February 9

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: Kents Hill win away from goal

Postseason kicks off Tuesday with preliminaries

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Before the opening tip in the opening game, members of the Kents Hill girls basketball team told coach Luke Wamboldt their primary goal for the season.

“They wanted to get to the Augusta Civic Center,” he said. “We wanted to get there.”

A win Tuesday night against visiting Hall-Dale, and that’s just where the Huskies will go.

The basketball seedings are finalized, the postseason matchups are set and all that’s left are the tipoffs. Those will come Tuesday and Wednesday with preliminary round games.

No. 7 Kents Hill (11-4) will host No. 10 Hall-Dale (11-7) in a Western C prelim at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The teams didn’t meet in the regular season.

“I think it’s a good matchup for us,” Hall-Dale coach Brandon Terrill said. “I think our Mountain Valley Conference schedule helped us well. We’ve been through some battles. We’ve watched them play and I like the matchup.”

Added Wamboldt: “We don’t know much about them. We’ve talked to a few coaches about them. We know they’ve won 11 games and play in a tough conference. Hopefully, our girls are up for the challenge. The girls are super excited for the opportunity to play. We’re pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished. Our goal was to get to Augusta and we are one game away.”

Boys prelim games begin Wednesday, and there are several intriguing matchups on tap.

No. 6 Monmouth (11-6) will host No. 11 Madison (7-11) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Mustangs sank the Bulldogs 57-35 in the regular season.

“This one could go either way,” Monmouth coach Lucas Turner said. “They have been shooting well lately. They are a guard-oriented team and we like to get the ball inside to the post.”

The fifth-seeded Maranacook boys just missed out on a bye and will host No. 12 St. Dominic (6-12) in a Western C prelim Wednesday night. The Richmond boys (9-9) earned the eighth seed in Western D and will host No. 9 Islesboro (8-8) on Wednesday as well.

The Gardiner boys and girls will both travel for prelim games this week.

The boys finished 10-8 and earned the 13th seed in Eastern B. The Tigers will plat at No. 4 Caribou on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

“We have a little bit of a drive,” Gardiner coach Jason Cassidy quipped. “Caribou is a quality basketball team. They play a similar style to how we play. We’ll have our hands full with them.”

The No. 9 Gardiner girls (11-7) will play at No. 8 Camden Hills (11-7) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

“I like the matchup,” Gardiner coach Mike Gray said. “It was a weird schedule because we didn’t play them in the regular season. But we’re familiar with going to Camden. If we have to go on the road it might as well be a place we’re used to. It’s the eight-nine game, too, so anything can happen.”

Elsewhere in the tournament, the Winthrop boys earned the fourth seed and a bye in the Western C tournament. The Ramblers (14-4) will play either Maranacook or St. Dom’s at 7 p.m. on Monday.

The Maranacook girls earned the No. 2 seed in Western C. The Black Bears (13-5) will play either Hall-Dale or Kents Hill at 4 p.m. on Monday.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640bstewart@centralmaine.comTwitter: @billstewartkj
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