Greenville enters the Class D South boys basketball tournament on a 17-game win streak. Forest Hills won nine of 10 to close the regular season. And when the tournament kicks off Saturday morning at the Augusta Civic Center, defending state champion Valley will take the floor.

“You can never count Valley out. They know the drill. They don’t fear the ACC,” Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero said.

The Class D South quarterfinals begin Saturday morning with two games. No. 6 Vinalhaven (7-11) faces No. 3 Valley (11-7) at 8:30, followed by No. 7 Temple Academy (8-10) vs. AR Gould (15-3) at 10 a.m. The round continues Monday morning, when No. 5 Seacoast Christian (11-7) takes on No. 4 Forest Hills (12-6) at 8:30 a.m., with No. 9 Pine Tree Academy (8-11) on No. 1 Greenville (17-1) set to immediately follow.

Greenville lost the season opener at Machias but hasn’t lost since. With five starters standing at least 6-feet, Greenville is the biggest team in the field. Defending state champion Valley won seven straight games to open the season, but struggled down the stretch, going 4-7 over the final 11 games.

“We’ve just got to play as a team. We have to make sure we have intensity and are ready to play,” Valley coach Curtis Miller said. Miller’s Cavaliers face a Vinalhaven team it swept early in the season. Senior Austin Cates leads the Cavs, while Cody Hamilton is a scoring threat for the Vikings.

“They’re a good team.,” Miller said of Vinalhaven. “They’ll be ready to go.”

A young Forest Hills team suffered one loss in its final 10 games, to Greenville. The Tigers face an unknown opponent in Seacoast Christian, which reached the regional final last season.

“I know they’re very good. They’re very athletic, they get up and down the court very well. They have a lot of tournament experience,” Amero said of Seacoast Christian. “We’re just learning to play basketball. We’re young. We’re figuring out what’s expected… This group worked their butts off. It’s not really a big secret. The goal was to finish in the top seven and get right to Augusta. Our goal was 10 wins, and we exceeded that.”

Temple is making its first trip to the tournament since returning to MPA play in the 2014-15 season. Led by seniors Brad Smith and Joe Xu, the Bereans face an AR Gould team it lost to twice in the regular season. Both games were high-scoring, 92-81 and 81-72, and Temple coach Tom Simmons said his team needs to do a better job dictating the pace.

“We’d like to score in the 50s and they’d like to score in the 90s. We have to treasure every possession. If we play fundamental basketball, we’ll be OK,” Simmons said. “Defense is the ticket to basketball. Our halfcourt defense was fine. Our transition defense, we’re just not as quick as (Gould).”

Simmons said Temple was planning a practice at Thomas College to get assimilated to playing on the 94-foot court at the Augusta Civic Center.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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