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WIZ Words: Head'n Down The Homestretch (Plus WIZ Top 10 Team)

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 21st, 2008

WIZ Words: Head'n Down The Homestretch (Plus WIZ Top 10 Team)
by The WIZ

Wow folks the season is flying by. Do you realize that there are only 3 weeks left in regular season play? Teams are beyond the halfway point and they are just now starting to head down the homestretch. In a way it is like the Kentucky Derby as they turn that last corner and you have a bunch of great horses that battle it out down the homestretch. In Maine H.S. basketball its all about making the post season tournament and then a brand new season starts. We know that the top 4 or 5 teams in each class East and West are in but these next 3 weeks there are huge games coming which will decide whos in and whos not in. This is going to get very exciting.

The Prelim games will be played on Tuesday 2/12 and Wednesday 2/13 and the Quarter-Finals will start on 2/15. We will have to keep an eye on the Heal Points the next 3 weeks to see who makes it and who doesnt make it.

In Eastern Class A there are 16 teams and 11 will make the post season play with 5 teams drawing a bye and 6 teams playing a prelim game.

In Class A West there are 16 teams and the same holds here as well with 11 teams playing in post season play. 5 teams get a bye and 6 teams will play a prelim game.

In Class B East there are a whopping 22 teams. 15 will make post season play with the top team drawing a bye and 14 teams playing a prelim game to qualify for the Quarter-Final games.

In Class B West there are 16 teams and 10 will go on to post season play with 6 teams drawing a bye and 4 teams playing a Prelim game.

In Class C East there are 18 teams with the top 11 teams making it with 5 teams drawing a bye and 6 teams playing a Prelim game.

In Class C West there are 23 teams. 14 teams will make the post season play with 2 teams drawing a bye and 14 teams will fight it out with a Prelim game to try and make the Quarter-Final games.

In Class D East there are 22 teams this year. 15 teams will make post season play with the # 1 top team drawing a bye and 14 teams will battle-it-out to qualify for the Quarter-Finals.

In Class D West there are 15 teams and the top 9 teams will continue on to post season play with the top 7 teams drawing a bye and # 8 and # 9 will play a prelim game to see who earns the right to move on to the Quarter-Finals.

Over the next 3 weeks there are so many huge games coming to many to list but as I already said this is going to get very exciting. As we head down the homestretch this is when teams really want to start putting it all together. Teams want to start to run on all cylinders as they battle it out for top seeds and get their teams fine-tuned for tourney time.

Undefeated teams this week drops from 9 teams to 8 teams with Deer Isle dropping off with their first loss to Lee Academy.

Undefeated Teams:


Big Games this week:

Monday 1/21:

Scarborough at Portland
Westbrook at Cheverus
Bangor at Lawrence
Maranacook at Lincoln
Mattanawcook at John Bapst
MDI at Presque Isle
Dexter at Orono
Ashland at Easton

Tuesday 1/22:

South Portland at Kennebunk
Thornton at Bonny Eagle
Richmond at Valley
Old Town at Mattanawcook
Rockland at Gardiner
Lee at Calais
Winthrop at Mountain Valley (make-up game)

Wednesday 1/23:

Deering at Cheverus (make-up game)
Hyde at Gould
Fort Kent at Caribou

Thursday 1/24:

Yarmouth at Waynflete
Narraguagus at Calais
Stearns at Dexter

Friday 1/25:

Biddeford at Deering
Cheverus at South Portland
Kennebunk at Thornton
Portland at Westbrook
Dirigo at Winthrop
Traip at Cape
Lewiston at Lawrence
Morse at Messalonskeer
Mt. Ararat at Hampden
Belfast at Rockland
Washinton Acad. at Woodland

Saturday 1/26:

Greely at Freeport
York at Traip
Calais at Hyde
Lee at Schenck

As we head into this weeks WIZ Top 10 Teams there are no changes as WIZ Top 10 teams did not lose a game. Amazing! But I guarantee there will be changes next week. Teams knocking on the door has a couple of changes with the red hot Cougars of Mt. Blue coming back in and making their bid to get back into The WIZ Top 10. The Cougars who lost their first two games of the season are now 9-1 since then with their only loss was to # 1 Bangor. Coach Bessy has the young team playing very well.

Also the Mattanawcook Lynx are on fire as they have won 4 straight including a big win over Lee Academy this past week. This week they are 13 teams listed as knocking on the door but there are about a dozen other teams that are right behind those teams that are right there also. Just too many to list but this whole thing will all play out in the next few weeks.
Action is going to get fast and furious. Who is going to step up and who is going to step out?

WIZ Top 10 Teams- Week # 7:

1.Bangor----12-0 Only one game this past week! Another Crusher! They crushed Lewiston 83-56! Two big games this week! First off to Lawrence! Bulldogs would love to pull off the upset! Then host the Red Hot Red Eddies of Edward Little! Wowzer! Eddies look for revenge! Can they get it!

2.Cheverus---11-0 Big game with Deering postponed! Beat a good Scarborough team 54-42! Stags 11-0! # 1 in the West! # 2 in the State! Next up a Monday night game! Host the Blazes of Westbrook! Then a Biggie! Host the Rams of Deering! A Wednesday Night Heavy Weight Match-Up! Then a Friday night Main Event! Across the bridge to South Portland! To take on the Red Hot! Red Riots! Big week for the Stags! Wow! Things are Heating-Up!

3.Maranacook--12-0 Black Bears Annihilate Mt. View 84-57! Crushed Medomak 77-43! Can anyone stop the Black Bears! Two games up this week! First off to Lincoln! Then home to play host to Winslow! Black Bears move to 14-0 Baby!

4.Winthrop---10-0 Ramblers big game with Mountain Valley Postponed! They had the week off! Two games up this week! And both are Huge! A Big Tuesday night in Rumford! As they take on the Falcons of Mountain Valley! Falcons want this game Bad! Then back home to take on the Cougars of Dirigo! Wowzer! We will find out how good the Ramblers really are this week!

5.Thornton---11-1 Golden Trojans two more wins! Crushed the Knights of Noble 65-31! Knocked down the Eagles of Windham 65-46! Big game up next! They head to Bonny Eagle! Scots are playing tough! Then back home to take on the Rams of Kennebunk! Can the Trojans move to 13-1! Will be interesting!

6.Camden----12-1 Windjammers back on track! Beat Gardiner 66-46! Took care of Mt. View 69-58! Only one game up this week! Play host to Waterville! Jammers move to 13-1!

7.Deering----9-2 Rams re-adjust without Parker Dodd! Big game with Cheverus postponed! Rams win a big one! They beat the Dogs of Portland! 59-50! Three games up this week! First off to Massabesic! Then the Big Make-Up! Off to Cheverus! Rams hope to pull the upset! Then host the scrappy Tigers of Biddeford! Big week for the Rams! Will they stay in the Top 10!

8.Calais-------10-0 The streak continues! 54-0! Wow! Blue Devils crushed Guagus! 85-53! Took care of the Shiretowners of Houlton 60-47! Big game up next! A Tuesday Night Main event! The Pandas of Lee Academy come to town! The streak is in jeopardy! Can the Devils continue! Then host Guagus! Then off to Hyde to face the Phoenix! Could be a very interesting week!

9.Edward Little--10-3 Red Eddies are Red Hot! They beat Brunswick 56-49! Took care of the Witches from Brewer! 55-42! One game up this week! Its Huge! A Friday Night Main Event! Eddies head to Bangor! Looking for Revenge! 3pt. loss in first match! Eddies havent lost since! 7 straight wins! Can the Eddies do it! Can they take down # 1!

10.South Portland--10-2! How about those Riots! They are real! Best season in years! They Annihilate Noble 85-45! Took care of a very good Bonny Eagle team 68-47! Off to Kennebunk up next! Then a real Biggie! A real Big Test! Another Friday Night Main Event! And its at South Portland! Beal Gym will be pack! The Undefeated Cheverus Stags come to town! This is gonna be a good one folks! Can the Riots take down the Stags! We shall find out!

Teams Knocking on the Door:

Cape Elizabeth----10-2
Presque Isle------11-2
Mtn. Valley-------10-1
Mt. Blue----------9-3
C. Aroostook------10-0

Til Next week: Fasten your seat belts folks! The ride is going to get Fast and Furious!


Portland stifles Scarborough

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 21st, 2008

Portland stifles Scarborough
By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

PORTLAND- The Portland Bulldogs boys' basketball team's season was at a crossroads when it took the court Monday afternoon against the up-and-coming Scarborough Red Storm.

Less than 48 hours after a painful loss at Deering and now without senior standout Justin Powell for the rest of the year, the Bulldogs needed to make a positive statement, get back in the win column and earn some Heal Points.

Did they ever.

Portland broke open a close game with an 18-6 run in the second period, added 23 more points in the third and cruised to a 59-43 victory over the Red Storm, thanks in large part to a season-high 22 points from junior Ed Bogdanovich.

"We moved the ball well and hit our open shots," Bogdanovich said. "It's a big win coming off the Deering game. We knew we had to win it. We didn't underestimate them."

"I'm very proud of the kids," Portland coach Joe Russo added. "They played very well. For three quarters, I think the kids really did a nice job executing the offense, playing good team defense, things we've been looking for. It was fun to coach for three quarters."

The Bulldogs suffered their fourth loss of the season Saturday night at Deering. Portland hadn't lost four games in the regular season in six years. The Bulldogs (who also lost in OT at Thornton Academy and to Cheverus and Windham in close games), needed a victory over a team ranked higher than them in the Western Class A Heal Points standings.

Scarborough is such a team. The Red Storm entered Monday's contest with a mark of 8-4 (which included a win at South Portland). Scarborough gave Cheverus a scare in a 54-42 home loss Saturday and hoped to build on that and beat Portland for the first time ever.

In the first period, Scarborough had ample opportunity to take control, but the Red Storm failed to do so and that eventually cost them.

Five different players scored for both teams in the first period. Three times the game was tied. Portland led twice and Scarborough took three leads, including an 11-8 advantage on a 3-pointer from junior Ian Philbrick and a rebound putback by senior Chris Bernard, but Bogdanovich hit a jumper late in the quarter to make it an 11-10 game after one.

Bogdanovich put his team up 12-11 with a layup early in the second. A jumper from Red Storm senior Logan Oliver gave the visitors their last lead, 13-12. Portland sophomore Koang Thok (coming off a huge game at Deering) then drained a 3-pointer for a 15-13 lead, but Scarborough senior Andy Pogar tied the contest with a layup.

The Bulldogs then went on an 11-0 run to seize control.

A Bogdanovich jumper put the hosts ahead to stay. Sophomore Joe Zukowski followed with a leaner and Bogdanovich hit another jumper for a 21-15 lead. With 1:54 to go in the first half, Thok drained a 3-pointer. With 31 seconds left, senior Nick Hellen converted a layup for a 26-15 advantage.

