Kents Hill girls basketball coach Luke Wamboldt is trying to convince his Huskies they can beat an opponent that defeated them by more than 30 points (55-21) earlier this season.

The Huskies (13-5) finished seventh and will host No. 10 St. Dominic (10-8) on Tuesday night.

The winner earns a trip to the Class C South quarterfinals next week in Augusta as preliminary round games get under way this week. The Saints played a tougher schedule, including some Class B teams, while the Huskies feasted on a schedule comprised primarily of Class D teams. “They’re a very good team,” Wamboldt said. “They’ve got good guards and they press a lot.”

Wamboldt’s team has come a long way since that loss, but how far remains to be seen.

“I think it will be a pretty competitive game this time,” he said.

Junior point guard Lauren Murray was just returning from injury that game and getting acclimated to her teammates. The Cony High transfer has averaged 14 points a game since and helped solidify the offense.

If they can break the Saints pressure, the Huskies hope to exploit their height advantage with 6-footers Tiffany McGhie and Jami Hewins in the starting lineup. McGhie averages 15 points a game and can go inside and out while Hewins likes to post up.

• • •

The Richmond girls (13-5) finished sixth in Class C South and will host No. 11 Waynflete (6-12), a team Richmond coach Mike Ladner hasn’t seen live.

“I’ve seen them on film,” Ladner said. “They’re athletic and they like to score off fast breaks. The offense runs through Lydia (Giguere).”

Richmond’s offense runs through senior Sydney Tilton, who averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds a game. When defenses collapse on Tilton the Bobcats have capable outside shooters in Caitlin Kendrick, Ashley Abbott and Arianna Kelsey.

“I’m hoping we can press them and make them make poor decisions,” Ladner said.

Should the Bobcats win they’ll face the winner of Winthrop-Old Orchard Beach in the opening round of the tournament.

Winthrop finished at 7-11 and squeaked into the 14th and final prelim position while Old Orchard went 15-3 and drew the No. 3 seed.

“They have a lot of size and a lot of quickness,” said Winthrop coach Joe Burnham, who watched the Seagulls defeated Sacopee Valley last week. “But the strength of their team is their guards.”

Freshman Shani Plante and senior Kaitlyn Cote give OOB a tough guard combination while sophomore Maggie Strohm is a force in the middle at 6-foot-2.

The Ramblers have played well despite a long losing streak and tough schedule to end the season. Sophomores Jillian Schmelzer and Kena Souza have come on strong the second half of the season and give the team depth and scoring.

“We’re playing our best basketball even if our record doesn’t reflect it,” Burnham said. “In order to beat them we need to put pressure on them, then rebound.”

In other Class C South girls games Tuesday, No. 4 Madison (15-3) hosts No. 13 Carrabec (7-11), a team it beat twice during the regular season. No. 5 Hebron (13-3) hosts No. 12 Mt. Abram. The teams didn’t play in the regular season, but the Roadrunners played a tougher schedule and stand a good chance for an upset.

• • •

In Class C South boys prelims Wednesday, No. 7 Madison (9-9) hosts No. 11 Old Orchard Beach (9-9) and No. 6 Boothbay (13-5) hosts No. 11 Carrabec (6-12).

Madison and Old Orchard didn’t meet in the regular season but Madison coach Jason Furbush has scouted the Seagulls.

“They’re fairly young with good size,” he said. “They have a good point guard (Ian Regan) who can score and they have some athletes.”

The Bulldogs return some players who reached the regional final a year ago and hope that experience pays off. Seniors Sean Whalen (15 ppg) and Evan Bess (13 ppg.) led the team in scoring while Jacob Meader was the team’s top rebounder.

“We’ve got to play our game,” Furbush said. “Rebound and play defense.”

Carrabec would appear a decided underdog against Boothbay but the Cobras did defeat the Seahawks on their home court in their lone meeting this year.

In a Class B boys North action Wednesday No. 7 Washington Academy (13-5) hosts No. 10 Maine Central Institute (9-9). The teams didn’t meet this season but have three common opponents, defeating them all.

• • •

One thing Winslow girls basketball coach Lindsey Withee is sure of when her team hosts Orono in a Class B North prelim game Tuesday is their opponent is well coached.

“John Donato does a good job,” Withee said.

Donato retired last year with 547 wins to his credit, along with five state titles and 11 regional crowns at several different schools. His most recent stint came at Lawrence where he faced Withee and her Black Raiders several times. He moved north and when a coaching job opened up at Orono.

Winslow finished 13-5. The teams met twice this season, with Withee’s Black Raiders winning 62-37 at home and 42-32 in Orono. Donato is a known strategist and will surely have some new wrinkles this time around. His Red Riots knocked off John Bapst this season, which catapulted them into the tournament.

Withee likes the way her team is playing of late.

“This past week we started playing well and put it together,” she said. “I like where we are. If we take care of business Tuesday we play Friday (in Bangor).”

The Raiders have a balanced attack that includes Paige Trask, Haley Ward, Silver Clukey and Weslee Littlefied, among others.

• • •

The No. 7 Waterville (13-5) girls host a relative unknown in No. 10 Ellsworth (10-8). The teams didn’t play in the regular season but had common opponents, with both beating Belfast and losing to John Bapst.

Since losing to John Bapst, Waterville finished the season riding an eight-game winning streak that included victories over Winslow and Maine central Institute.

“We’ve beaten all the teams I felt we could,” Waterville coach Rob Rodrigue said. “We haven’t had a letdown.”

The Purple Panthers are loaded with young athletes who have played a lot of basketball but don’t have a lot of tournament experience. They’ll play without freshman Lindsay Given, who is recovering from a concussion, but have many capable scorers, including sophomores Sadie Garling and Maddi Martin and freshman Abby Saucier.

“We only give up 33 points a night so we defend well,” Rodrigue said. “We also transition in the open court because we’re so athletic.”

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