The Class B North boys basketball tournament may be the toughest bracket in the state to figure out. The defending regional champ, Medomak Valley, moved up to Class A with the expansion to five classes this season. Each of the top six seeds have beaten each other, and each team in the field has at least two losses.

“They seem to all have good nights and bad nights against each other. There’s a lot of parity,” Maine Central Institute coach Josh Tardy said.

The tournament begins Friday night at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor when No. 6 Caribou (11-8) takes on No. 3 Washington Academy (16-2) at 8.

Maine Central Institute (8-11), the No. 10 seed, advanced with a 43-41 win over No. 7 Winslow in the preliminary round. The Huskies lost twice to Winslow in the regular season, by 31 and 10 points, before pulling off the upset on Wednesday.

“Obviously, that was a big wakeup call at the beginning of the season,” Tardy said of the first Winslow game early in the season. “I would say we absolutely improved.”

MCI and No. 8 Belfast (9-10) are the only representatives of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference in the field. MCI opens Saturday’s action at 9:05 a.m. against No. 2 Ellsworth (14-4). Ellsworth enters the tournament on a seven-game win streak that includes victories over No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Orono (14-4), No. 5 Mt. Desert Island (15-4), and No. 6 Caribou (11-8).

“They’ve got scoring threats on the perimeter. They can score in the post,” Tardy said.

The Huskies have threats across the court themselves, with Dillon Fitts playing well in the low post and Tre Grier a deep threat.

“Our wins and losses don’t demonstrate it, but we’ve competed and been in every game, particularly of late,” Tardy said. “The Winslow game (Wednesday) gave us a big boost of confidence. At practice (Thursday), you could see they had an air of confidence and optimism.”

No. 1 Old Town (15-3) is led by Ryan Hoogterp and Andre Miller. The Coyotes face No. 8 Belfast (9-10) on Saturday afternoon. The Lions are in the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2001.

Washington and Caribou met once in the regular season, with Washington taking a 74-64 win. Stefan Milivojevic is a scoring threat for Washington, while Donovan Savage paces the Vikings.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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