The Forest Hills boys basketball team is going to win Class D South and earn its third trip to a state final in six seasons.


“We know anything can happen,” Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero said moments after his top-seeded Tigers crushed Seacoast Christian 78-39 in a regional quarterfinal Saturday afternoon. “If you look past anyone, you can get beat. If we do that, we’ll lose.”

Amero isn’t wrong, there are still games to be played. And, yes, anything can happen.

We’ve seen the unexpected unfold here before our eyes in previous years — anyone remember when the eighth-seeded Skowhegan boys squad knocked out undefeated and No. 1 Medomak Valley in the 2017 Class A North quarterfinals?

The state tournament is no stranger to shockers.


But if you’re looking for The Next Great Upset this week in Augusta, you’ll probably have to peak at anything but the D South boys bracket.

The dominant Tigers (19-0) have done nothing but roll opponents this winter. They certainly did so Saturday against Seacoast Christian.

Mason Desjardins, a threat from anywhere on the court, scored a game-high 31 points. while Braidan Welch added 22.

Seacoast actually enjoyed an early 8-2 lead but it quickly succumbed to the relentless pressure the Tigers love to apply. An 18-0 run shifted momentum and sent the Tigers on their way to another rout.

Forest Hills’ Blaine Nadeau (2) jumps for the pass as he battles Seacoast Christian’s Isaiah Cardinal during the Class D South quarterfinals Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We emphasize hard work,” Desjardins said. “We don’t want to be lazy, and we don’t want to make anything easy for anyone. We go 100% all the time.”

Do they ever.


The Tigers always play at a dizzying pace. They pressure the ball. They pressure away from the ball. They contest every pass, every shot. They aren’t afraid to dive on the floor, either.

And all that was on display Saturday.

“Our conditioning pays off for us,” Amero said. “We get after it. We’re scrappy and we play with energy. We’re quick and we can move the ball. You have to keep up with us. We won’t lose a game because we got out-hustled.”

Forest Hills can also match up physically, with Cooper Daigle (eight points) providing much-needed inside muscle.

“We want to stick with what we’re good at,” Desjardins said.

Turns out, that’s just about everything.


Next up for Forest Hills is No. 5 Greenville, which buried No. 4 Vinalhaven 54-27 in a regional quarterfinal game Saturday morning.

Should the Tigers get past the Lakers, they will play in the regional final on Saturday.

Just who they could play is a bit more muddled, but the No. 2 Cavaliers of Valley (10-4) appear poised to stick around more than a few days here. The Cavs face No. 7 Rangeley (5-10) on Monday.

Valley played Forest Hills twice this winter, and neither game was much of, well, a game.

Forest Hills’ Jackman Daigle (54) battles for the ball with Seacoast Christian’s Isaac Cardinal (5) during the Class D South quarterfinals Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The Tigers won both contests by a combined 170-74. Ouch.

Of course, to be fair, no one in D South has challenged Forest Hills.


The Tigers won six games by more than 50 points — yes, 50! Their average margin of victory is 45.6 points.

The closest anyone got to Forest Hills this season? That would be Greenville, which lost by only 20 (73-53) on Jan. 24.

Greenville coach Tyler Muzzy acknowledged Saturday he’s already game-planning for the Tigers.

“I’m not going to say we over-looked Vinalhaven, because we didn’t,” he said, “but we’ve been putting in a plan for (Forest Hills) for the last week. Forest Hills is the team to beat by far, but that’s not to say they’re unbeatable.”

Still, Muzzy knows it will take a Herculean effort to upend the mighty Tigers — and  even that might not be enough.

“We’re happy to get them at the Augusta Civic Center floor,” he continued. “Playing in Jackman, it’s tough. Our goal is to try and hang with them, keep it close, and then see how they react.”

The Tigers say they’ll be ready for anything moving forward.

“I don’t want to say we can’t be stopped,” Desjardins said, “but if we come in and play our best, and all our shots fall, we’ll have a good shot. We’ve seen upsets here, and we don’t want that to be us.”

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