Lawrence girls basketball coach Greg Chesley speaks to his team in a timeout during a game against Skowhegan on Thursday in Skowhegan. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

The goal, Lawrence High girls basketball coach Greg Chesley said, sounded simple enough.

“We’ve said it all year, let’s set us up in the regular season to be in the best possible place for the playoffs,” said Chesley, whose Bulldogs are the defending Class A champ. “I think we did that.”

The Bulldogs (17-1) will enter the Class A North playoffs as the top seed. They will open tournament play at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Augusta Civic Center against No. 8 Mt. Blue (5-13) in a regional quarterfinal game.

“We’re excited to be going in at No. 1,” Chesley said. “It’s been a few years since we did that. We are excited to get it going. This is a year where the field is a little more even. Each night will be challenge.”

Lawrence is one of four central Maine teams to secure top seeds in their respective regionals. The Mt. Abram boys (C South) and both Valley teams (D South) are the others.

Here’s a look at where things stand heading into regional prelim games next week.



Hampden Academy (16-2), thanks to a late-season win over Mt. Blue (15-3), is the No. 1 seed in Class A North. The second-seeded Cougars will play No. 7 Lawrence in a quarterfinal game at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the Civic Center.

No. 3 Messalonskee (14-4) will play No. 6 Cony (7-11) at 4 p.m. on Feb. 17. The Eagles closed the regular season on a seven-game winning streak.

“Credit to the boys,” said Messalonskee coach Sam Smith. “They are motivated to try and do some incredible things. We have game plans in place for everyone we could see. Cony is a great team. They play hard and shoot a lot of 3-pointers. In the second half of the season, they have had some guys step up. It’s going to be a battle.”

Messalonskee’s Sam Dube looks to make a move while Hampden Academy’s Will Kelley defends during a Feb. 1 game in Oakland. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Later that evening, No. 4 Nokomis (11-7) will play No. 5 Camden Hills (10-8) at 7:30 before Hampden plays No. 8 Skowhegan (5-13) at 9.

“The entire A North tournament should be great,” Smith said.


In Class B North, No. 9 Winslow (12-6) will play a prelim game at No. 8 Foxcroft Academy (10-8). The winner will play No. 1 seed Ellsworth (15-3) in a regional quarterfinal game at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 17 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Maranacook (15-3) is the No. 2 seed and will play a quarterfinal game against either No. 7 Bucksport or No. 10 Mount Desert Island.

One of the more competitive regions could come in Class C South, where Mt. Abram (16-2), Richmond (16-2) and Monmouth Academy (15-3) enter as the top three seeds, respectively.

No. 6 Winthrop (11-7), No. 7 Hall-Dale (10-8) and No. 9 Madison (9-9) will play prelim games next week. No. 5 Carrabec (12-6) will meet No. 4 Waynflete (14-4) in a quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Augusta.

In Class C North, seventh-ranked Mount View (12-6) is set for a prelim game against No. 10 Penobscot Valley. Although the Mustangs aren’t one of the top seeds in the region, first-year head coach Brandon Hurd said his team might be set up to make a run.

“With the way it worked, we kind of expected that we would have to come from a lower seeding, so it doesn’t shock us,” Hurd said. “We knew that, Heal point-wise, we were probably going to have to win a prelim game to get to Bangor, and that’s what happened. Hopefully, we’re able to get a win and see what we can do there.”

New-look Class D South features Valley (14-4) as the top seed, but No. 2 St. Dominic Academy (17-1) will be a formidable challenge for anyone in the region. No. 3 Forest Hills (13-5) will play No. 6 Temple Academy (9-9) in a regional quarterfinal game, tentatively set for 9 a.m. Feb. 17 in Augusta.





While Lawrence sits atop A North, it won’t be an easy road to states. Standing in the way are No. 2 Hampden (13-5) and No. 3 Cony (11-7). The Rams will open regional quarterfinal play against No. 6 Brewer at 4 p.m. on Feb. 16 in Augusta. Hampden and No. 7 Gardiner (8-10) will follow at 5:30 p.m. No. 4 Camden (12-6) draws No. 5 Skowhegan (9-9) at 7 p.m. before Lawrence and Mt. Blue cap the evening.

“There’s a lot of good teams out there,” Chesley said. “You can’t look ahead.”

Winthrop’s Ella Rice takes the ball up the court during a Feb. 5 game against Spruce Mountain in Jay. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

In Class B North, Maranacook (13-5) enters as the No. 3 seed while No. 7 Erskine (10-8) will host No. 10 Maine Central Institute (9-9) in a prelim game on Monday at 6:30 p.m.


North Yarmouth Academy (17-1) earned the top seed in Class C South, while Hall-Dale (17-1), Richmond (16-2), Madison (15-3) and Sacopee Valley (11-7) rounded out the top five.

No. 7 Winthrop (12-6) and No. 8 Carrabec (10-8) will host prelim games next week against No. 10 Old Orchard Beach (7-11) and No. 9 Searsport (7-11), respectively.

Valley rolled to the top seed in Class D South, while Waynflete (13-5) and Forest Hills (13-5) will have the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Valley swept Forest Hills in the regular season, winning 77-38 and 75-39. The Flyers, who played primarily a Class C schedule, did not play the Cavaliers or Tigers in the regular season.


Staff writer Mike Mandell contributed to this report.

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