How to watch almost every high school basketball tournament game

By Larry Mahoney, Bangor Daily News Staff

Fans of the boys and girls high school basketball tournaments who can’t make it to the venues can watch nearly every dribble and shot thanks to livestreaming provided by three organizations: the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Network, WHOU and the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

NFHS will carry the quarterfinal round games in four of the five classes; WHOU will stream the semifinal and regional championship games and MPBN will televise the 10 state championship games. The MPBN state games will also be available online.

In addition to semifinal and regional games in all five classes, WHOU will also likely stream some Class AA quarterfinal games because the NFHS coverage involves games at the major venues and the AA quarterfinals are held at the home courts of the higher seeded teams.

It is the only class that doesn’t play its quarterfinals at a major venue.

There are subscription fees for WHOU and the NFHS but not MPBN.

It costs $10 a month to subscribe to WHOU and $11.99 to NFHS.

WHOU and the Maine Principals Association concluded a three-year contract agreement last year and then signed another three-year deal.

“We are delighted (about the contract),” said Mike Burnham, the executive director of the Maine Principals Association. “They are a very well-run company. They do an outstanding job.”

Burnham also said he is pleased to continue with the longtime arrangement with MPBN and with the addition of NFHS several years ago.

“Our entire crew worked extremely hard to be able to cover everything we can and we’re all really excited to be able to cover teams we’ve been covering all year,” said Fred Grant, the owner and chief executive officer for North Maine Media Inc., the parent company of WHOU (100.1 FM in Houlton).

“It means a lot to us to be able to bring this to the basketball fans. We would be devastated if we couldn’t,” said Grant, who estimated that WHOU carried 800 events this winter including regular season basketball and hockey games, cheerleading and music festivals.

His company pays the MPA for the rights to broadcast games but he wouldn’t disclose the financial terms of the agreement.

Both entities also offer a variety of other sports in addition to basketball throughout the year.

Grant said WHOU produces and provides the equipment and on-air talent for most of the NFHS broadcasts although “(NFHS) has someone else who handles the games in the Augusta area.”

Before the eight-team tournament quarterfinals begin, there are preliminary round games to fill those eight spots for teams that don’t finish high enough in the Heal Points standings to receive preliminary round byes.

“We will probably cover some of those preliminary round games,” said Grant.

Preliminary round games in Classes A, B, C and D will be played on Feb. 13-15 although teams can play earlier if there is mutual consent between the schools.

There are no preliminary round games in AA because the two girls and two boys divisions (North and South) don’t have more than eight teams in them.

There are eight teams in Class AA girls South but seven in all of the other three.

The AA quarterfinals are on Feb. 16-17 but could be played earlier if the schools involved agree upon it.

The regional tournaments run from Feb. 16-24.

The AA North and South semifinals and finals are at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland; Class A and B South hold their tournaments at the Portland Expo; the North A and South C and D events are at the Augusta Civic Center and the North B, C and D tourneys are at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The state championship games in Class B will be held at the Cross Insurance Center on Friday March 1. The others will be held on Saturday, March 2 with the A and AA games being held at the Cross Insurance Arena and the C and D finals being played at the Augusta Civic Center.

MPBN will not only televise the state games live on its MPBN channel and its Maine Public’s World Channel, it will also replay the games the next day on TV and online.

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