Old Town’s Saige Evans goes up for a shot by Presque Isle’s Anna Jandreau (#20) and Mia Casavant (#34) in first half action of the girls Class B North semifinal game at the Cross Insurance Center on Feb. 23. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Just like that, another Maine high school basketball season is upon us.

Games kick off Friday, with contests starting throughout the state. If you’re trying to figure out how to keep tabs on your favorite team and who the stars are to pay attention to this season, here’s what you need to know.

Where can I see the latest schedule and scores?

Monday through Saturday, the Bangor Daily News will update its calendar for the Maine high school boys basketball and girls basketball seasons with that day’s game schedule. We’ll add the final scores for those games each evening as they conclude. We’ll keep previous games on the schedule too, so you can search for your team and see its season record.

How do I know where my team stands in the rankings?

The Maine Principals’ Association uses the Heal Point system to rank teams in each class and region. We will update the latest Heal Point standings for girls basketball and boys basketball on a daily basis. You can read more about the Heal Point system here.

Which teams are likely to do well this season?

In North boys competition, the departure of the Flagg twins from Nokomis leaves Class A North wide open. Class B North will feature a tough race between Ellsworth, Orono, Foxcroft Academy and Mount View, while the departure of Hunter Burpee poses a challenge for reigning state champion Southern Aroostook in Class D. Oxford Hills is favored to take home the AA North title again, and Dexter will be looking to repeat as C North champs. Read our full preview here.

On the girls side, Southern Aroostook is likely to continue its dominance in the Class D North standings, and despite some lineup changes Cheverus is still the team to beat in Class AA. In Class A, Lawrence and Gardiner are the teams to beat, while Old Town and Ellsworth will be duking it out in B North. Hodgdon, Penobscot Valley and Central appear to be the frontrunners in Class C North. Read our full preview here.

Who are the top players to watch?

In the Bangor area, Bangor High School’s Emmie Streams and Hampden Academy’s Bella McLaughlin are the top girls to watch. Other North regional athletes to keep an eye on are Izzy Allen of Central, Hope Bouchard of Lawrence, Sierra Carson of Oxford Hills, Maddie Fitzpatrick and Emma Lizotte of Cheverus, Lizzy Gruber of Gardiner, Anna Oliver of Hodgdon and Madison Russell of Southern Aroostook. Read more about them here.

Brewer’s Brady Saunders and Orono’s Pierce Walston are the top basketball players returning in the Bangor area. You’ll also want to follow the performances of Teigan Pelletier of Oxford Hills, Yusuf Dakane of Lewiston, Will Kusnierz of Dexter, Malachi Cummings of Presque Isle, Madden White of Nokomis, Adam Savage of Skowhegan, Chance Mercier of Ellsworth and Walker Oliver of Hodgdon. Read more about them here.

What coverage will the BDN provide?

Sports reporters Larry Mahoney and Adam Robinson will be attending several games a week in person throughout the season, and will also provide regular commentary on the season. Coaches can report their game recaps to the BDN here. Check the BDN’s Sports page each day for the latest game coverage.

New this season, the BDN will also feature a weekly column during the basketball season from Lucas McNelly, best known to the Maine high school basketball community as the person behind the Maine Basketball Rankings Twitter account.

How can I watch the games?

Many regular season basketball games can be watched on either NFHS Network or WHOU, which cost $10.99 and $10 for monthly subscriptions, respectively. Additional games may be available through an individual school’s YouTube or Facebook page.

When does the tournament start?

Preliminary tournament games will begin Feb. 14, while the quarterfinals are scheduled to begin Feb. 16. The Class A state championship games will be held March 3 at the Augusta Civic Center. On March 4 the Class AA and Class B state championship games will take place at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland and the Class C and Class D state championship games will be held at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

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Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...