The high school basketball regular season is complete. The Heal Points have been tallied and verified, and in a few days fans from around the state will flock to the Augusta Civic Center, Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, and the Portland Expo.

First, preliminary round games. Thirty-four of the 80 quarterfinal seeds will be decided with prelim games, girls on Tuesday and boys on Wednesday. With that in mind, here are some tournament 2020 facts and figures to tide you over until the games begin.

6. That’s the number of defending state champions that earned the top seed in their region. On the boys side, it’s Caribou (Class B North), Winthrop (Class C South), and Forest Hills (Class D South). Defending girls champs you’ll see as top seeds are Oxford Hills (Class AA North), Greely (Class A South), and Southern Aroostook (Class D North).

12. The number of preliminary round games that are rematches of at least one regular season game. In the Class C South boys tournament, No. 5 Richmond (11-7) hosts No. 12 St. Dominic Academy (8-10) after splitting a pair of regular season games. In boys Class C North, No. 6 Mattanawcook (9-9) and No. 11 Lee (7-11) split a pair of close games. In girls, Class C South, No. 7 Sacopee Valley (10-8) and No. 10 Kents Hill (12-6) played a pair of close games, with Sacopee Valley winning by two and six points.

Other rematches feature games that were not so close in the regular season. In boys Class C North, No. 3 Fort Kent (15-3) beat No. 14 Madawaska (10-8) twice by more than 20 points. Also in boys Class C North, No. 4 George Stevens Academy (16-2) thumped No. 13 Bucksport (5-13) twice in the regular season.

Rivalries! One of the joys of tournament time is when longtime rivals face each other. In the prelims, we get two of those games. In girls Class C South, No. 9 Carrabec (9-9) plays at No. 8 Madison (12-6). In girls Class B North, No. 10 Ellsworth (10-8) plays at No. 7 Mt. Desert Island (11-7).

15. That’s the number of miles round trip Carrabec will drive for its prelim game at Madison on Tuesday night. The Carrabec to Madison jaunt is the shortest trip a team will make for the prelims.

456. That’s the round-trip miles the Caribou girls will make to play at Winslow on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Class B North preliminary round. Boston is closer to Winslow than Caribou. So is Quebec City.

1. The number of defending state champions who cannot repeat. It’s not because a team had a monumental drop after a strong season and missed the playoffs. Blame reclassificiation. The Gray-New Gloucester girls took the Class B state title last season, their second gold ball in three years. When the Maine Principals’ Association set the classification numbers for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, the Patriots were bumped up to Class A.

Gray-New Gloucester went 12-6 in their new region, earning the four seed, and will face No. 5 Brunswick (15-3) in the quarterfinals.

0.1852. Not a woeful grade point average. That’s the difference in Heal Points between the Mt. Desert Island and Mount View boys basketball teams in the Class B North standings, and the difference between a home prelim game and a long bus ride.

Mount View had a great regular season, rebounding from a one-win 2018-19. The Mustangs were seconds away from beating Belfast to close the regular season and lock up a home prelim game, but Jason Bartlett’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Lions a 54-53 win and sent Mount View to MDI rather than the other way around.

Because Heal Points are fickle and have a sense of humor, the win propelled Belfast into the 12th and final playoff spot in Class B North, but only briefly. When Old Town defeated Orono, the Coyotes jumped the Lions to take the last spot.

 

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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