenan Marseille but feature good balance with a lineup that also includes junior Jordan Bishop, sophomores Garrett Trask and Cody Hawes and freshman Isaac Varney.
Hermon, which defeated Presque Isle in its season opener, is averaging 67.0 points per game.
An important matchup of top Aroostook County clubs is set for Monday night in Dyer Brook where Class D Southern Aroostook will host Class C Fort Fairfield.
Southern Aroostook, which reached the Class D North championship game before falling to Easton last winter, has scored 85 points in each of its two games so far this season, wins against Central Aroostook of Mars Hill and Washburn.
Coach Bill McAvoy’s club is led by seniors Jackson Mathers and Nolan Altvater.
Fort Fairfield was 1-0 entering Friday night’s home game against Fort Kent, having edged reigning D North champion Easton 48-45 in its season opener.
Coach Logan McLaughlin’s Tigers, who won the Eastern D regional title in 2014 finished second in Class C North last winter before being ousted by Hodgdon in the quarterfinals, have a veteran contingent of their own led by senior guards Chris Giberson and Ryan Player and junior guard Isaac Cyr.
Brewer to honor first responders
The Brewer High School basketball teams will pay homage to local law enforcement agencies, first responders and fire departments next Thursday when the Witches host Nokomis of Newport.
Representatives of those agencies will be provided free admittance to the junior varsity-varsity doubleheader between the Witches and Warriors. The JV game is set for 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity contest at 7, with all those attending being recognized just before the start of the varsity contest.
Brewer, a team thought to be rebuilding due to heavy graduation losses after a stellar 2015-16 season in which the Witches advanced to the Class A North semifinals, is off to a 2-1 start under head coach Ben Goodwin.
After a six-point loss to Cony of Augusta to start its season, the Witches have rebounded with back-to-back victories over Skowhegan and Lawrence of Fairfield — teams picked to finish ahead of them in the Class A North preseason coaches poll.
Goodwin has returned for his second stint on the Brewer sidelines this season, replacing the retired Clayton Blood. Goodwin’s primary occupation, incidentally, is as a Maine Forest Ranger.
Nokomis is 3-0 with a scheduled Saturday afternoon game at Waterville, but coach Ryan Martin’s Warriors must be careful not to look past the 0-3 Purple Panthers with a home date looming Tuesday against Medomak Valley.