The Red Storm ended the run and a 3 minute, 52 second scoring drought when senior Chris Hughes made a layup with 13 seconds to go, but Portland senior Jake Longstaff drained a leaner as time expired, sending the Bulldogs to the locker room with a 28-17 lead.

"We were in a good spot, but as soon as they started pressuring us in the second quarter, we didn't respond," Red Storm coach Matt Townsend lamented. "We turned the ball over and didn't execute."

Portland quickly dashed any Scarborough comeback hopes in the third quarter.

Longstaff got things going with a jumper. After Hughes answered with a jumper for the Red Storm, Longstaff made another jump shot for a 32-19 lead. After Philbrick made one foul shot, Bulldogs' senior Anthony Passmore did the same, Bogdanovich scored on a rebound putback and Hellen converted a layup for a 37-20 advantage, just 1 minute, 20 seconds into the second half.

With Powell no longer on the team, Hellen had to step up his play and did so big-time against the Red Storm.

"I was really pleased with Nick Hellen tonight," Russo said. "He stepped in in Powell's absence. I thought he was awesome tonight. He and Dewayne (senior Albertie) will get some time. They're disappointed that (Powell's) not able to play. We know what we brought to the team. There's compassion there, but they're getting over it.

Scarborough got a point back on a Pogar free throw, but Longstaff (sitting on the floor after a steal) fed Bogdanovich for a layup and a 39-21 lead. After Pogar made a bank shot for the visitors, Bogdanovich hit a jumper, then took another pretty pass from Longstaff and scored a layup to push the lead to 20 points, 43-23. The Bulldogs would still lead by 20, 51-31, thanks to a last-second Passmore layup, at the end of the quarter.

"We really turned it on in the third quarter," Bogdanovich said. "It was a pretty close game at halftime and we didn't want to come out flat."

In the fourth, Portland led by as many as 22 points, 55-33, before the Red Storm rallied to within 14, 55-41, with 2:53 to go on a bank shot from senior Abe Snow. But two Bogdanovich layups, sandwiched around a layup by Oliver accounted for the 59-43 final score.

"We feel that Scarborough is a good team," Russo said. "They have a lot of seniors, good players. They needed a big win. We need big wins. We didn't take them lightly. We knew they'd come to play. When they tried to make a run they couldn't. That took the wind out of their sails."

Bogdanovich led all scorers with his 22 points. He also dominated on the boards and had several blocked shots. Longstaff added a dozen points, Thok had eight, Hellen and Zukowski scored six apiece, Passmore had three and senior Mike Harmon two.

"We're all coming together now," Bogdanovich said. "We just need to play like we did in the second and third quarters."

For Scarborough, Philbrick led the scoring parade with 12 points. Hughes added eight and Pogar had seven.

"We broke down in the second half," Townsend said. "There were a few bright spots, but not many. The nine seniors have never beaten a city school and now they'll have to beat them in the playoffs. We still have a chance."

The Red Storm (now 8-5 and fifth in the Western A Heals) are home against Massabesic Friday. Scarborough is still seeking a confidence-building victory against a powerhouse team and will get one more shot at such a win, Feb. 8 in the season finale at Thornton Academy.

"I'm a little scared now," Townsend said. "We need a big win over Thornton Academy. If we win the games we're supposed to win and beat TA, we should stay in the top five and avoid a prelim."

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, now 9-4 and ninth in Western A, have a series of huge tests upcoming, beginning with a game at Westbrook Friday. Portland then has two games versus South Portland, sandwiched around home battles against Deering and Cheverus.

"We have Westbrook, Deering one more time, Cheverus one more time, South Portland twice," Russo said. "Every game is big. The teams we're playing are either with us or ahead of us in the standings."

Cheverus stays perfect after nearly perfect start

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 21st, 2008

Cheverus stays perfect after nearly perfect start
By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

PORTLAND- It isn't often that a team can essentially have a win salted away before the first period comes to a close, but that's exactly what the Cheverus Stags accomplished Monday night at Keegan Gym.

The Stags stayed undefeated with a 68-45 victory over the Westbrook Blue Blazes, due mostly to a 20-0 run to start the contest.

Cheverus' smothering defense forced numerous turnovers which led to easy layups and when the Stags were forced to shoot from the outside, they buried those as well as they moved to 12-0 on the season.

"We came out strong," said Cheverus senior Mick DiStasio, who led all scorers with 20 points. "We were really intense. We've been winning, but we haven't been playing particularly well."

The Stags have vanquished all foes this year, but are now in the midst of a brutal regular season-ending stretch. Saturday, Cheverus held off upset-minded Scarborough 54-42.

Monday, the Stags welcomed a dangerous Westbrook squad which entered the contest 7-5.

The Blue Blazes never knew what hit them.

It took a minute and 36 seconds for the scoring parade to start as DiStasio got things going with a layup. With 4:40 left in the first period, Stags' sophomore Indiana Faithfull converted a layup. Twenty-six seconds later, senior Doug Alston did the same. With 3:52 to go, DiStasio had another layup. Nineteen seconds later, it was senior Alex Fraser's turn. With 2:11 left in the quarter, Alston scored on a finger roll. Junior Dan Foster then added a jump shot, Alston scored on a layup after a steal and when Fraser scored on a layup with 57.2 seconds to go in the first, the lead was a mindboggling 20-0.

"That's how we play," Cheverus coach Bob Brown said. "We want to play fast."

Westbrook finally got on the scoreboard with 40.8 seconds to go in the period when senior Kyle Sanborn made one of two free throws. Senior Stephen LeBel hit a bank shot with time winding down to make it a 20-3 Stags' lead after one.

"We felt that it would be a tough game with their size," DiStasio said. "We felt if we used our quickness, we could get to them and take over and we did."

While Cheverus scored almost exclusively on layups in the first period, it demonstrated that it could score from the perimeter in the second quarter.

Senior Chris Hendrix got things started with a layup. After the Blue Blazes answered on a jumper from Sanborn, Stags' junior Ian Barwise made a foul shot. Westbrook sophomore Dominic Borilli made two foul shots, but Cheverus junior Ian Schwartz canned a jumper and DiStasio followed with the first of his 3-pointers for a 28-7 advantage.

DiStasio (14 second quarter points) would hit three more 3-balls in the period and Barwise canned another, helping the Stags lead 46-20 at the break.

"This year, everyone is playing as a team," DiStasio said. "We're quick. We're faster than most starting lineups. We have more depth. Our intensity and depth will help us hopefully take it to the Gold Ball."

Westbrook got as close as 21 points, 50-29, when sophomore Nick Jobin made two free throws with 2:30 to play in the third period, but Alston made two foul shots and senior Peter Foley scored on a rebound putback, pushing the lead back to 25, 54-29. It was 54-30 at period's end.

In the fourth, Westbrook cut the deficit to 20 points, 54-34, but the Stags never let the visitors enjoy anything resembling a run and put the finishing touches on their emphatic 68-45 triumph.

"Once you get a lead like that, it's tough to maintain," Brown said. "I thought we played very well in the first half. In the second half, they played better and we played worse."

DiStasio led with 20 points, but Cheverus actually had 11 different players merit inclusion in the scoring column. Alston finished with 10. Foley and Faithfull had eight apiece. Schwartz wound up with six. Barwise and Fraser had four, while Foster, Hendrix and junior Will White all had two points.

"I think we really don't drop off a lot when we go to the bench," Brown said. "The bench comes out there and speeds it up even more. They create havoc. We play pretty well together. We're playing better each game."

Westbrook (7-6 and seventh in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) was paced by 14 points from Sanborn and 10 from Borilli. The Blue Blazes return to action Friday when Portland comes calling.

The Stags (third in the Heals, behind Thornton Academy and Deering) host Deering Wednesday and go to South Portland Friday. Cheverus also has Deering again, South Portland again, Portland once more and also hosts Thornton Academy in a huge showdown Jan. 29.

"These next few games, we really need to step it up," DiStasio said. "Tonight, we showed if we play like a team, we can do good things.

"These next games will be a lot of fun. They won't be easy. We'll have to play our 'A' game every time we go out there. We have a big target on our backs and everyone wants to get us."

Deering pulls together, beats Portland 59-50

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 20th, 2008

Deering pulls together, beats Portland 59-50
By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

PORTLAND- The Deering Rams boys' basketball team has demonstrated an impressive knack of overcoming adversity this season, but what the Rams accomplished Saturday night on their home floor was their finest hour to date.

The squad is already without injured junior Regan Flaherty for the season. Saturday, senior Tim Conley was in street clothes and this past week, junior Parker Dodd left the team.

Instead of using the absences as an excuse, Deering put forth a tremendous effort against rival Portland, leading almost the whole way and cruising to a 59-50 victory behind 20 points from junior sharpshooter Ronald Abwoch and 17 apiece from senior standout Tim Donovan and junior star-in-the-making Khadar Abbas.

"It feels good," Abbas said. "We worked hard as a team. We never stopped playing hard. This is the best game we've had. We played hard all game and never let down."

"We're lucky to steal one early, the first time we played them," added Rams' coach Dan LeGage.

Deering entered the season a question mark. Donovan's availability was uncertain and the Rams had a dramatically different roster from a year ago, meaning a lot of players had to get used to new roles.

Donovan got clearance to play and Deering won its first six games before a thrilling one-point, overtime loss at Thornton Academy. After a home win over Noble, the Rams were shocked at Bonny Eagle. Deering bounced back with a win over Kennebunk, giving it an 8-2 mark prior to Saturday's showdown.

Portland, meanwhile, was viewed as the favorite entering the winter, but the Bulldogs have struggled to hit their stride. Senior Justin Powell was in the lineup only sporadically and Saturday it was revealed that he is no longer on the team. Portland opened the season with an overtime loss at Thornton Academy. The Bulldogs also stumbled at Cheverus and Windham, but had won five straight before meeting their match.

Prior to tipoff, with his family on hand, late Deering statistician Ernie Harmon was honored as a chair was dedicated in his memory.

Deering junior Andrea Rogers delivered a rousing version of the National Anthem and it was showtime.

The visitors took a quick 2-0 lead when senior Anthony Passmore scored on a layup off the opening tip. Donovan put his team up 3-2 with an old-fashioned three-point play, but the Bulldogs answered when senior Mike Harmon made a pair of free throws.

Portland would never lead again.

With 6:10 to go in the first, Abbas hit a long jumper ad Deering was up to stay, 5-4. Abwoch followed with two free throws and a layup after a steal, then Donovan converted a reverse layup for an 11-4 advantage.

The Bulldogs got back to 11-8 on a layup from junior Ed Bogdanovich and two free throws from emerging sophomore star Koang Thok, but Donovan answered with a 3-pointer to make it 14-8.

