The first season of five classes of high school basketball in Maine is complete.

So, how did it go?

For the most part, pretty well. Here’s a look at some of the issues raised by expanding to five classes.

• Fears that teams moving up from Class B to A, or C to B, or D to C would struggle to compete turned out to be nothing more than fears. In Class A, B and C, schools that went from being amongst the largest in one class to one of the smallest in another were not only competitive, many thrived.

In Class A, the York girls and Oceanside boys reached the state championship game after years playing in Class B. The York girls beat Lawrence, 58-57, to win the Gold Ball. According to the Maine Principals’ Association basketball bulletin for the 2015-16 season, only two schools in Class A North had smaller enrollments than Oceanside. One of those is Medomak Valley, the team Oceanside beat in the regional final.

In Class B, the Houlton girls had little problem getting through the North regional tournament, despite being the smallest school in the region. The Shiretowners then handled Gray-New Gloucester in the state game to win the Class B Gold Ball the year after taking the Class C title.

In Class B North boys, Orono and Washington Academy were among the top teams in the Heal point standings all season, and both are among the smallest schools in the region.

The Richmond girls and boys teams made the playoffs in Class C South after years spent in Class D. The Waterville girls and boys reached the Class A North playoffs after a decade in Class B. The Gardiner boys reached the A North quarterfinals; the girls advanced to the A North semis. Moving up from Class B didn’t keep either from a nice season.

• What should be done about the Class AA North tournament? Nothing.

The crowd for the AA North boys championship game at the Augusta Civic Center was roughly half the size of the Class A boys final held just a few hours earlier. Fans of Oceanside and Medomak Valley managed to get there. If fans of Portland and Deering didn’t feel like making a short trip, oh well.

Just like Bangor, Brewer, and Hampden adapted when the Class A East tournament was moved from the Bangor Auditorium to the Augusta Civic Center a decade ago, the Portland area schools and fans will have to adapt to the short drive to the capital city. It’s 55 miles of easy highway driving, gang. The Augusta Civic Center isn’t even a half mile from the Interstate 95 exit. You can do it!

• We caught a break with the weather this year. A minor storm forced MPA officials in Augusta to postpone a pair of games on Tuesday morning of tournament week, and that made for a busy Wednesday, but the games got played. If there’s a Nor’easter that paralyzes most of the state for a day or two, though, especially at the beginning of the week, there could be trouble getting five classes of games played at three sites in a timely fashion.

There’s no solution to this hypothetical problem. All we can do is deal with it if it happens.

• This isn’t really a comment on the five class system, but it is something I heard quite a bit regarding Maine high school basketball this season. Many fans around the state looked at low scoring games and are clamoring for a shot clock.

We don’t need a shot clock in Maine high school basketball. We need more players who can make more shots. There are still players who can nail a shot. Heck, both Lawrence and York shot 50 percent from the field in the girls Class A final. York’s Chloe Smedley was 10 for 14. Lawrence’s Nia Irving was 6 for 8. There’s just not enough players who shoot with confidence.

Don’t get me started on free throws.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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</URL>Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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