No two teams in Eastern Maine Class A have staged fiercer battles this season than Edward Little and Cony so it’s fitting they meet in today’s regional final.

Top-seeded Cony (20-0) won both regular-season meetings against the Red Eddies (17-3), as well as the conference championship, but two were decided by nine points and another in double overtime.

“The game we played at their place was just an absolute basketball classic,” Edward Little coach Craig Jipson said of Cony’s 65-64 win in double overtime.

The teams are similar in their approach. Both are guard-oriented and like to press and run. Edward Little’s Ashlee Arnold and Cony’s Mia Diplock finished 1-2 in the conference scoring race while Cony junior Josie Lee and EL sophomore Kory Norcross weren’t far behind.

“When you have solid players like Arnold and Norcross it’s makes a lot of other players better because you end up focusing on them,” Cony coach Karen Magnusson said.

Both teams have good complementary players, along with solid post players: Melanie Guzman for Cony and Crissy Lewis for the Eddies. Jipson is concerned with the rebounding edge the Rams enjoyed in their meetings.

“They’re just so athletic we’ve got to keep them off the boards,” he said. “They just killed us with offensive rebounds.”

While both teams like to run and score points, they’ve also excelled defensively. They each allowed an averaged of 39.9 points a game this season.

“They’ll play more of a matchup zone, we’ll play more man-to-man,” Magnusson said. “Both teams are very good defensively.”

Magnusson said her team isn’t approaching the game as the fourth time they’ve played the Red Eddies.

“We don’t look at it that way,” she said. “It’s one game.”

Jipson said his team is embracing the underdog role for one of the few times this season.

“Both teams are (here) for a reason,” Magnusson said. “They both work extremely hard. I think it’s going to be a tough, tough battle.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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