Southern Aroostook senior Madison Russell celebrates after winning the Class D North girls regional championship game against Wisdom 53-49 Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Southern Aroostook head coach Cliff Urquhart and his Warriors from Dyer Brook will be taking on Seacoast Christian from South Berwick in the Class D girls state championship game Monday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Last season, the two teams met in the final, and Southern Aroostook scored the game’s first 43 points en route to a 58-18 victory that gave the Warriors their third state championship in four years.

Southern Aroostook comes into the game with an 18-3 record while Seacoast Christian is 12-9.

How does Urquhart keep his players from being overconfident on Saturday?

“Obviously, that’s been a concern ever since the minute we heard they won [the Class D South title],” he said.

“But this is a brand new year and the score doesn’t carry over from last year,” Urquhart added. “We beat Greenville by close to 30 points in 2019 and lost to them in 2020.”

Southern Aroostook beat Greenville 55-30 in the state final in 2019 before losing to the Lakers 42-38 the next year.

Urquhart felt their pressure defense caught the Guardians by surprise last season and it resulted in a lot of turnovers and easy baskets in transition.

“I think there was a shock factor for them. They will be prepared for it this year,” Urquhart said.

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but the upcoming winter storm has moved the game to 6:05 p.m. Monday.

In the other schoolgirl state championship games, Lawrence High of Fairfield (18-3) will take on South champ Brunswick (19-2) at 6:05 p.m. Friday in the Class A final at the Augusta Civic Center.

On Saturday, Ellsworth (18-3) will square off against Spruce Mountain of Jay (20-1) in the B final at 1:05 at the Augusta Civic Center (moved from the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland); Oxford Hills (20-1) will face Gorham (12-9) in the AA final at 7:05 p.m. in Portland; and Dexter (20-1) will battle Old Orchard Beach (18-3) in the C title game in Bangor at 7:05 p.m.

The Warriors from Southern Aroostook have been paced by 1,000-point scorers Madison Russell and Cami Shields, who are averaging 17 points per game and were both chosen to the Class D North All-Tournament team.

Russell was the Most Valuable Player for the second-straight year after scoring 46 points in the team’s three wins and Shields had 45 points.

Tournament MVP Ellie Leech’s 37 points and 17 rebounds led Seacoast Christian past Valley of Bingham in the D South final 63-52, and Breckyn Winship had 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Seacoast Christian has never won a state championship.

“They play a really good match-up zone that’s tough to prepare for,” said Urquhart. “We’re going to have to shoot well. If not, we’re going to have to get them to turn the ball over and get easy baskets in transition. That was certainly the key for us last year.”

Six-foot-two junior center Mazie Peach was the MVP of the C North tournament thanks to her 39 points and 46 rebounds, and teammates Abby Corson (23 points) and Cally Gudroe (32 points) were also all-tourney picks.

The Seagulls received a monster performance from guard Elise MacNair in the South tournament as she poured in 88 points in three games.

Dexter hasn’t won a state title since 2006 while OOB have never won one.

Ellsworth and Spruce Mountain have never won a state title so one of them will earn its first gold ball.

They both knocked off undefeated teams in their regional title games as Ellsworth beat Old Town 59-52 and Spruce Mountain upset defending state champ Oceanside of Rockland 57-47.

Tournament MVP Abby Radel and fellow all-tourney selection Grace Jaffray, who are sophomores, led the Eagles from Ellsworth by averaging 19.3 points and 13.7 points per game, respectively. Jaffray also hauled down 9.3 rebounds per game.

Aubrey Kachnovich’s 22 points, including 21 in the second half, and Jadyn Pingree’s 18 powered Spruce Mountain past an Oceanside team that had won 53 straight games.

In the A game, Brunswick will be looking for its first state title while Lawrence hasn’t won one since 2015.

Guard Hope Bouchard is having a memorable senior year for Lawrence. She was named Miss Maine Field Hockey after leading the Bulldogs to their first ever state Class B field hockey title, and she has been the difference-maker for the basketball team, pouring in 26 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking three shots in the A North title game win over previously undefeated Gardiner, 61-54.

Bri Poulin had 15 points and Ali Higgins had nine as Lawrence avenged two regular season losses to Gardiner.

Brunswick has had an exceptional year, losing only to Gray-New Gloucester by a point and AA North champ Oxford Hills by four.

The Dragons feature Lexi Morin, the MVP of the A North tourney thanks to her 12.3 points per game average; Emily Doring, who had 15 points in the 45-23 in the South final win over Gray-New Gloucester; and Maddy Werner, who had 15 in the 49-27 win over Falmouth in the semis.

In the AA championship game, Oxford Hills and Gorham will both be looking for their third state AA title as Gorham triumphed in 2016 and 2017, and Oxford Hills earned gold balls in 2019 and 2020.

Oxford Hills erased a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit in the AA North title game to beat defending state champ Cheverus of Portland 68-63 in double overtime behind Sierra Carson’s 29 points, Ella Pelletier’s 17 points and Tristen Derenburger’s two 3-pointers in the second overtime.

Gorham avenged three regular season losses to Thornton Academy, including a 64-30 thumping in their last meeting by beating the Trojans 44-41 in the championship game.

Tourney MVP Ellie Gay had 20 points to lead Laughn Berthiaume’s Rams past TA.