One of the biggest games of the season in Western Class D will take place Saturday, when Hyde travels to Bingham to take on Valley in a battle of the two remaining undefeated teams in the region. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Valley (8-0) is in first place in the region’s Heal point standings, while Hyde (6-0) is third. This game will be the second tough test in as many days for Hyde, which plays Class C Waynflete (8-0) tonight.

Hyde is led by a pair of big men, 6-foot-5 Chris Moulton and 6-4 Warsame Mohamed. Jonah Alexander, a wing, is also a scoring threat for the Phoenix.

The Phoenix have yet to allow more than 40 points in a game, and their closest game was a 13-point win over Class C Old Orchard Beach.

Led by juniors Carrington Miller and Josh West, as well as senior Caleb Wade, the Cavaliers average nearly 63 points per game. Since allowing 50 points in each of the first two games of the season, Valley hasn’t surrendered more than 47 points in a game, and allows an average of 39.9.

Hyde’s new coach is a familiar one to fans of the Western Class D tournament. Peter Rowe, the former head coach at Elan, now leads the Phoenix.

So far this season, Valley and Hyde have no common opponents, although Hyde will play Richmond and Islesboro, a pair of Valley’s East/West Conference rivals, later this season.

* * *

Winslow (4-5) is coming off a tough stretch in which it played four of the top teams in the conference — Medomak Valley, Gardiner, Camden Hills and Oceanside — in consecutive games. The Black Raiders went 1-3 in that span, the win a 62-57 victory over Camden Hills.

“We learned we could compete with some of the better teams in our conference,” Winslow coach Jared Browne said. “Against Oceanside, we played one bad quarter.”

The Black Raiders face a favorable schedule in the second half of the season. The combined record of Winslow’s final nine opponents is 28-53, and the Black Raiders face just one opponent that currently has a winning record, Nokomis (7-1), the rest of the way.

“We’re in a good position,” Browne said. “We’ve got to take care of business now.”

The Black Raiders need to improve a couple things in the second half of the season, Browne said. First, they didn’t do a good job closing out defensively on Oceanside’s Shea Davenport, who scored 20 points and killed Winslow from 3-point range.

While Winslow has strong 3-point shooters itself, Browne wants the Black Raiders to work the ball in the paint. Austin Ireland, a 6-foot-5 junior, had double-doubles against Camden Hills and Oceanside.

“We tweaked the offense a little bit and we’re emphasizing getting it inside more,” Browne said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how (Ireland) progresses in the second half. He can really help us.”

* * *

At 3-6, Skowhegan is in 12th place in the Eastern Maine Class A standings. The Indians are only four points behind ninth-place Oxford Hills, however, and still very much in the race for one of the nine playoffs spots.

Skowhegan has a pair of big games coming up, at Cony tonight and home against Brunswick on Monday.

“If we don’t win those games, we’re in trouble,” Skowhegan coach David Simpson said.

The Indians also have big point-worthy games coming up with Mt. Blue, Hampden and Bangor.

“I’ve been around a while, and I think (the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A Division) is as good a league as I’ve seen.”

In senior guard Levi Barnes, Skowhegan has one of the best shooters in the league, and other players have stepped up, too. Taylor Bacon, Skowhegan’s lone big man at 6-foot-5, has played well of late after an injury slowed him at the start of the season, as has forward Ethan Johnson.

* * *

Mt. View is 4-5 and one spot out of the Eastern B playoff picture. Coach Steve Caron said he’s seen improvement from his team since the start of the season, but the Mustangs have yet to play a full 32 minutes of strong basketball.

For example, Caron said, in Tuesday’s 53-49 loss to Maranacook, the Mustangs had 15 turnovers in the third quarter.

“I’ve seen this group of seniors for four years, and in that quarter I was like ‘Who are you?’ ” Caron said.

A 57-55 loss at Nokomis came on a late turnover, Caron said. Still, the team is handling the ball better. In the first three games of the season, Mt. View averaged 33 turnovers per game, Caron said.

“You’re not going to beat anyone that way,” Caron said. “Lately, we’re playing good basketball, with the exception of that one quarter (Tuesday)… We’re attacking the basket. I’m confident at some point we’ll play a full 32 minutes.

Bobby Porter is growing as a point guard, Caron said, and Chris Montminey is playing well in the low post. Jalen Babin has provided some scoring, and freshmen Steven Davis and Nathan Wren are playing well off the bench.

“They’re ripping down rebounds and sticking the open 10-foot shots,” Caron said.

* * *

This week, the 31 schools in the Penobscot Valley Conference are participating in the ninth annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers event.

Coaches from the participating schools are wearing sneakers with their usual game attire, as a way to draw attention to the fact that cancer is a major health concern and everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of the disease.

“The Searsport varsity teams are participating in the program because so many of us have been impacted (by this disease) in our daily relationships,” Searsport boys varsity basketball coach Bradley Cook said in a press release. “To raise local awareness along with our basketball families is a great way to continue this fight against cancer.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

 


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