Thok hit a 3-pointer at the other end, but Donovan converted an old-fashioned three-point play for a 17-11 lead. Portland senior Dewayne Albertie got one back with a foul shot, but Abwoch buried a jumper. In the final minute, Bulldogs' sophomore Walter Stover hit a 3-ball, ending a frenetic period which saw Deering lead 19-15.

The second quarter was vastly different.

Forty-five seconds in, Abwoch hit a long jumper for a 21-15 lead. Bogdanovich and Abwoch then traded hoops, giving the Rams a 23-17 edge. Portland then came to life, pulling within two on a 3-ball from Thok and a free throw from Bogdanovich. With 1:48 to play before halftime, Deering got its first points in nearly three minutes as senior Chris Smith made a free throw.

That would be it for first half scoring and the Rams went to the locker room clinging to a 24-21 lead.

While Portland imposed its will in the second period, Deering seized command in the third.

Just 11 seconds into the period, senior Guilluame Ramonas scored on a reverse layup. Stover answered with a 3-ball, but Donovan hit a jumper (his first points since the first quarter), Abbas made a layup and Abwoch did the same for a 32-24 advantage.

Stover momentarily stemmed the tide with another 3-pointer, but Abbas made back-to-back 3's for a 38-27 lead.

"I was confident," Abbas said. "I was keeping my composure. I was wide open. I just had to stay calm."

Sophomore Joe Zukowski hit a jumper in the lane for Portland, but Abbas scored on a rebound putback to restore the Rams' advantage to 11, 40-29. Passmore made one of two free throws for the Bulldogs, but Abwoch made a free throw, then hit a jumper to make it 43-30.

Thok got five points back with a pair of foul shots and a 3-ball, cutting the deficit to eight, 43-35, but with time winding down in the quarter, Abwoch was fouled while attempting a 3 and was awarded three foul shots. He sank them all and Deering led 46-35 heading for the fourth.

"We ran a little play at the end of the quarter and that drew a foul," LeGage said. "Ronald's coming along. He was in a different role tonight. He handled the ball more than we asked him to in the past. He's matured to be able to handle that. The other guys fed off that."

"We had a tremendous second quarter and we tried to build on that, but they came out and played a much better third quarter," Portland coach Joe Russo said. "We thought we could press them, but they hit those 3s. That's it in a nutshell. The dagger was right at the end of the third quarter when we fouled on the 3-pointer."

Harmon opened the fourth with a layup making it 46-37, but the Bulldogs would get no closer. Another Abbas 3-pointer pushed the lead to 12. After Harmon made two free throws, Ramonas scored on a layup. Senior Jake Longstaff made two free throws for Portland, but Abbas scored on a rebound putback and Donovan made a layup for a 55-41 lead.

"We talked about not letting (the Bulldogs) get their engine going," LeGage said. "They're very talented. When they get it cranked up, they're tough to stop. We talked about not letting up consecutive baskets. We played a mix of a zone and man to keep them off balance, but they still made shots and never gave up."

Albertie hit a layup at the other end for the visitors, but Donovan answered with one of his own. After Thok made a layup for Portland, Abwoch made two free throws for Deering's final points. Thok accounted for the 59-50 final score with a floater and 3-pointer in the waning seconds.

"We hit some shots," LeGage said. "The guys played good defense and rebounded. Guys like Ramonas, (sophomore Ed) Tirabassi and Chris Smith played well on the boards. When they missed, we were aggressive on the glass. We controlled it more in the third quarter. We handled their pressure and found some guys who were open. Abbas hit some shots. Ronald hit shots and Kyle did his role. We made them miss and boxed out."

In addition to the 54 combined points from Abbas, Abwoch and Donovan, Deering got four points from Ramonas and one from Smith.

"Ramonas doesn't play a lot, but he was ready," LeGage said. "I have to give him credit. He's been quiet and works hard. He was ready and produced.

"I think we have a good senior group. They're good kids first. They're all top-notch students. They've been brought up the right way. They know what needs to be done. Kyle, Chris and Timmy are the last links to the championship team. They know what they need to say to the underclassmen. They're patient and encouraging."

Portland was led by a breakout 20 points from Thok. Stover finished with nine. Harmon had six. Bogdanovich added five. Albertie and Passmore both had three and Longstaff and Zukowski had two apiece.

"We worked hard, but when you dig from behind all game, you have to get a rhythm going," Russo said. "When you miss shots, it's hard to get a rhythm.

"Deering played well. They shot really well. They had to shoot against our zone and they hit them.

"We didn't shoot well from the foul line and we had too many turnovers. Turnovers don't help. Maybe now, we'll figure out how to buckle down."

The Bulldogs (now 8-4 and eighth in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) are back in action Monday when they host dangerous Scarborough (4 p.m. tip time at the Expo). Portland is at Westbrook Friday, then closes the regular season with two games versus South Portland, sandwiched around showdowns at home versus Cheverus and Deering.

"Scarborough's no picnic and Westbrook's no picnic," Russo said. "We get these guys again. It's good that everyone's playing well. We have to decide if we're going to do it or we're not."

The Rams (9-2 and second in Western A) also return to the court Monday when they go to Massabesic. Deering has another huge test upcoming Wednesday, when it goes to Cheverus.

"I hope we can keep it up," Abbas said. "We have some big games coming up. We want a high seed for the playoffs."

It's a work in progress," LeGage added. "This is a good one, but we have to come back Monday and keep taking steps forward. It doesn't get any easier for us. All the teams are so balanced in the league. It's so wide open. South Portland, Cheverus and TA are leading the way. We're in the same boat as Portland. It'll be interesting."

In case you're wondering the Deering-Portland rematch is Feb. 1 at the Expo.

"Hopefully we can beat them again next time," said Abbas.

"We're happy with the win, but we know that Portland will be ready next time," LeGage added.

Red Hot Red Riots Over Bonny Eagle Scots 68-47

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 18th, 2008

Red Hot Red Riots Over Bonny Eagle Scots 68-47
By The WIZ

This was a very interesting game at Beal Gymnasium in South Portland tonight. Everyone knows that Bonny Eagle is short-handed with injuries but the Scots have been playing very well. Coach Rick Simonds has his Scots scrapping and playing very good basketball but the Red Riots of South Portland were too much tonight.

In the 1st qurarter the Scots played right with the Riots. The first few minutes it was the Keegan Hyland/ John Onesti show has Hyland scores 9 straight points and Onesti scores 6 straight points as the Riots lead 9-6 with 3:20 to play in the first period. Jon Onesti was very impressive tonight as he scored 9 of his game high 24pts. in the first period to keep the Scots close but the Riots held a 2pt. lead after one period 16-14.

The story of this game was in the 2nd period as the Riots Will Furbush scored 11 of his 20pts. in the 2nd and Hyland added 5, Matt Lee a 3 Nick Wright two deuces as the Riots outscored the Scots 25-8 to take a halftime lead of 19pts. 41-22.

In the 3rd and 4th periods teams played pretty even as both teams put up 14 points apiece in the 3rd and the Riots out scored the Scots 13-11 in the final period as the Riots come away with the win 68-47.

Bonny Eagles John Onesti was everywhere tonight. This kid can play. He is a rebounding machine, plays a very tough defense and he can put the ball in the hoop. Also Nate Doehler is a tremendous athlete who can play the game of basketball.

The Riots Hyland and Furbush really Lit-It-Up tonight. Furbush had 20 and Hyland had 18 points. Furbush had 18 of his 20 in the first half and Hyland had 14 of his 18 points in the first half. South Portlands Nick Wright is looking better every game. The very athletic senior had 13pts and sophomore Matt Lee also playing very well had 6pts. to help in the cause.

With the win the Riots improve to 10-2 and the Bonny Eagle Scots now stand at 6-6.

Scoring in tonights game were:

Bonny Eagle:


South Portland:



Yarmouth magic continues with win at Falmouth

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 18th, 2008

Yarmouth magic continues with win at Falmouth
By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

FALMOUTH- Just when it looked as if the improbable, dreamlike run of the Yarmouth boys' basketball team had slowed a bit, the Clippers pulled yet another tremendous, inspirational win out of their hats.

Friday evening, Yarmouth not only improved to 11-1 with a 63-56 victory at Falmouth, but the Clippers made history in the process, sweeping a season series from the Yachtsmen for the first time in memory.

One week after its lone loss of the year (at Cape Elizabeth), Yarmouth took the lead in the second quarter and held on for dear life down the stretch, thanks to tenacious defense, opportunistic offense and the brilliance of junior sharpshooter Johnny Murphy, who led all scorers with 30 points.

"These guys do something every night to make me question what's next," Clippers' coach Adam Smith said. "I'm so thrilled to watch their maturity, growth and continued effort even though we're down a couple bodies. These guys just keep coming. They don't back down and they don't let anything frustrate them. I'm so fortunate to be able to watch this take place. It's been a great atmosphere for us."

Back on Dec. 14, Yarmouth made the key plays late to hold on for a 42-36 home win over Falmouth, the Clippers' first victory over the Yachtsmen in Yarmouth in many moons. That was just part of the team's amazing start. Despite losing senior standout Joe Dilworth to a broken hand, the Clippers found a way to eke out dramatic home wins over Greely and Freeport en route to a 9-0 start. Yarmouth finally came back to earth last Friday at Cape Elizabeth, but rebounded with a home win over Poland Tuesday, then made a major statement Friday night at a Falmouth team which had won seven games in a row.

The game started relatively slowly, but Yachtsmen sophomore star Stefano Mancini finally got things going by hitting back-to-back jump shots for a 4-0 lead. With 5:06 to go in the first, Yarmouth got on the board courtesy of a Murphy jumper.

He would make many, many more.

Clippers' senior Ben Groves tied the game with a layup and Murphy followed with a jumper for a 6-4 lead. Falmouth answered when sophomore Sam Horning and senior Michael Doyle converted layups, but Yarmouth sophomore Evan Henry answered with a layup to make it 8-8. After Yachtsmen senior captain Kevin Smith made a pair of foul shots, the Clippers retook the lead when Murphy canned a 3-pointer, which rolled around the rim before finally dropping. Falmouth sophomore Jahrel Registe answered with a rebound layup and it was 12-11 Yachtsmen after one.

A Groves layup after a steal put Yarmouth back on top early in the second period, but Horning countered with a layup. After Clippers' senior Joe Laverriere made a layup, Doyle hit a foul shot, then made a layup to give his team a 17-15 lead. Yarmouth tied the game on a layup from senior Jack Champlin, but with 4:21 to play in the half, Smith made a layup to give Falmouth a 19-17 advantage.

It would prove to be the Yachtsmen's final lead.

Twenty seconds later, Murphy canned a 3-ball, then he hit a jump shot for a 22-19 lead. As the pace picked up, Horning made a layup, Murphy answered with a jump shot and Doyle made a layup, but Henry and Laverriere did the same for a 28-23 Clippers' lead with 1:38 left in the half. Falmouth got back within a point behind a bank shot from Smith and a layup from Doyle, but Murphy's jumper with 4.2 seconds to go before halftime sent the Clippers into the break with a 30-27 advantage.

