If the regional tournaments are any indication, expect low-scoring games when 10 high school basketball state champions are crowned this weekend.
Of the 20 surviving boys and girls teams, only the Class AA South champion South Portland boys have yielded more than 47 points per tournament game, but the Red Riots’ scoring average of 74.5 points in their two regional victories also leads all other state finalists by more than 10 points per game.
Seven remaining girls teams and six boys squads have yielded fewer than 40 points per game during postseason play. That contingent is led by the Class B South champion Gray-New Gloucester girls, who allowed just 28.3 points per game during their three regional tournament victories.
The Patriots girls (20-1) will kick off state championship weekend Friday when they face Houlton (20-1) for the Class B girls title in a 6:05 p.m. start from the Augusta Civic Center.
The battle is a rematch of last year’s state final won by Houlton 48-45.
Houlton, which allowed just 34.3 points per game during the B North tourney, is seeking its third straight gold ball overall after winning the Class C state crown in 2015.
The Houlton-GNG game will be followed by the Class B boys clash between North champion Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor (18-3) and South winner Wells (16-5). MDI has never won a state title in its current configuration while Wells is seeking its first state championship since winning back-to-back crowns in 1983 and 1984.
Eight championship games will be played Saturday, four each at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor and in Augusta.
Activity in Bangor begins with the Class D girls final between Shead of Eastport (19-2) and Vinalhaven (17-4) at 1:05 p.m. Shead reached the state final last year before falling to Rangeley, and the Tigerettes are after their first state crown since 1999. Vinalhaven last won Western D titles in 1981 and 1983.
The Class D boys matchup will mark the third time North champion Machias (20-1) and South winner Greenville (20-1) have met this winter, with each team winning on its home court during the regular season.
Class C takes the CIC stage Saturday night with the Dexter girls (15-6) facing Monmouth Academy (18-3) in the 7:05 p.m. opener. Dexter scored three-point wins over No. 1 Stearns of Millinocket in the C North semifinals and No. 2 George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill in the final to advance to the state game for the first time in 10 years. Monmouth Academy last reached a state final in 2000 while in Class D.
Defending state champion George Stevens (21-0) will face South winner Winthrop (21-0) for the Class C boys crown. GSA has won all of its seven postseason games during the last two years by double digits, while Winthrop will be playing in the final for the first time since 2008.
Messalonskee of Oakland will be featured in both halves of the Class A state championship doubleheader Saturday afternoon in Augusta, the Eagles’ girls team (21-0) against Brunswick (18-3) at 1:05 p.m. followed by the Messalonskee boys (16-5) against Greely of Cumberland Center (21-0).
The defending Class AA champion Portland boys and Gorham girls will seek to complete repeat title runs Saturday night, Gorham (20-0) against Oxford Hills of South Paris (19-1) at 6:05 p.m. and Portland (19-1) facing South Portland (17-3) at 9:05 p.m. in a rematch of Portland’s double-overtime win over the Red Riots in the inaugural Class AA boys state final last year.