Members of the Caribou boys basketball team hoist the Class B championship trophy after the Vikings beat Ellsworth 62-40 Saturday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

The tempo should be rapid Friday night when defending state champion Caribou and Maranacook of Readfield battle for the Class B boys basketball state championship.

Game time is 8:45 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Caribou, which last winter captured its first state title since 1969, averaged 66.0 points per game during the North regional and outscored its three opponents by an average of 25.3 points behind tourney MVP Parker Deprey and fellow all-tourney choices Alex Bouchard and Sawyer Deprey.

Coach Kyle Corrigan’s club (20-1) enters the state final having won 36 of its past 37 games.

South champion Maranacook (19-2) is back in the state final for the first time since winning the gold ball in 2008 as the Eastern Maine Class B representative.

The Black Bears have a veteran first-year head coach in Travis Magnusson, who guided Dirigo of Dixfield to the 2012 Class C state championship, and a roster that features junior guards Cash McClure, Tim Worster and Casey Cormier.

The Black Bears, who compete in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, have won 15 consecutive games since a 92-89 loss to Class A Cony of Augusta on Dec. 27.

Maranacook survived a quarterfinal scare in the South tournament before outlasting No. 8 Freeport 59-57. The Black Bears then defeated No. 5 Lake Region of Naples 64-40 in the semifinals and No. 6 Wells 60-48 in the final behind McClure’s 23 points and 11 rebounds.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...