In the first half, Yarmouth scored 18 points on 11 Yachtsmen turnovers. Falmouth, conversely, scored layups on nine of its 12 field goals.

The Clippers slowly extended their lead in the third period. After Smith got the Yachtsmen within a point with a layup early in the third, Yarmouth senior point guard extraordinaire Lucas Denning made two free throws. Horning answered with a layup, but Groves hit a runner and Murphy converted a layup to make it 36-31. Doyle answered with a layup for Falmouth, but Champlin made a floater, Murphy scored on a fast break layup, hit a floater, then Groves made a layup with 1:44 left in the period for a seemingly commanding 44-33 lead.

With 1:30 to go in the third, Falmouth junior Jack Wyman made a 3-pointer, but Groves answered with a rebound putback at the other end. With 19.3 seconds left, Yachtsmen senior Rudy Babikian made a 3-pointer and the hosts were only down seven, 46-39, heading for the fourth.

In the final stanza, Mancini got things going with a jump shot (his first points in 25 minutes and 59 seconds). Mancini was getting good looks, but was just missing shots he normally buries.

Murphy pushed the lead back to seven, 48-41, on a layup after a steal, but Smith scored on a layup and Wyman hit another 3-ball with 5:55 to play, cutting Yarmouth's lead to a precarious 48-46.

The Clippers answered the bell.

Murphy scored on a jumper. After a couple defensive stops, Henry made a layup and the lead was back up to six, 52-46. After Smith canned a jumper for Falmouth, Murphy scored on a layup after a steal with 2:45 left, and the Clippers were up 54-48. Smith got one of two free throws at the other end, but a huge sequence followed on Yarmouth's ensuing possession.

The Clippers broke the press and found senior Robb Arndt alone in the right corner. Arndt, who hadn't scored until the point, calmly buried a 3-pointer for a 57-49 lead.

"He's a senior," Falmouth coach Dave Halligan said, of Arndt. "He stepped up and made a big shot. That's usually what happens."

The Yachtsmen came right back and got a 3-ball from Smith, but Yarmouth came up huge at the other end. Arndt got free for another 3-point bid, but it rattled off the rim. Henry was in the right place at the right time, however, corralled the rebound and fed Denning, who was fouled. He made both free throws with 1:27 left and the lead was back to seven, 59-52.

With 1:06 to play, Murphy was fouled and made free throw. Smith answered with a layup with 41.7 seconds to go, but with 33.9 seconds showing, Denning calmly buried two more foul shots for a 62-54 lead. Doyle got a layup 15 seconds later, but Murphy made one of two free throws with 13.8 seconds remaining and Yarmouth was able to celebrate its exhilarating 63-56 win.

"(Yarmouth's) an aggressive, veteran team," Halligan said. "I think the difference was that it was a good veteran team against a growing younger team. We made mistakes. The mistakes we made, I think we can sort out in practice."

The Clippers got it done by playing their style most of the night.

"We love to press and run," Smith said. "The game was pretty high scoring. Neither team ran a lot in the second half. It was pretty physical halfcourt defense and offense. We wanted to shut down their outside game. Smith kept them in it. He played well. Defensively, I thought we defended their guards well."

Murphy led all scorers with 30 points, a career high for a countable game (he had 35 points against Marshwood in the recent Maine Mall Holiday Tournament).

"He took a couple shots I was hoping he wouldn't take, but he has the green light and he takes advantage," Smith said, of his top scorer. "He wants the ball at crunch time."

"This is a great win," Murphy added. "As the season has gone on, I've gotten better at forgetting shots I missed."

Yarmouth also got eight points from both Groves and Henry, six from Denning, four apiece from Champlin and Laverriere, and the enormous three from Arndt.

The Yachtsmen were paced by 18 points from Smith, who made a series of huge shots in the final period. Doyle added 13 and Horning finished with eight.

Manicini, who almost single-handedly rallied Falmouth past Freeport in a recent epic, finished 0-for-9 from 3-point range and had six points.

"Their shooter was on and our shooter wasn't," Halligan lamented. "They did a good job defensively on him. He missed shots, but he's a shooter. I don't get upset if he misses a shot, only if he takes bad one. If he made a couple of those it would have been a different ballgame."

Wyman also had a half-dozen points, Babikian had three and Registe finished with two.

Falmouth (now 8-4 and sixth in the Western Class B Heal Points standings) has a week off for midterm exams, then is home against St. Dom's next Friday. The Yachtsmen still have tough tests remaining with Greely and Cape Elizabeth and are hoping to finish strong.

"We want to be in the top six and go straight to the Expo for the tournament," Halligan said.

Yarmouth improved to 11-1 and is first in Western B, a place the Clippers truly didn't expect to be.

"I didn't dream we'd be this good," Murphy said. "It's a great surprise."

They could be even better by the time the tournament rolls around.

"This is just another step," Smith said. "We have six more games. We hope to get Joe back soon. He's more anxious than I am. I want to fit him into the puzzle."

"When he comes back, I'm so excited to see what happens," Murphy added. (Tonight) shows that we're all in it together and that we have each other's backs.

"We all work hard on defense and that picks everyone up and gets everyone excited. We're all good friends off the court. A tight group."

The Clippers (who go to Waynflete Thursday) are also very, very good and their magical ride continues, with no end in sight.

WIZ Words: Halfway There Halfway Where (Plus WIZ Top 10 Team)

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 13th, 2008

WIZ Words: Halfway There Halfway Where (Plus WIZ Top 10 Team)
By The WIZ

Wow folks we have hit the halfway point of the H.S. basketball season. Some teams are beyond it and some are just reaching it. Well we are halfway there but halfway to where?
We are halfway through the regular season games that will seed top teams for the season ending tournament. You know that big State Tournament that the MPA runs every year to determine a State Champion in all four classes. As we head into the second half of the season there are two teams Bangor and Cheverus that have been playing at a level above the rest but a lot of teams are just finding their stride and are starting to play some great basketball. Will they be able to catch the top teams at the end? We shall found out in a few short weeks.

In big games this past week involving top teams. Bangor and Cheverus won all three of their games. Thornton beat Scarborough and Westbrook but they suffered a loss to the Red Hot Red Riots of South Portland 52-49. South Portland is playing very well as of late. The Riots started the season at 5-0 then dropped two close games one to Deering then one to Scarborough. Both of those games were lost late in the game in which the game could have gone either way. The Riots bounced back this week winning 3 games over Westbrook, Windham and the huge win over # 3 Thornton. When the heal points come out this week South Portland will make a big jump in the standings and they make their first appearance in many years in The WIZ Top 10 this week. The Deering Rams lost to Bonny Eagle 57-54. The loss of point guard Parker Dodd is going to hurt the Rams tremendously. The Rams and Coach Dan Legage are going to have to make some adjustments and someone is going to have to step up if they are going to remain a top team in Western Class A.

In Eastern Class A the Eddies of Edward Little have won 5 straight since their 3pt. loss over # 1 Bangor 56-53. They had three wins this week and two over Mt. Ararat and Cony were huge and the Eddies will jump back into The WIZ Top 10 this week. There are many other dangerous teams in the East. Mt. Blue, Messalonskee. Lawrence, Cony, Lewiston, Mt. Ararat, Hampden, Skowhegan and Brunswick all can win on any night. Wow! Its going to be crazy in the 2nd half in the East!

In Class B East Maranacook stays perfect at 10-0 as they won their big game over Camden Hills 76-67 and the Black Bears will make a bit of a jump in the WIZ Top 10. Maranacook and Camden still remain the top two teams in the East.

In Class B West it is crazy in this league anyone of about 5 teams could be on top at the end of the season. The Yarmouth Clippers suffered their first loss to a Red Hot Cape Elizabeth Capers 71-50. Greely suffered a lost to the Freeport Falcons 58-51. Mountain Valley bounced back this week with a big win over Dirigo 47-35. The Falcons are now 8-1 on the season. And keep an eye on Falmouth to make a surge.

In Class C East Calais is the cream-of-the-crop and they won both of their big games this past week beating Washington Academy 79-58 and beating Hyde 57-42 to extend their winning streak to 52 straight wins. They just might run-the-table.

In Class C West Winthrop won three more games to improve their unblemished record to 10-0. Boothbay won 3 games this past week and they have won 6 straight since their loss to Winthrop. And is anyone paying attention to Traip? The Rangers are quietly at 8-0 and they have a couple of big games coming up. They have Greely this week and they have Cape the following week.

In Class D East where it is always crazy and always will be the Panthers of Central Aroostook won all 3 of their games this week and they remain perfect at 10-0 but come tourney time this field is wide open. Along with CA there is DIS, Easton, Woodland, Ft. Fairfield and Ashland who will all be gunning it out.

In Class D East the Richmond Bobcats are still winning even with out Marc Zaharchuk as the Bobcats are a perfect 10-0. Teams that could possibly upset the mix would be Valley Forest Hills or Rangeley.

Undefeated teams this week drop from 13 teams to 9 teams with Thornton, Camden Hills, Yarmouth and Dirigo falling out.

Undefeated teams:


Big Games this week:

Tuesday 1/15:

Gorham at Portland
Greely at Traip
Richmond at Rangeley
Edward Little at Brunswick
Hampden at Skowhegan
Gardiner at Camden Hills
Mattanawcook at Ellsworth
MDI at Bapst
Houlton at Stearns
Orono at Schenck
DIS at Lee

Wednesday 1/16:

Presque Isle at Fort Kent

Thursday 1/17:

Deering at Cheverus
Traip at Wells
Houlton at Schenck
Lee at Mattanawcook

Friday 1/18:

Bonny Eagle at South Portland
Cape at York
Yarmouth at Falmouth
Dirigo at Wiscasset
Waynflete at Greely
Winthrop at Mountain Valley
Forest Hills at Rangeley
Valley at Buckfield
Bangor at Lewiston
Hampden at Cony
Lawrence at Morse
Messalonskee at Brunswick
Maranacook at Medomak
Old Town at MDI
C.Aroostook at Ashland

Saturday 1/19:

Cheverus at Scarborough
Portland at Deering
Windham at Thornton
NYA at Freeport
Presque Isle at John Bapst
Calais at Houlton
Stearns at Fort Kent

As we move to this weeks WIZ Top 10 Teams there are quite a few changes. Thornton with a loss to South Portland drops from # 3 to # 5. Deering with the loss to Bonny Eagle drops from # 4 to # 7. Camden with the loss to Maranacook drops from # 5 to # 6. The Maranacook win brings them up to # 3. Winthrop moves up to # 4. The Yarmouth loss to Cape drops them out for now and Greely losing their second game also drops out for now. The Eddies of Edward Little with their big wins over Mt. Ararat and Cony jump back in the Top 10 at # 9 and the Red Hot Red Riots of South Portland make the Top 10 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season at # 10.

