For the third straight year, Midcoast high school student-athletes are ready for their senior moment and their final day in — make that on — court.

That, of course, means the area's most talent and experienced high school basketball players will get one final opportunity to showcase their talents.

Forty student-athletes from nine area high schools will be invited to participate in the third annual Courier Publications/VillageSoup Midcoast High School Senior Basketball Showcase on Saturday, March 24 at Camden Hills Regional High School.

The first two showcases were held at Oceanside and Medomak Valley high schools.

Again this year, student-athletes from Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties will have a day and venue to showcase their impressive court talents one final time for family, friends and fans.

There will be a girls game at 6 p.m. and boys contest at 7:30 p.m.

Unlike the first two years, there is no cost to attend this year's event; however, donations will be appreciated and accepted to help raise as much money as possible.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the participating schools' athletic departments and used for a variety of sports program needs.

Senior basketball players from Medomak Valley, Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston, Camden Hills of Rockport, Belfast, Mount View of Thorndike, Searsport, Islesboro, North Haven and Vinalhaven will be invited to participate in the games.

The games will include 20 girls and 20 boys playing in separate court affairs. And, as an added twist, players selected from the same school, who normally are teammates, may be placed on separate teams and pitted against one another for this event.

Area coaches and athletic directors, among others, are invited to coach teams for the games.

The players are selected by the Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports staff after consultation with area coaches.

After a pool of 20 boys and 20 girls are selected from the seniors on all the teams in the area, Ken Waltz and Mark Haskell of Courier Publications/VillageSoup draft "their" squads, as they did in the first two years of the event. Thus, there again will be two Waltz teams and two Haskell teams.

The White teams, the hosts, will represent Waltz and the Blue, Haskell's visitors.

The players will be announced in the coming weeks.

There also will be 3-point shooting contests at halftime of each game.

Players invited to participate in the event will be notified with a formal letter to their schools in early March. Players also will practice with their teammates and coach at the event site the morning of the games.

A printed program that includes photos of all the players, coaches and officials, along with statistical and other information, will be available at the games and appear inside the March 22 editions of The Courier-Gazette, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal newspapers.

The games are more information but there is sure to be plenty of exciting action as players from all four Maine Principals' Association classes — A, B, C and D — play together and against one another.

The games always include a bundle of electrifying passes, 3-pointers and slam dunks. And lots and lots of points.

The boys game usually includes about 175 to 200 combined points by the teams.

Structure often is thrown out the window, for the most part, and the gymnasium becomes another driveway or playground court for fun-filled, pickup games.

Every player appears to walk off the court, after representing their schools for the final time, with smiles on their faces, and perhaps new friendships and new found respect for other area hoopsters.

The games are extended to four 10-minute quarters to get players more court time (official high school games are eight-minute quarters).

Additional information on the event will appear in the future.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.