Realignment has made Class B North a deeper region this season. Oceanside, last season’s Class A North runner-up, is in the mix, along with Hermon and Mt. Desert Island.

“We know it’s a really competitive Class B region,” Winslow coach Ken Lindlof said.

A former head coach at Waterville, Lindlof is in his first season with the Black Raiders. Winslow returns an all-conference forward in senior Jack Morneault. The 6-foot-3 Morneault is strong in the post, and can take his game to the perimeter as well.

“Jack’s shown some leadership and maturity. We expect him to be able to be productive on a nightly basis,” Lindlof said.

Seniors Hunter Campbell and Jake Lapierre will see increased minutes, as Winslow transitions from being a guard-oriented team to playing an inside-out style of offense. Mike Wildes takes over at point guard. The Black Raiders hope to get guard Colby Pomeroy back from a broken arm soon. Forwards Evan Dart and Cameron Winslow also begin the season injured.

Maine Central Institute rallied from a winless first half of the season to win six games and reach the regional preliminary round last season. With some experience, the Huskies should get off to a better start.

“We’re better offensively than in the last couple seasons,” coach Josh Tardy said. “We’ll run a bit. How the new players blend in is the question.”

Sophomore guard Owen Williams returns, along with 6-foot-6 junior forward Jose Montes Valverde. A pair of international students, 6-5 forward Vasailije Vojdodic and 6-2 guard Daniel Garamvlogyi, could become key players for the Huskies.

Oak Hill became a surprise team in Class B last season by posting a winning record before advancing to the B South semifinals. The Raiders are no lock to get back after losing their two best scorers in Marcus Bailey and Evan Boston, but there are pieces back that grew from last year’s strong season. Cohen Donnell, Austin Pierce and Darryn Bailey all chipped in or played big roles in helping to turn Oak Hill back into a winner. “The biggest weakness is where the scoring is coming from amongst the team,” coach Tom Smith said. “A lot will depend on how well the younger players develop through the season. … We have the senior leadership required to help develop the younger guys, and their development through the season will be important for the success of the team.”

Maranacook slumped from a B South semifinal appearance to a sub-.500 record and quarterfinal exit, but the Black Bears will look to rebound by implementing a new game plan. Like Cony did in Class A, Maranacook will try to take advantage of its depth and quickness by going with frequent subs and constant pressure, using a rotation to make sure its players are bringing energy whenever they step on the court.

“We will be rotating five new players approximately every 60 seconds, playing full-court pressure defense,” coach Rob Schmidt said. “We will play at least 10 guys every game and many nights we will use 12-15 players. We will be shooting a ton of quick shots, especially 3-pointers.”

Maranacook’s makeup sets up well for the style. Silas Mohlar brings size as a 6-foot-3 forward, but most of the Black Bears’ returning experience is at the guard position, making it easier to handle the draining pace.

“The pace of play will be very fast and scores will hopefully be high,” Schmidt said. “This system of play will be very different physically and mentally for our players.”

Mount View won nine games and reached the regional prelims last season. With five seniors, including forward Mat Keating and guard Adam Reed, the Mustangs hope to make another run at the playoffs. Participation is up in boys basketball at Mount View, coach Chad Larrabee said.

After struggling in Class A last season, Waterville’s lower enrollment has the Purple Panthers in Class B. Coach Nick Pelotte cautioned that the move to a lower class doesn’t guarantee success.

“We played four Class B teams last year and didn’t beat any of them,” Pelotte said.

Waterville is led by a talented junior class. Five players saw time in the starting lineup last season, including forwards Jack Lloyd and Jack Thompson, and guards Cam Denis, David Barre and Ben Danner.

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