WIZ Top 10 Teams- Week # 6:

1.Bangor------11-0 The Rams are showing their weight! Theyre Ramming everyone! Cloppered Mt. Blue 65-35! Crushed Hampden 64-36! Annihilate Nokomis 92-48! Roger The Dodger has to be pleased! One game up this week! The Rams head to Lewiston! The Blue Devils would love to win this! But it wont happen! Rams move to 11-0!

2.Cheverus----10-0 Three more wins! And they werent close! Beat Marshwood 65-35! Showed the Redskins of Sanford how good they really are! 75-16! Wow! All bench too! Handled the Rams of Gorham 59-35! Is Brownie Happy! He has to be! Big game up next! The Deering Rams pay a visit! Then off to Scarborough! Stags go to 12-0!

3.Maranacook---10-0 They win the Big One! They Jammed the Jammers of Camden! 76-67! Crushed Rockland 79-62! Got a scare from Belfast! 50-44! Good teams find away to win! Two games up this week! Host to Mt. View! Then off to Medomak!

4.Winthrop----10-0 Just Rambling along this week! Beat Wiscasset 59-50! Crushed Madison 61-40! Annihilate Carrabec! 85-37! Sam I am! Having a great season! One game on tap this week! And it is Huge! They head to Mountain Valley! A Friday Night Main Event! Should be a great one folks! Who do you like! Ill take Winthrop!

5.Thornton-----9-1 Handled the Red Storm of Scarborough 58-44! Took care of the Blazes of Westbrook 73-52! Lost a tough one to South Portland 52-49! Golden Trojans are still very good though! They head to Noble up next! For an easy one! Then play host to the Eagles of Windham! This could be very interesting!

6.Camden Hills--10-1 The Jammers lose one! # 3 The Black Bears of Maranacook getem 76-57! Might be a good loss though! Rebound and beat Erskine 73-59! And crushed MCI 65-39! Two games up this week for the Windjammers! Host the Tigers of Gardiner! Then off to Mt. View!

7.Deering------8-2 Rams crushed the Knights of Noble! 82-37! They lose Dodd! They lose to Bonny Eagle! 57-54! Squeak one out over Kennebunk 54-49! They drop to # 7! Can the Rams stay in the Top 10! I dont think so! Two games up this week! And Both are Huge! First its off to Cheverus! Then host the Bulldogs of Portland! Tough week for Deering!

8.Calais--------8-0 52 Straight Wins for the Blue Devils! Wow! How long will it go! Two big games this past week! They win both! Beat WA! 79-58! Beat the Phoenix of Hyde 57-42! Off to Narraguagus up next! Then off to Houlton for a Biggie! Can they keep the streak going! I think so!

9.Edward Little---8-3! Eddies are on fire! 5 Straight wins! They crushed Leavitt! 80-43! Beat a very good Mt. Ararat team 59-48! Then beat an excellent Cony Rams team 61-48! Eddies back in the Top 10! Right where they belong! Two games up this week! Off to Brunswick! To try and Tame the Dragons! Then host the Witches of Brewer! Brwer will need a little witchcraft to beat the Eddies!

10.South Portland---8-2! Red Riots! Red Hot! 3 big wins this week! Beat Westbrook 57-50! Beat Windham 57-54! Knock off # 3 Thornton! 52-49! Welcome Riots! Its been a long time! But the Red Riots are real! And well deserved! Two game up for the Hot Riots! Off to Noble up first! Then host the very dangerous Scots of Bonny Eagle! Could be interesting! But I like the Riots in this one!

Teams Knocking on the Door:

Presque Isle--9-2
Mtn. Valley---8-1

Til Next Week: Halfway There! Halfway Where! Its gonna be very interesting folks!


Capers come back, crush Clippers

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 12th, 2008

Capers come back, crush Clippers
By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

CAPE ELIZABETH- When the starkissed Yarmouth Clippers boys' basketball team began Friday night's Western Class B showdown at Cape Elizabeth on an 11-0 run, it had to feel confident that win No. 10 in its dreamlike season was right around the corner.

Instead, the Clippers soon found themselves in a nightmare.

Cape Elizabeth roared back with a vengeance, seized the lead for good in the third period, then closed the game on an emphatic 28-8 run to win a foul-plagued game, 71-50.

It was Yarmouth's first loss against nine wins, while the Capers improved to 8-2 on the year.

"We gave it all we had right off," Clippers' coach Adam Smith said. "We just ran out of gas, patience, scorers and rebounders. We were a MASH unit out there tonight."

"It's definitely our biggest win so far," said Cape Elizabeth senior captain Tom Ray, son of Capers' coach Jim Ray. "I'm proud of the guys. We started off slow, but we never give up. That's something my dad always teaches us."

While Yarmouth has been stealing headlines this winter by winning games over tough league foes in heartstopping fashion, Cape Elizabeth has quietly put together a solid campaign of its own.

The Capers entered Friday night with just a pair of losses and those setbacks (at home versus Greely and at Freeport on a buzzer-beater) could have gone either way.

The Clippers (still playing without senior standout Joe Dilworth, out with a broken hand) entered the game on a high after Tuesday's stirring 50-48 home victory over Freeport. That win wasn't secured until senior Ben Groves hit a reverse layup with 0.9 seconds showing on the clock.

Friday's game, which started late since both the freshman and JV games went to overtime (the Clippers won both), was all Yarmouth in the early going. Cape Elizabeth turned the ball over on its first four possessions and the Clippers capitalized.

Yarmouth senior point guard Lucas Denning got things going with a 3-pointer. Junior sharpshooter Johnny Murphy followed with a jump shot, then buried a 3-pointer of his own. When Murphy canned another 3, the lead was 11-0 with 4:47 to play in the first period.

"(The Clippers) really get after it," Coach Ray said. "I built that up in practice. I said when I took a timeout, 'I don't know if I psyched you out because everything we talked about in practice, you forgot about.' I just let them work through it and they did. They played tough."

The hosts slowly climbed back into the game.

With 3:51 to go in the first, the Capers got in the scoring column when junior Alex Bowe hit a jump shot. After Yarmouth answered at the other end on a jumper from senior Robb Arndt, Cape Elizabeth senior Woody Tabery hit a foul shot and Bowe converted a rebound layup. A long jumper from Arndt put the Clippers up 15-5, but Ray made a free throw and sophomore Andrew Dickey scored on a rebound putback to make it 15-8 after one.

Cape Elizabeth sophomore Conor Moloney started the second quarter with a fastbreak layup, but Yarmouth senior Joe Laverriere answered with two free throws. A rebound layup and a free throw from Bowe pulled the Capers within four, 17-13, but Laverriere countered with a rebound layup to push the lead back to six, 19-13.

After Bowe hit a 3-ball, Laverriere made another layup, but Dickey responded with a 3-pointer and Ray hit a baseline jumper to tie the game at 21.

The Clippers took the lead back on a Murphy jump shot and a layup from Groves, but Capers' junior Johnny Messina answered with an old-fashioned three-point play. After Murphy canned another jump shot, Bowe drained a 3 to make it 27-27.

In the final minute, however, Yarmouth got a baseline jumper from Murphy (14 first half points) and a pair of free throws from Arndt, sandwiched around one foul shot by Ray, making it 31-28 Clippers at halftime.

"I think we knew at halftime that we had them, only being down three," Tom Ray said. "We practiced the run and jump. We were ready for it. We just came out a little rattled. First time really playing in front of a big crowd this year. We settled down and got the job done."

The third quarter began with Yarmouth pushing its lead back to six points, 34-28, on two Laverriere free throws and another by Murphy. Bowe answered with a long jump shot. Groves then made a free throw for a 35-30 lead, but moments after Laverriere fouled out, Dickey scored consecutive baskets to get the Capers within one, 35-34.

Twice more Cape Elizabeth would get within one (37-36 and 39-38) before finally taking the lead.

That happened with 3 minutes to play in the quarter when Dickey converted a three-point play for a 41-39 advantage.

The Capers wouldn't trail again.

With just under a minute to go, Messina hit a bank shot, making it 43-39. Murphy answered with a 3-pointer, then the pivotal moment in the game arrived.

With 1.1 seconds remaining, Ray was fouled by Murphy, who responded in frustration by bouncing the ball high off the floor. He was whistled for a technical foul and Ray calmly sank all four free throws for a 47-42 lead after three.

"When something like that happens it's a momentum changer," Jim Ray said.

Things promptly deteriorated in the fourth. For most of the quarter (most of the game really), it appeared as if the officials were being paid by the foul as play was stopped constantly.

The closest Yarmouth would get was five points (51-46 was the final time that happened). The Capers began pulling away and went up by 11, 59-48, when Ray hit a driving layup with 4:37 to go.

The Clippers only got two points the rest of the way and Cape Elizabeth capped its stirring comeback with a 28-8 run and a 71-50 victory.

"We went to the hole," Tom Ray said. "Everyone stepped up tonight and played big. We moved the ball well for the most part. We got the ball to our cutters and hit our foul shots at the end."

Ray led the Capers with 19 points. Bowe added 17 and Dickey had 14. Messina and Tabery both had seven points, while junior Conor Lawler contributed four points, Maloney had two and senior Ian Place had one.

"Woody had a huge game off the bench," Coach Ray said. "Conor Lawler had a huge game too and did some nice things. I thought we rebounded very well. My guys did a nice job."

The Clippers were paced by 23 points from Murphy. Laverriere had eight in his limited time on the court. Arndt and Denning both had six points. Groves had three points, while senior Jack Champlin and senior Peter Erickson both had two.

Yarmouth is back in action Tuesday when it hosts Poland. The Clippers then have their next huge test when they go to Falmouth next Friday. It's been a long, long, long time since Yarmouth swept the Yachtsmen, so emotions figure to be at a fever pitch for that one.

Look for the Clippers to bounce back.

"I could feel it slipping away a game or two ago," Smith said. "We won together and now we lost together. We'll continue to have a good season. Even if we lose a few more games before Joe gets back, we'll continue to work hard and stay together."

Cape Elizabeth hosts Wells Tuesday and goes to York next Friday. The Capers will now be the focus of everyone's attention.

"This gives us a lot of confidence, but we have to keep playing hard," Tom Ray said. "We can't have a letdown. The league's so balanced this year. We have to play hard all the time."

If you want to mark your calendar, Yarmouth will host Cape Elizabeth on Feb. 5.

"They'll be jacked up when we go to their place," Coach Ray said.

Big win for SP, tough loss for TA

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 12th, 2008

Big win for SP, tough loss for TA
By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

SOUTH PORTLAND- As Saturday afternoon's Western Class A showdown at Beal Gymnasium entered the fourth period, the visiting Thornton Academy Golden Trojans had to feel pretty good about their chances.

