Two intriguing matchups of top-ranked teams that have not met yet this season will comprise the Penobscot Valley Conference basketball championships on Thursday evening at Penobscot Valley High School in Howland.
The doubleheader kicks off at 5 p.m. with the girls contest between Stearns of Millinocket and George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill. The boys game follows at approximately 6:30 p.m. matching George Stevens against Greenville.
The girls contest features the top two teams in Class C North. Stearns (17-1) is the No. 1 seed, having gone undefeated until being toppled by fifth-ranked Dexter 48-32 in its regular-season finale.
The GSA girls are seeded second in C North with a 16-2 record.
The boys game features the top-ranked teams in Class C North and Class D South, respectively. GSA, the defending Class C state champion, raced through the 2016-2017 regular season undefeated. The Eagles scored 16 of their 18 victories by at least 23 points, the lone exceptions seven-point wins at Ellsworth last Dec. 16 and at Lee Academy on Jan. 27.
Coach Dwayne Carter’s club has defeated its opponents by an average of 29.8 points per game this winter.
Greenville, meanwhile, is 17-1 and riding a 17-game winning streak since a season-opening loss at Machias, the No. 2 seed in Class D North with a 17-1 record.
That winning streak includes a win over Machias in their rematch as well as two victories apiece over Class C foes Piscataquis of Guilford, Penquis Valley of Milo and Penobscot Valley.
Admission to the PVC championship games will be charged at the door.
Lausier back in Hampden lineup
The Hampden Academy boys basketball team will get a boost for its tournament run with the return of freshman guard Bryce Lausier to the starting lineup.
Lausier missed five games late in the regular season due to a broken left (non-shooting) wrist suffered during practice on Jan. 23.
The first-year player from Glenburn had led coach Russ Bartlett’s club in 3-pointers made and 3-point shooting percentage before being sidelined, and the Broncos went 2-3 during his absence.
Lausier returned to action last Saturday as Hampden concluded its regular season with a 66-48 victory over Brewer, and he also played during a scrimmage Tuesday against Class B North top seed Hermon.
Hampden will enter postseason play ranked second in Class A North with a 14-4 record.
The Broncos will play either No. 7 Cony of Augusta (9-9) or No. 10 Erskine Academy of South China (8-10) in a regional quarterfinal scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Hampden and Cony split two regular-season games while the Broncos did not play Erskine.