|Too bad Camden Hills' Tyler McFarland and Cheverus' Louis DiStasio|
can't end up facing each other in the big game in March
Hampden Broncos 66 Portland Bulldogs 54
While Hampden has some Senior leadership in Graham Safford. it was the underclassman making things happen for them Tuesday. Christian McCue (30 points) and Fred Knight (10 points) constantly made work tough for the young Portland Bulldogs. Knight is and will continue to be a fan favorite in Hampden because of his lunch pail work ethic. He does all the dirty work in the pain, yet can pull out and nail a 14 footer if needed. he made life for Portland's offensive threats very difficult.
Portland's Nick Volger will be the energizer bunny for this team, he just plain doesn't stop. He is strong at the point, makes smart plays, but has no problem hustling and getting back on defense. He scored a game team high 14 points. What will be fun to watch about this Bulldogs team is the development of Freshman Jayvon Pitts-Young. Pitts-Young is raw, speedy and makes smart plays. His first step is devastating for a flat footed defender. Pitts-Young made many pretty plays driving and getting into the trees under the hoop, so aggressiveness won't be an issue. Pitts-Young scored 12 for Portland.
Cheverus Stags 66 Camden Hills Windjammers 64
This is the battle that everyone wishes they could see come March. Even though it's pre-season, this early December match up didn't disappoint. Cheverus' Louis DiStasio isolated at the top of the key with just over 10 seconds left with the game tied at 64. He let the clock get down to about 3 seconds, threw a small shoulder right, drove left and threw what I call a finger roll rainbow that found the bottom of the net for the Stags 66 - 64 win over the Windjammers.
Everyone in the state will be watching Camden Hills' Tyler McFarland, and rightly so. he is absolutely one of the best players in the state. The 6'6" Senior is the leader of this team, top to bottom. He scored a game high 26 in the battle of what will likely be #1 and #2 teams in the state come Thursday when MBR releases its Top 10. The Windjammers got nice performances from Keegan Pieri (7 points) and Taylor Hall (8 points), so they have enough talent to keep the opposition honest and not over covering T-Mac.
Cheverus should be the Beast of the West because of its depth. So let's play this game..focus on Junior Louis DiStasio (19 points) and Senior Peter Gwilym (8 points) will hurt you. Stop them and Connor O'Neil (10 points), Matt Cimino (8 points) and Nick Burns are right there to pick up the slack. Make no mistake, DiStasio will drive this team, but the depth will take Cheverus far this season.
Bangor Rams 71 South Portland Red Riots 54
South Portland will need to find a new identity for themselves this year. Not only did they graduate one of the states' best players in Keegan Hyland, but also lost Spence Bowring, Matt Lee, Greg Reinhold and Ryan Curit. Each and everyone of those guys helped the Red Riots to a near upset of Westbrook in the Western A semis last year. This years team will be raw, but talented. Jordan Muller (20 points), Vukasin Vugnjevic (11 points) and a cast of underclassman will drive the Red Riots.
Bangor was without their horse, Josiah Hartley due to a prior commitment, didn't matter much as Tristan Thomas (18 points) and Zach Blodgett (21 points) show exactly why Bangor will have a huge say in how Eastern A ball ends up in March.
Bangor controlled the play from the start, forcing the Red Riots into turnover after turnover. Give South Portland credit, they didn't stop fighting and working their goals for the game, but they just didn't have the depth that Bangor offered the entire game.
Westbrook Blue Blazes 42 Brunswick Dragons 35
This was a defensive battle from the start. Both team had inside physical play inside, while their speedy guards didn't allow penetration or clear passing lanes around the perimeter.
Westbrook was lead by Edwin Grant (9 points) who was most definately the floor general. he directed the offense, at times playing point forward for Coach Karters crew, and other times mucking it up under the hoop. Senior Trevor Bates (13 points) will be a force under the hoop, getting in every play in the paint. A wild card for Westbrook this year will be 6'3" Junior Nguot Nguot. While the height is a plus, his massive wingspan and quick stepping abilities should make people stand and take notice this year.
Brunswick is a team with just 2 Seniors, so they will look to make a way for themselves. Led by Mitch Black (9 points), Konnor Scaponi (10 points) and Garrett Erb (11 points) they will have some to say in Eastern A Ball this year.
CHECK OUT FULL SCHEDULE AT MBR RADIO.COM