Winslow’s Reid Gagnon celebrates his basket plus the foul against Orono during a Class B North preliminary game Wednesday in Winslow. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

In recent seasons, the Class B North tournament has been the proving ground for state champions. Each of the last three winners of the Class B gold ball — Mt. Desert Island in 2017, Hermon in 2018, and Caribou last season — came out of the tough North bracket. When the tournament begins Friday at 7 p.m. with No. 6 Maine Central Institute (13-6) taking on No. 3 Washington Academy (13-5), Caribou will be a favorite to repeat.

“In my view, Caribou and Maranacook are very similar teams,” MCI coach Josh Tardy said. The Huskies played Maranacook, the top seed in Class B South, twice in the regular season.

MCI held off Foxcroft in the preliminary round to advance. The Huskies are led by senior guard Owen Williams, who averages 22 points per game. Harrison Sites, Gavin McArthur, and Dom Wilson are other scoring threats. The Huskies advanced to the semifinals last season, and Tardy feels that experience can be a boost against a strong Washington Academy team, which is led by Cecil Gray (14.3 points, 10.7 rebounds per game).

“We’re healthy. We’ve got a pretty high confidence rate right now,” Tardy said. “(Washington) beat Ellsworth. They’ve got all the pieces to make a deep run.”

That No. 2 Ellsworth (15-3) stands in the way of No. 7  Winslow (12-7), with an 8:30 p.m. Friday tip scheduled. The Black Raiders are back in the quarterfinals after a season away, and are led by senior Colby Pomeroy. Freshman Jason Reynolds has become a second consistent scoring threat for Winslow, and he scored a game-high 20 points in Wednesday’s prelim win over Orono.

“I think that we can play at a variety of speeds. I think we’re a pretty versatile team, and can play to our strengths,” Winslow coach Ken Lindlof said.

The Black Raiders must slow down an Ellsworth team led by Jackson Curtis, who averages just under 20 points and nine rebounds per game.

Caribou will face No. 8 Mt. Desert Island at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Along with Deprey, the Vikings have a 3-point threat in Isaac Marker, who made 27 threes in the regular season. Porter Isaacs is a strong rebounder for MDI.

Also on Saturday, No. 4 Hermon (12-6) takes on No. 12 Old Town (10-9). The Coyotes had to beat Orono in the season finale to earn the 12 seed, then upset No. 5 Houlton in the preliminary round.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 


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