AA Boys Gold Ball Preview

by Maine Basketball Rankings

All eyes will be on the officials tonight, thanks to the national coverage of our dunking crisis. Sadly, the official’s eyes weren’t in the right place last night, so if you had 2 in the "games before a ref incident" pool, please collect your winnings.
Tonight, in the AA Gold Ball games, Edward Little will try to duplicate Greely’s sweep. How likely are they to pull it off? Let’s go to the math.

I’m sure you’ll hear on the broadcast tonight that Scarborough won the regular season meeting between these 2 teams, a 61-56 victory at home. So obviously they have an advantage, right? Well, that was part of a 3-game losing streak in late December (one of the hardest 3-game stretches anyone played this season). Since then, the Red Eddies have won 13 of 14, including 5 wins over Top 25 teams. For the season, Edward Little is 6-4 against the Top 25. Scarborough is 3-4.
I wrote a longer version of this and Wix ate it when I hit “publish”, so here’s the short version, in bullet points, because I have to work.
Edward Little played the harder schedule and did better against it (see above). They also had a much harder trip through the bracket, even without having to play Portland. Scarborough played 2 teams that shouldn’t have even made the postseason. They’ve been dominant since that 3-game losing streak. Edward Little played great defensively against Windham, holding them to 25% shooting, and Mike Gilman to 4-16 from the field. However… Edward Little’s defensive rebounding was mediocre. It’s incredibly hard to lost the rebounding battle when your opponent shoots 25% to your 49% and the turnovers are roughly even. Windham held them to 3 offensive rebounds. But… Scarborough was equally mediocre on the defensive glass. Both team’s DREB% was in the low 60’s. But, Scarborough’s OREB% was 30.4% and according to the Press Herald, they had a rebounding margin of +9.4 on the season. Scarborough shot 89% from the line in the Regional Finals. Edward Little shot 54%.
If this is a free throw shooting contest, that could benefit Scarborough. If both teams rebound the way they did last week, Edward Little could be in for a long night.
Edward Little is the favorite, but if they don’t clean up the little things, we could be looking at an upset. Just don’t expect to hear MPBN call it as such. That would take too much research.

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