The light which was once a glimmer at the end of the tunnel is now as wide as the eyes can see, as the 2009-10 high school basketball season is only one game from its completion.

And for the second straight year, it is the Windjammers of Camden Hills who have emerged from the fray and will represent Eastern Class B in the  state championship game, set Friday, Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. at the Bangor Auditorium.

Standing between the Windjammers and their second straight state crown are the Yachtsmen of Falmouth, who defeated last year’s regional champion Cape Elizabeth for the right to advance to this year’s state final.

The following is a synopsis of Friday’s night’s state championship showdown:

Who: Western Class B titlist Falmouth (20-1) versus Eastern Class B champion Camden Hills (20-2).

What: State Class B basketball championship.

Where: Bangor Auditorium.

When: 9 p.m.

How They Got Here: The Yachtsmen were 17-0 heading into the final game of the regular season before suffering their first loss to Cape Elizabeth, the defending Western Class B champions. Falmouth entered the Western Class B playoffs No. 2 and defeated No. 7 York 59-49 and undefeated No. 3 Mountain Valley of Rumford 67-37 before taking the Western B crown from the top-seeded Capers 53-40 Feb. 20.

The Windjammers stumbled at home in their regular-season finale against Rockland, but now appear to be back in typical postseason form as Camden Hills is hitting its stride with the state championship game on the horizon. After avenging one of their two losses on the season by defeating Mount View of Thorndike in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game, the No. 1 Windjammers defeated No. 9 Mount Desert Island 54-39 in the quarterfinals, emerged victorious over No. 5 Medomak Valley 69-48 in the semifinals and sailed past No. 2 Ellsworth 82-49 to clinch the Eastern B title.

Projected starters, Camden Hills: Keegan Pieri (6-foot-6-inch guard, 10-point average in regional playoffs), Jimmy Weferling (5-11 guard, 3-point average in playoffs), Will Vlautin (6-foot guard, 5-point average in playoffs), Cameron Gartley (6-3 guard, 4-point average in playoffs) and Tyler McFarland (6-6 center, 19-point average in playoffs). Joel Gabriele (strong 3-point threat), Zack Wincklhofer and Casey Scott also are key players.

Projected starters, Falmouth: Stefano Mancini (6-2 guard, 25-point average in playoffs), Ryan Rogers (6-1 guard, 11-point average in playoffs), Sam Horning (6-4 forward, 8-point average in playoffs), Jahrel Registe (6-2 forward, 3-point average in playoffs) and John Roberts (6-7 center, 9-point average in playoffs).

Outlook: While there were many other talented teams throughout Class B this season, the Windjammers and Yachtsmen were the favorites from the East and West at the beginning of the year and will now face off for the state’s most prestigious crown. Camden Hills will be looking for their sixth state title in 12 years (seventh overall in school history), while Falmouth is competing for its first state Class B title. The Yachtsmen last won a boys state basketball title in 1999, when they competed in Class C.

The two teams also feature veteran coaches in Camden Hills’ 28th year coach Jeff Hart and Falmouth’s 23rd-year coach Dave Halligan. Hart has won five state titles with the Windjammers, while Halligan won three straight with the Yachtsmen in Class C between 1997 and 1999.

For the Windjammers, no one plays bigger than McFarland. At 6-6, he can not only bang bodies in the paint and battle for rebounds and second-chance opportunities with the best of them, but can also play away from the basket and has a strong jump shot that he uses from both inside and outside. He also has been known to stick a 3-pointer on occasion. Also at 6-6, Pieri can handle the ball at the point-guard position and can also play down low with McFarland as a power forward, making Camden Hills incredibly versatile and tough to game-plan against.

For the Yachtsmen, Mancini runs the show. He netted 28 points in their semifinal blowout win over Mountain Valley, and scored 24 points in both their quarterfinal win over York and the regional final over Cape Elizabeth. He has the ability to slash to the basket and can shoot from literally anywhere on the court, as evidenced by his 12 3-pointers thus far in the postseason. Falmouth also has the size to rival Camden Hills, with Roberts (6-7), Jack Cooleen (6-5) and Horning (6-4) in the mix.

VillageSoup Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at