Coming off a Class C state championship, Winthrop has some graduation holes to fill. That said, do not count the Ramblers out of either the race for the Mountain Valley Conference title or the Class C South regional crown.

“Winthrop, they’re not in rebuild mode, ever,” Monmouth coach Wade Morrill said.

Boothbay, Mountain Valley and Spruce Mountain also should contend for the MVC title, and Waynflete will be a tough out come tournament time, as usual.

Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur thinks his team can make another tournament run if it continues to work hard.

Hall-Dale’s Josh Nadeau, center, grabs a rebound from Waynflete’s Diraige Dahia during a Class C South semifinal game last season in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“We still have a lot of kids that were a part of it, and know what it takes to be successful,” MacArthur said.

Senior guard Cam Hachey averaged nine points per game last season and is ready to take on more offensive responsibility, and is senior forwards Ryan Baird and Jevin Smith. Junior Gavin Perkins will be Winthrop’s point guard.

“They have a lot of skills and potential. They have to step up and be leaders,” MacArthur said.

Hall-Dale was regional champ in 2018 and is coming off a two-season stretch in which it went 39-4. Many of the key players during that run have graduated, but the Bulldogs still have a talented core that can make a playoff run. Senior point guard Josh Nadeau is in his third season as a starter. His on-court savvy and decision-making will be important as Hall-Dale transitions into a new lineup. Ian Stebbins joins Nadeau in the backcourt after a season away from hoops.

“Ian Stebbins gives us a tremendous boast of athleticism, defensive intensity and shot-making ability to our backcourt,” coach Chris Ranslow said.

Patrick Rush, a 6-foot-4 senior, gives the Bulldogs size in the post.

Monmouth won 13 games last season and advanced to the regional quarterfinals. The Mustangs return just four players with varsity experience. A trio of seniors, Gabe Martin, Thomas Neal, and Brock Bates, will ned to lead on and off the court as the young team looks for steady improvement.

“Our ultimate goal is to acclimate our young players to varsity basketball,” Morrill said.

Newcomers Ryan Burnham and Cam Armstrong could be immediate contributors to Monmouth.

Like Monmouth, Madison is a young team looking for leadership from a core group of upperclassmen. Senior guard Caden Franzose is a strong perimeter shooter. Junior Cameron Cobb joins the team after a season off and could be an immediate impact player, coach Jason Furbush said.

Crashing to boards will be the key to the Bulldogs’ season, Furbush said.

“If we don’t defensively rebound, we won’t have a chance,” Furbush said.

Thomas Dean is a promising Madison sophomore and averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per game last season. Vern Worthen is another returning sophomore and is back at the point. Dimitri Turcotte, a transfer from Carrabec, could provide defense and depth.

Now in the second season under coach Dustin Zamboni, Mt. Abram looks to build off last season’s preliminary round appearance.

“We have to get the most out of every possession. Looking for the highest percentage shot we can (get),” Zamboni said.

Senior guard Nate Luce was a second team all-MVC selection last season and can play in the paint or the perimeter. Senior forward Jackson Masterson gives the Roadrunners an athletic player in the post. Junior Kenyon Pillsbury is back at point guard.

Richmond will play a mixed schedule of Class C and D opponents, including games against old East/West Conference rivals Forest Hills and Valley, as well as Class C playoff contenders like Old Orchard Beach and Traip.

“We have to play team basketball with an emphasis on being unselfish players,” coach Phil Houdlette said.

Houdlette is stressing defense first to his Bobcats, and developing the transition game Richmond lacked last season. Senior Kenny Bing and junior Calob Densmore are among the returning players.

Erik Carey last coached the Carrebec boys basketball team in 2001. He’s back to help rebuild a team that went winless last season. If effort is an indication, the Cobras should see some improvement.

“They are incredibly hard-working. I’ve seen nothing but work out of these guys,” Carey said.

Carrabec is young, with no seniors on the roster and forward Adam Lawrence the lone junior. With that in mind, the Cobras will try to play an up tempo style and get as many athletes playing time as possible. Building enthusiasm in the program is a goal this season, Carey said.

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