After all, Thornton Academy had already downed Portland and Deering in overtime and was 9-0 overall.

Host South Portland, meanwhile, had lost two similar games in the past 10 days and had yet to beat a top-notch opponent.

That all changed eight minutes later, as the Red Riots earned a statement victory, knocking the Golden Trojans from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 52-49 decision.

South Portland took the lead for good on a jumper from sophomore standout Keegan Hyland 45 seconds into the fourth and held on for dear life down the stretch, improving to 8-2 in the process.

"This is a big win for our program," Red Riots' first-year coach Phil Conley said. "Thornton Academy is well coached and is very good. We had to play our best to beat them."

"We play hard for four quarters all year long," countered Thornton Academy coach Bob Davies. "It was no different tonight. We just wound up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

"(South Portland's) a great basketball team. They shoot well and play hardnosed defense like we do. They hustle. It was a fun game to be involved in. We just came up a little short."

South Portland won its first five games this winter, then suffered home losses to Deering and Scarborough in contests that came down to the wire. The Red Riots bounced back with close wins at Windham and at home over Westbrook earlier this week and entered Saturday's game confident against a Golden Trojans team that had done everything right to date.

Hyland opened the scoring with a jump shot just 35 seconds into the contest. Thornton Academy answered on a layup by senior bruiser Kory Martin. The teams would tie again at 4-4, 9-9 and 11-11 before the visitors got a layup from senior Jeff Winnie and a jumper from senior Dakota Greene to lead 15-11 after one quarter.

South Portland went up 16-15 when senior Nick Wright hit a layup and sophomore Matt Lee buried a 3-pointer, but Winnie answered with a layup after a steal. After Hyland put the Red Riots back on top with a 3-ball, Thornton Academy junior James Morse tied the score with two foul shots.

With 4:37 left in the half, Wright hit a jumper in the lane for a 21-19 lead.

Both teams then went ice-cold.

Neither squad would score again until Golden Trojans' junior John Trull hit a 3-pointer with 55.8 seconds left. That gave the visitors a 22-21 lead at the half.

The action picked up in the third quarter.

South Portland senior Will Furbush, who didn't score in the first half, hit a 3-pointer to get things started. Martin answered with a pair of layups for a 26-24 lead, but a long jumper from Hyland, a leaner in traffic by Lee and a bank shot from Hyland gave the Red Riots a 30-26 advantage.

Back came Thornton Academy.

The visitors tied the game on a pair of layups by Greene. A Wright left-handed layup put South Portland back on top 32-30, but Morse drained a jumper to tie the score again. A baseline jumper put the Red Riots back in the lead, but Winnie answered with a 3-ball to give the Golden Trojans a 35-34 advantage. That proved to be their last lead.

A rebound putback by Lee and a 3-pointer from Hyland made it 39-35. Martin made a layup in the waning seconds and the Red Riots had a 39-37 lead entering the final quarter.

That's where South Portland made its stand and earned a signature win.

Greene promptly tied the score with a rebound layup 28 seconds into the fourth, but Hyland answered with his jump shot which put the hosts ahead to stay. Thirty seconds later Hyland made a leaner while being fouled, then added the free throw for a 44-39 advantage. With 5:19 to play, Hyland added another free throw and it was 45-39.

Thornton Academy cut the deficit to two points, 45-43, after senior Austin Gregory made a layup and Morse buried two foul shots, but Furbush answered with a long jumper.

After Winnie made a foul shot and Greene hit a layup to make it a one-point game, 47-46, with 3:14 to go, neither team was able to score for almost a minute-and-a-half.

Finally, with 1:51 to play, Furbush was fouled after a steal and made both free throws. With 1:05 remaning, senior Nick Gaddar hit a layup after a steal. After Morse missed a 3-pointer, Furbush added another foul shot and it appeared as if the hosts were in good shape, up 52-46 with 51.5 seconds to go.

The Golden Trojans made one final push.

With 28.6 seconds showing, Winnie calmly drained a 3-ball to make it 52-49.

That's how the game would wind up, but there was plenty of drama remaining.

With 17.4 seconds to go, Gaddar was fouled, but missed the front end of a one-and-one. Thornton Academy looked to tie the game at the other end, but Greene's 3-point bid was off the mark and Wright came up with the loose ball and was fouled with just 0.6 seconds to go. He missed the front end of his one-and-one, but time ran out and South Portland was able to celebrate its win.

"This is huge," Wright said. "This shows we're a top contender in Western Class A and that we're going for a championship.

"The Deering game was the first game against really tough competition. Against Scarborough, we lost our composure. Today, we pulled together.

"We have a will to prove ourselves. We know we have a lot of talent."

Hyland led all scorers with 22 points. Wright finished with 10. Furbush had eight, Lee seven and Gaddar added five.

"These kids have had three tremendous games this week against three very good teams," Conley said. "Hyland and Furbush hit big shots. Wright, (sophomore Connor) Hasson and Gaddar played big for us underneath. Lee did a tremendous job with rebounds and shots.

"I think you learn from experience and we've been in some tough games. They're all down to the wire. We're fortunate to have three seniors on the floor that settle everyone down. Playing tough competition got us ready for a game like this.

"There are no easy games in the SMAA. You have to bring your 'A' game every game. It's great for the league. I can't be any happier for my guys to get a reward at the end for their hard work."

The Golden Trojans were paced by 12 from Martin, 11 from Winnie, 10 from Greene and eight from Morse. Trull finished with six points and Gregory added two.

Thornton Academy will look to bounce back Friday when it hosts Noble. The Golden Trojans still have a huge showdown looming at Cheverus on Jan. 29.

Rest assured, we haven't heard that last of Thornton Academy.

"I'm not disappointed in how the kids played," Davies said. "We'll continue."

South Portland goes to Noble Tuesday, then hosts Bonny Eagle Friday. The Red Riots will enjoy this win for a very short time, then will return to work.

"We'll celebrate it tonight," Wright said. "We know we have to come back next week. We don't take any game for granted."

"It won't get any easier," Conley added. "In our stretch run we play Cheverus a couple times, Portland twice, Deering again. Those are all quality teams."

SP Red Riots Beat Windham 57-54 In a Thiller

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 10th, 2008

SP Red Riots Beat Windham 57-54 In a Thiller
By The WIZ

It was a great game at Beal Gymnasium in South Portland tonight. Both teams playing a very tough man-to-man defense and this game was close throughout. Windhams biggest lead was 5pts. and South Portlands biggest lead was 5pts. The game was a good old fashion barnburner which went right down to the wire and the South Portland Red Riots were able to hold off a charging Windham Eagles in the last seconds to get the big victory 57-54.

In the 1st quarter the scoring started off slow with neither team scoring in the first two minutes but then the Eagles Ryan MacQuestion nails a deuce and he follows that up with another deuce and the Eagles are up 4-0 but the Riots Connor Hasson hits a free throw then he cans a deuce to cut the lead to 1pt. 4-3. The Eagles Travis Guerrette hits a free throw and that is followed by Garrett Clemmer 3 and the Eagles lead is 5pts. 8-3 but the Riots Keegan Hyland hits a deuce and that is followed by a Will Furbush 3 and this game is all tied up after one period 8-8.

In the 2nd quarter the Eagles Jon Sangillo hits a 2 but the Riots with a Hyland 2, a Furbush 2+1 and Nick Gaddar cans a deuce as the Riots complete a 7-2 run to take a 5pt. lead 15-10 with 4:53 left in the 2nd period. The Eagles Sangillo hits a 2, Riots Hyland a 2 and the Eagles Clemmer hits a deuce and he follows that with a big 3 and we are all tied up at the half 17-17.

In the 3rd period the Riots Hyland Heats-It-Up! He hits 5 deuces teammate Matt Lee hits a 3 plus 5-5 from the foul line and Gaddar has a big 3 but the Eagles match that. Travis Guerrette has 2 deuces plus a 3, MacQuestion cans a 3, Nick Taylor has 3 deuces, Andy Brix has a deuce and Brandon Guerrette has a free throw and this game is all tied after 3 periods at 38-38

In the 4th period both teams try to Crank-It-Up the Riots would get the lead up to 3pts. but the Eagles would answer every time. The Eagles Nick Taylor goes down hard with an ankle injury midway through and is help off the court. But the Eagles will not fold a Nate Dixon 2 with 2:25 to go and the Riots lead is just 1pt. 54-53. Back and forth, up and down no one scores until .23 seconds are left the Riots Nick Gaddar hits two free throws. That is followed by Gaddar 1 free throw and the Riots are up 57-54. The Eagles Garrett Clemmer throws up a 3 that goes in and out with .4 seconds left that would have tied it. The Riots Hasson misses two free throws but Nick Wright gets the rebound and he is fouled with 1.4 seconds left, he misses both and a full court shot attempt by Andy Brix hits the beam at mid-court as the Riots hold on to get the big win tonight by a final of 57-54 in a good all fashion Barnburner.

South Portlands Sophomore Matt Lee had a big game tonight as he hit a big 3 plus he went 11-11 from the foul line which was a big key to the Riots victory.

With the win the Red Riots improve their record to 7-2. With the loss the Eagles fall to 4-5.

Scoring in this game were:

South Portland:



T. Guerrette----10
N. Taylor--------6
J. Taylor--------3
B. Guerrette-----1


Yarmouth's magic continues!

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 9th, 2008

Yarmouth's magic continues!
By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

YARMOUTH- Perhaps it's karmic payback for all the seasons in the wilderness, but the Yarmouth Clippers boys' basketball team has loved every minute of the 2007-08 campaign and its storybook season continued tonight with a finish that trumped everything we've seen to date.

The Clippers rallied from an eight-point fourth quarter deficit, then won the game in Hollywood fashion when senior Ben Groves converted a reverse layup at the buzzer to hand Freeport it's second gutwrenching defeat in five days, 50-48.

Yarmouth was behind most of the way and was frustrated with its inability to hit shots, but the Clippers turned up the defensive pressure in the final stanza and found a way to win yet again, improving to 9-0 in the process.

"It's a confidence boost," said Groves, moments after being mobbed by a good chunk of the Yarmouth student body. "Even if we don't hit shots, if we keep our intensity up, we can be in any game. Last year we learned how to play at this level. This year we've learned how to win at this level."

"I'm very proud of the boys and how they stayed in the game," added Clippers' coach Adam Smith. "The guys felt a lot of emotion. Freeport is a big rival to us."

Last winter, in the regular season finale, Freeport squeaked out a dramatic come-from-behind overtime win at Yarmouth. Both teams have excelled in 2007-08. While the Clippers (looking for rare back-to-back winning seasons) have remained undefeated, even without standout senior Joe Dilworth (who is out with a broken hand), the Falcons got off to a 5-0 start before blowing a 13-point lead and falling at Falmouth in double-overtime last Thursday. Freeport bounced back Saturday with a win over visiting Poland and controlled most of the action Tuesday night.

