Forest Hills’ Parker Desjardins (14) splits a pair of Schenck defenders during the Class D state championship game last season at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

The high school basketball season starts today. It’s a two and a half month sprint to see which teams can earn a spot in the February tournaments. For 26 boys basketball teams in central Maine, that’s two and a half months of hard work to try to play at least one game in front the bigger crowds in Augusta, Bangor, or Portland.

Twenty-six teams. One goal. Here’s a tidbit on each.

Carrabec: How will the Cobras respond to new coach Erik Carey, who last coached the team in 2001?

Cony: The Rams bowed out in the Class A North semifinals in each of the last three seasons. The clear favorite in the region entering the season, is this the year Cony pushes through the semifinal wall?

Erskine: The Eagles graduated nine seniors. Who will step up and lead?

Forest Hills: The defending Class D state champion Tigers could potentially welcome two new members into their 1,000-point club this season. Junior Parker Desjardins is 54 points away and should hit the mark early in the season. Senior Hunter Cuddy has a shot, at 390 points from 1,000.

Gardiner: Three of Gardiner’s first four games are at home. Can the Tigers get off to a fast start?

Hall-Dale: Who will step up to help replace Mr. Basketball semifinalist Ashtyn Abbott, as well as first-team all-Mountain Valley Conference player Alec Byron?

Kents Hill: How will the Huskies fare in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference this season?

Lawrence: Last season, the Bulldogs played in their first state championship game in 20 years. With a retooled roster, is a return trip in the cards?

Madison: The Bulldogs missed the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2014 last season. Will they make it back to Augusta in February?

Maranacook: How will the Black Bears do under new coach Travis Magnusson, the team’s first new head coach in almost 20 years?

MCI: After a long football season and a Big 11 Conference championship, will the football players on the Huskies roster start slowly or come out hot?

Messalonskee: The Eagles lost nobody to graduation. Not a single player. Does that experience result in wins?

Monmouth: With only four returning varsity players, how will the Mustangs do in a competitive Mountain Valley Conference?

Mt. Abram: Is this the Roadrunner team that reaches the regional quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center for the first time since 1999?

Mt. Blue: The Cougars improved by 10 wins last season. Under new coach Troy Norton, can they sustain that improvement?

Mount View: The Mustangs are going for their first tournament win since the 2010 season.

Nokomis: With two seniors out for the season, which younger players step up for the Warriors?

Oak Hill: The Raiders return a pair of all-Mountain Valley Conference honorable mention players, Gavin Rawstron and Liam Rodrigue. Are they the foundation to a trip to the Class B South tournament?

Rangeley: In each of the last two Class D South tournaments, the Lakers season ended with a loss to the  Greenville Lakers. Is this the year Rangeley emerges as the top Lakers squad in Class D South?

Richmond: After a couple seasons in the Mountain Valley Conference, the Bobcats will play a schedule comprised of Class C and Class D opponents.

Skowhegan: Who steps up to fill the shoes of last season’s conference Player of the Year, Marcus Christopher?

Temple: Coming off the best season in team history, what do the Bereans do for an encore?

Valley: The Cavaliers have reached at least the regional semifinals every season since 2012.

Waterville: The Purple Panthers are looking for their first trip to the quarterfinals since 2013.

Winslow: How will the Black Raiders do with crossover games against Caribou and Hermon, the last two Class B state champions?

Winthrop: Do the defending Class C state champions reload after graduating a strong senior class, including Mr. Basketball semifinalist Cam Wood?

 

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

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