Your Nerdy Class AA Boys Gold Ball Preview

by Maine Basketball Rankings
We continue our tour through (some of) the Gold Ball matchups with a look at the AA Boys game. We don’t have any solid stats from the AA tournament, so we’re limited to the photos of the books collected here, so this will be a little shorter.

Bangor

Seeded: 1st in AA North, 1st Overall

Should be Seeded: 1st in AA North; 1st Overall

Bangor was #1 overall in the Power Rankings until Greely’s tougher tournament path allowed them to pass the Rams (tourney games are worth double) for the top spot. Bangor is led by 6’6″ Matt Fleming, brother of UMaine’s Andrew, a dynamic senior and Mr. Basketball Finalist who’s headed to Army to play college ball in the fall. Fleming averaged a double-double on the year (20.9ppg, 10.7rpg). He’s joined by 2 other players who average double figures in scoring in Damien Vance (16.7) and Henry Westrich (12.1). It’s no secret that for Bonny Eagle to win, they’ll need to minimize Fleming, but Bangor can beat you in multiple ways.

Bangor played the 13th toughest schedule in the state (but the easiest in AA North) and was the 5th most dominant team in the state. They posted 11 blowouts in their 21 games, including blowouts of #13 Oxford Hills, #4 Edward Little, and #17 Hampden. They were the most dominant team in the state against teams in the Top 25. It’s worth noting that their 2 losses came against teams they had previously blown out, which could either speak to a complacency or great adjustments by the legendary coaches at Edward Little and Oxford Hills.

Bonny Eagle

Seeded: 2nd in AA South, 4th Overall

Should be Seeded: 4th in AA South; 9th Overall

Bonny Eagle was over-seeded as the 2 seed in AA South, but they proved their worth by knocking off the 3rd seeded South Portland and the top-seed Thornton Academy, holding TA’s Payton Jones to 4 points in the first 3 quarters of the Regional Final. Bonny Eagle is led by Zach Maturo’s 17.3 points per game, but he is the only player who averages double figures [EDIT: Bonny Eagle’s official scorer has reached out to inform me that Jacob Humphrey averaged 12.6 ppg during the regular season]. He scored 20 of their 48 points in the Regional Final and 26 of their 55 in the semis. They’ll need a big game from their dynamic 5’10” Junior to pull this off.

Bonny Eagle played the easiest schedule in AA (so much for tough regular season schedules being the most important thing). They were the 4th most dominant team in AA, but the weaker schedule there is a big qualifier. They went 8-2 against the Top 25 and seemed to get better as the competition improved, posting a %Perfect of 60.3% overall and 54.2% against the Top 25 (there’s usually a much bigger drop-off in those numbers). They struggled early in the year against some teams they should have beaten more handily, but there’s some impressive wins in that resume.

The Matchup

Bonny Eagle is a very good team fronted by a very good player, but Maturo is going to need help to knock off one of the elite teams in the state. Jacob Humphrey had a big second half against South Portland. They’ll need someone like that to step up. Even that might not be enough. Bangor is too good and too multi-faceted. Anything can happen, but the model is pretty sure Bangor will hoist their first Gold Ball since 2011.

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