Just 2 minutes, 27 seconds into the contest, the Falcons led 7-0, thanks to two baskets from junior Tom Markelon and a basket and a free throw from senior Reid Christian. Yarmouth got on the scoreboard when senior point guard Lucas Denning got a 3-point shot to rattle around the cylinder and finally fall. Senior Robb Arndt followed with a jumper, but Markelon buried a 3-pointer and senior Bejay Perkins made a free throw to make it 11-5 Freeport. Groves responded with a layup, but with 2.8 seconds left in the period, Christian hit a 3-pointer and the Falcons had a 14-7 lead after one.

The hosts then came to life, thanks in large part to junior Andrew Totta, who had three baskets in just under two minutes. Totta and Freeport senior Kyle Flash traded baskets to start the quarter, but Yarmouth then went on a 9-0 run. Totta made back-to-back jumpers, Denning hit another 3-ball and sophomore Evan Henry converted a layup to give the Clippers their first lead, 18-16, with 3:08 to go in the half.

Markelon got the lead right back for the Falcons with a 3-pointer and junior Cody Bartlett added a layup for a 21-18 lead. After Groves converted an old-fashioned three-point play to tie the score, Freeport junior standout Jon Klages (quiet until that point) returned the favor. The Clippers would take the lead into the half, however, as senior Joe Laverriere (who was huge off the bench) hit a layup and Denning made two foul shots for a 25-24 advantage.

The third period was a story of Yarmouth fouls. The Clippers were whistled for nine of the first 10 fouls of the quarter and the visitors took and extended the lead.

A Henry layup to start the second half gave Yarmouth its biggest lead, 27-24, but Klages made a layup, Markelon hit two free throws, then buried a jumper. Groves momentarily restored order with a layup, but Klages scored a layup after a rebound for a 32-29 advantage.

With 2:47 to go in the period, Clippers' coach Adam Smith had enough of the foul disparity and something about it to the officials. He was promptly forced to sit down after being whistled for a technical foul. Christian (who earned the foul that set Smith off) made both technical shots and both free throws for a 36-29 lead. Sixteen seconds later, Klages made two more free throws and Freeport appeared to be in control, up 38-29.

Yarmouth battled back late in the third, getting two free throws from Laverriere and a long jumper from junior Johnny Murphy (his first points of the game). A Markelon foul shot with 2.4 seconds left gave the Falcons a 39-33 lead entering the final quarter.

With 7:08 left, Klages hit two free throws and Freeport was up 41-33. Then, thanks to its stellar defense, Yarmouth rallied.

While the Falcons were turning the ball over seven times in eight possessions, the Clippers drew close.

Two free throws from Arndt got the rally started. Laverriere followed with a layup, Murphy hit a jump shot after a steal and Henry converted one of two free throws after a Laverriere steal with 5:24 to play, pulling Yarmouth within two points, 42-40.

The Clippers would eventually tie the score, but not before Denning missed two 3-point shots and Murphy was off on another bid. With 3:56 to go, Murphy did the honors, tying the score on a layup after another steal.

Freeport raced right down and regained the lead on a Christian bank shot, but Arndt hit a long jumper (which appeared to be a 3-pointer, but was ruled inside the line), making it 44-44.

With 2:35 showing on the clock, Bartlett made a layup and was fouled, but missed the free throw, making it 46-44 Falcons. Murphy then heated up, making a baseline jumper, then, after Bartlett gave the Falcons the lead back with a leaner, Murphy buried what appeared to be a 3-pointer for a Yarmouth's first lead since 27-26, but it also was ruled a two-point shot and the game was tied at 48.

Nearly two minutes still remained, but Freeport just couldn't keep control of the ball. The Falcons were whistled for a 10-second violation right after Murphy's 3-pointer. The Clippers couldn't take the lead, however, as Murphy missed a baseline jump shot.

With 21.7 seconds left, the Falcons turned the ball over again on a traveling violation and the hosts set up the game winner.

Denning (who earned the game winning foul shots against Greely in a nearly identical situation last week) dribbled down the clock, then broke for the basket with about five seconds to play. The Freeport defense cut him off, however, and he was forced to dish the ball to Groves near the hoop. Groves wasn't able to go up for a shot, so he eluded a defender and came around the other side before going up for a reverse layup.

The ball rolled around the cylinder and finally dropped through the net.

0.9 seconds showed when the ball fell through, but time quickly ran out and bedlam ensued. Yarmouth had won yet another thriller, 50-48.

"We'd been playing a 1-3-1 matchup and we stayed in that, but we put extra pressure on Murphy," Freeport coach Craig Sickels said. "It was a good play by Groves to come up underneath."

"Usually we spread it out on the last play," Denning said. "I looked for Big Ben and he was open."

"It just wound up falling," Groves added. "I can't really explain it. It wasn't drawn up. I knew the clock was winding down and I had to get a shot off. If I missed, I knew we'd battle back in overtime. There wasn't much pressure."

The Clippers are now 9-0. Some how, some way.

"I've been waiting for the time when we missed Joe a lot and we hadn't really faced that yet, but tonight we did," Smith said. "We had a difficult time having anything drop for us.

"The crowd kept us in it. Defensively, we stayed in it by working and working. Everytime I turned around they were hitting foul shots and we were struggling at the other end.

"We drew it up for Lucas to have the ball in his hands. They played great defense on him. The other option was to go to Ben. He capitalized on the opportunity. That's what a good team does."

Murphy (thanks to eight fourth quarter points) led the Clippers with 10 points.

"He struggled tonight, but he'll make it more often than not," Smith said. "Defensively he was key. He made some big steals."

Groves had nine points (including the two most memorable), Denning eight, Arndt, Laverriere and Totta six apiece, and Henry added five.

Freeport was left distraught, searching for answers after another painful defeat.

"The kids are taking it hard," Sickels said. "I told them not to take it too hard, it's only one game. We played them tougher than anyone has even though we had 28 turnovers. With the turnovers and the lack of composure, we were still there. We need to get over the hump. We'll get there.

"Two close games now have come down to the fourth quarter and how we responded to pressure. We've been struggling at the end. It almost looked like no one wanted to make a mistake. We stopped attacking. We threw the ball away. It's the same thing we did at Falmouth. We played not to lose instead of playing to win.

"We struggled with their pressure. They play tough defense. That sets a tone. They're aggressive. They were more composed at the end of the game."

The Falcons (6-2) were led by 15 points from Markelon. Christian and Klages both had a dozen. Bartlett finished with six, Flash had two and Perkins one.

Yarmouth (first in the Western B Heal Points standings) is back in action Friday at Cape Elizabeth, another tough test, which likely spells another palpitating finish.

"It doesn't get any easier for us," Smith said. "It'll be a struggle, but we'll pull together and try to stay in the game and have an opportunity in the fourth quarter."

"We'll keep working hard and hustling," Denning added. "It's a tough schedule."

As for Freeport (fourth in Western B), the Falcons were supposed to be at Greely Thursday, but that game has been moved to Saturday at 6 p.m.

"Greely will be the same," Sickels said. "We'll have pressure. That's something we have to work on."

The Clippers-Falcons rematch is Feb. 7 in Freeport

Red Riots Take Down Blue Blazes 57-50

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 8th, 2008

Red Riots Take Down Blue Blazes 57-50
By The WIZ

A very interesting game at Westbrook High School tonight. Both South Portland and Westbrook came into this game with identical records each at 5-3. The game was played very deliberate by both teams no run & gun in this one. The game was close most of the way with the South Portland Red Riots pulling away late to get the big win by a final of 57-50.

In the 1st quarter the Blazes opened right up to a 5-0 lead as Dom Borelli cans a 3 followed by a Kyle Sanborn deuce and that was the biggest lead of the night for the Blazes. The Blazes Christian Hamilton kept them in the game most of the night as he hit 3 of his 5 three pointers in the first period but the Riots Will Furbush hits one of his five 3s on the night plus a deuce and Keegan Hyland has two free throws plus a deuce and this game is even after 1 period 18-18.

In the 2nd period both teams battled back and forth with several lead changes but the lead in never more than 2 points either way as Furbush and Hamilton each bury another 3 and the Riots lead it by 1pt. at the half 33-32.

In the 3rd period Will Furbush is at it again as he hits two more 3s and with 1:45 left in the 3rd Hyland hits a deuce and the Riots have their biggest lead yet 6pts. 44-38. neither team scores for the rest of the period.

In the 4th the Blazes Hamilton cans a 3 and Sanborn gets 1 free throw followed by a Josh Harriman 2 and this game is all tied up 44-44 with 5:58 to play. Hyland a 2, Furbush 2 and a Furbush 3 and the Riots are up by 7pts. 51-44 with 3:56 to go. The Blazes try in vein to comeback but the closet they get is 6pts. as the Riots holdem off and get the big win tonight by a final score of 57-50.
With the Win the Riots improve to 6-2 and the Blazes fall to 5-3.

Scoring in tonights game were:



South Portland:



WIZ Words: Hoops Gone Wild (Plus WIZ Top 10 Teams- Week # 5)

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: January 6th, 2008

WIZ Words: Hoops Gone Wild (Plus WIZ Top 10 Teams- Week # 5)
By The WIZ

Wow folks! We havent even reached the halfway point of the season yet and we have seen it all already. Weve had blowouts, weve had thrillers, weve had overtimes and double overtimes, weve had buzzer beaters, and weve had upsets! Its Hoops Gone Wild! As I see it right now the Bangor Rams and the Cheverus Stags are playing at a level above everyone else. Then there is a whole pack of 15-20 teams that can beat anyone on any given night and Im talking all classes. Some scores that I have seen across the state some teams are blowing teams out by 40-50 points. Are these teams that good or are some teams really that bad? There were some thrillers this past week. Windham beats Portland at the buzzer. Travis Guerrette throws in a half court shot as the horn sounds and Windham wins 50-47. Deering beats South Portland in a thriller 58-50 in a game that was decided in the last two minutes. Thornton beats Deering in an overtime thriller 62-61. How about those Golden Trojans! They are undefeated at 7-0 and have knocked off both Portland and Deering.

In the East Mt. Blue is red hot. They have won 5 straight and the get a huge win over Hampden 58-45. And how about the Lawrence Bulldogs they also knocked off Hampden in a thriller 32-31. Morse beats Cony 55-46 and Oxford Hills pulls a surprise and also beats Cony 53-46. Brunswick beats Mt. Ararat in a mild upset 57-47. Back to the West Yarmouth pulls off a huge win over Greely 49-46! This is only the 2nd time in history that Yarmouth has beaten Greely. Coach Adam Smith has his Clippers flying high right now. Falmouth handed Freeport their first loss of the season in a double overtime thriller 68-59. And Boothbay gets a big win over Mountain Valley 54-50

As we near the mid-point of the season we have 13 teams that remain undefeated.


Big Games this Week:

Monday 1/7:

Calais at Wash. Acad.
Lee at Bangor Christian
Ashland at Wasburn
Limestone at Easton

Tuesday 1/8:

Cheverus at Marshwood
South Portland at Westbrook
Thornton at Scarborough
Freeport at Yarmouth
Dirigo at Mountain Valley
Wiscasset at Winthrop
Brunswick at Cony
Massabesic at Hampden
Morse at Mt. Ararat
Mt. Blue at Bangor
Maranacook at Camden Hills
Old Town at Ellsworth
Houlton at Caribou
Ft. Fairfield at Cen. Aroostook

Wednesday 1/9:

NYA at Buckfield
Ft. Kent at Presque Isle

Thursday 1/10:

Deering at Bonny Eagle
Westbrook at Thornton
Windham at South Portland
Freeport at Greely
Bangor at Hampden
Edward Little at Mt. Ararat
Lewiston at Cony
Mt. Blue at Messalonskee
Skowhegan at Lawrence
Erskine at Camden Hills
Mattanawcook at Old Town
Rockland at Maranacook
Schenck at Lee
Easton at Ashland

Friday 1/11:

Yarmouth at Cape
Hyde at Calais
Traip at Waynflete
Buckfield at Forest Hills

Saturday 1/12:

Cheverus at Gorham
Kennebunk at Deering
Thornton at South Portland
Boothbay at Wiscasset
Hyde at Wash. Acad.
Cony at Edward Little
Hampden at Brewer
Lawrence at Mt. Blue
Messalonskee at Skowhegan
Mt. Ararat at Lewiston
Camden Hills at MCI
Ellsworth at Presque Isle
Ft. Kent at Schenck
Houlton at Lee

As we head into this week WIZ Top 10 Teams we have a major change. Thornton with the big win over Deering jumps from # 10 to # 3. Hampden with 3 losses this week drops out of the Top 10. Yarmouth with their big win over Greely moves into the Top 10 at # 9. Greely with the 3pt. loss to Yarmouth drops from # 9 to # 10 this week. We have teams that are knocking at the door just screaming to get into the Top 10. Dirigo undefeated and waiting patiently to get in. The Mt. Blue Cougars (6-2) with 5 straight wins would love to get in. Same with the Lawrence Bulldogs at 6-2. Traip Academy very quietly and still undefeated looks to make some noise in the coming weeks. Boothbay with a big win over Mountain Valley is right there. Plus there are many more teams that could be knocking at the door trying to break it down and get in, but can they do it? We will find out in the coming weeks. Its going to be fun to see how this whole thing plays out. Who will make the tournament? And when the tourney comes around it is going to be unbelievable this year.

WIZ Top 10 Teams- Week # 5:

1.Bangor----8-0 The Rams stick it to Messaloskee 58-26! Handled Skowtown 56-33! They stay at # 1! 5 straight weeks! Will anyone bring them down! 3 games this week! Two are huge! First up! Hosting the Red Hot Cougars of Mt. Blue! Next off to Hampden! Then host to the Warriors of Nokomis! Will the Rams stay at # 1! I think so!

2.Cheverus---7-0 Stags win big this week! Crushed Massabesic 58-32! Tamed the Tigers of Biddeford 76-43! Stags are Cruisen! Easy week coming up! Stags head to Marshwood up first! Then host Sanford! Then head to Gorham! Looks like the Stags will be 10-0!

3.Thornton---7-0 The Golden Trojans! Wow! Team is for real! Great Job Coach Davies! They beat Gorham 62-42! Then they take the Big One! It took overtime! But they did it! They beat Deering 62-61! Wowzer! They make a big statement! The Trojans jump to # 3! Big week coming! 3 games up! All will be tough! First up Rt.1 to Scarborough! Then home against the Blazes of Westbrook! Then off to South Portland for a Saturday afternoon affair! Will the Trojans stay at # 3!

4.Deering---6-1 The Rams beat South Portland in a thriller! 58-50! Then lose a heartbreaker to Thornton! In Overtime! 62-61! Rams are still tough! Drop to # 4! Three games up this week! Home against Noble! Off to Bonny Eagle! Back home against Kennebunk! Rams should improve to 9-1!

5.Camden----8-0 Jammers are flying high! They Annihilate Oak Hill 79-27! Took care of Winslow 66-50! Coach Hart is Happy Right Now! But Marananacook is coming to town! This one will be huge! A Tuesday night Class B Heavy Weight Match-up! Two undefeateds! Wow! This will be a Thriller in Manila! Someone is going down! Then host Erskine! Then off to MCI! A big week for the Windjammers!

6.Maranacook--7-0 One game this past week! The Black Bears destroyed Erskine 64-34! Martin is Hot Right Now! He better stay that way! Huge game up next! The Black Bears head to the Hills! Yes thats Camden Hills! This is exciting! Two undefeateds! Something has to give! Who will it be! Then play host to Rockland! Then head to Belfast!

7.Winthrop---7-0 The Ramblers Rambled all over Monmouth 95-54! Still undefeated! Up next! Host Wiscasset! Then host Madison! Then off to Carabec! Ramblers will move to 10-0!

8.Calais-----6-0 Played a make-up game! Wasnt much of a game! Blue Devils showed the Madawska Owls why they are # 1 in Class C East! 91-31! Wow! Thats a slaughter! Calais streak is now at 50-1! How far will it go! Two games this week! And they are Biggies! First up its off to Washington Academy! Then play host to the Hyde Phoenix!
Could the streak end this week! We shall see!

9.Yarmouth--8-0 Welcome Clippers! Congrats Coach Adams! First time ever in WIZ Top 10! The Clippers beat Greely 49-46! Only the 2nd time in history that they have beat the Rangers! Wow! And they do it without Dilworth! The Clippers are good! They are for real! They also beat St. Doms 71-57! Two big games this week! First up host the Falcons of Freeport! Then down to Cape to visit the Cape Elizabeth Capers! Will the Clippers stay undefeated! Can they stasy in the Top 10!

Greely-----7-1 Tough week for the Rangers! They lose a heartbreaker to Yarmouth 49-46! Couple of injuries too! Bounce back and beat GNG 59-46! Rangers drop to # 10! They are still tough though! Two games up this week! And one is huge! First its off to the Lakes! To take on the Lakers of Lake Region! Then a Big Thursday Night affair! The Falcons of Freeport come to town! This game is huge for both teams! Can the Rangers stay in the Top 10!

Teams Knocking on the Door:

Mt. Blue----6-2

Til Next Week: Congrats to MBR! Live broadcasting with Tom and WIZ! MBR Kicking it up another Notch!


WIZ Preseason Predictions and Player Rankings (2007-2008)

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: November 28th, 2007


WIZ Preseason Predictions and Player Rankings (2007-2008)
(Plus WIZ Top 10 Teams)
By The wIZ

Wow its that time of year again folks. This summer flew by faster than ever and hoops season is almost here. As always it time for The WIZ to make his preseason predictions and give you his preseason player rankings. This is going to be another very exciting year in all four classes. Will any of the teams repeat and take home back-to-back Gold Balls? Or could Calais get a 3-Peat? We shall find out this coming March 1st. As I have done in previous years I will give you my predictions in all four classes East and West with my picks for the top 3 teams and 3 sleeper teams that could surprise us all. Plus my prediction on who will win the State Title in each class. Then I will give you my preseason player rankings and finally my Top 10 teams heading into week # 1.

Class A East:

The defending State Champions the Bangor Rams will look to repeat. Gone are Alex Gallant and Troy Jellison but the Rams are still loaded with talent. Back are Lee The Alaskan Assassin Suvlu, Adam Bernstein, Ryan Weston, Billy Zolper and UMaine bound Jon McAllian. Still cant figure out why he didnt get much PT last year but I think this year Jon will explode for the Rams. Coach Reed is one of the best coaches out there, he has the talent, they have the tradition, can this lead them to Back-To-Back Gold Balls?

Next up I like the Hampden Broncos. The Broncos lose Evan Farley and Dan McCue but Antonio Juco is back along with Justin Brown and Brad Haase and watch out for the Super Sophs Jacob Moore and Noah Burditt these two are going to be very good.

Up next I like the Eddies of Edward Little. The Eddies will be looking for a little revenge after making a quick exit from the tournament last year. Sure they lose Troy Barnies and his brother Travis but back are veterans Kyle Philbrook, Eric Prue, Ben Harnett and Muktar Sharif. Look for Coach Adams to have this team near the top come tourney time.

Sleeper teams:

The Cony Rams lost to Messalonskee in the quarter-finals last year by 1pt. and they will look to go deeper in the tournament this year. They lose the Lui brothers Brian and Jason along with John Demerchant and Chris Thurston but they still have talent in the likes of Andrew Pullen, Cameron OBrien, Greg ONeil and Brian Carville. Plus watch out for the youngster Sophomore Jason Burns. Coach Hunt knows what he is doing, hes got some talent and the Rams will look to surprise come tourney time.

Up next I like The Eagles of Messalonskee. Sure they lose Big Guns in Matt Natole, Nicholas Ouellete and Eric Taylor but they return a Big Gun in Orlando Holmes and he will get some help from Ben Dubois, Dominic Berndt, Josh Gilbert, Zach Brann, and Chris Pelletier. The Eagles look to make another good run.

The Mount Blue Cougars lose a ton. Noah Paytas, Isasiah Brathwaite, Auther Trask, Adam Gilbert, and Mike Toothaker the whole starting five are gone but Coach Bessey rebuilds and reloads. The young Cougars might be a year or two away but they have some young talent that will be very good come tourney time. Senior Joe Gilbert will lead the way with an excellent group of juniors in Ben Russell, Jason Sawyer and Devon Zamboni. Plus the Cougars will have some talent in the Sophomore and Freshmen classes. And an added plus; word is out that Bessey has a new Assistant coach in the likes of Aaron Howard. Put all these ingredients together and the Cougars have a very bright future ahead for the next few years.

Class A West:

In the West I really like the Cheverus Stags to come out on top this year. The Stags lose three key players due to graduation. Anthony Savino, Christian Van Loenen and Eric Friend are gone plus Sophomore Walter Stover has transferred to Portland. But the legendary Coach Bobby Brown has plenty of talent coming back. What they really need this year is a true point guard and they get one! Indiana Faithfull a Sophomore moved to Maine from Australia. The kid can play. He has exceptional passing skills and he runs and plays the floor very well. He looks to have an excellent Bball IQ. He can penetrate, finish or dish off and dont leave him open behind the 3-point line. The Stags also have one of the states top Juniors in Mick DiStasio along with seasoned vets Doug Alston and Alex Fraser plus some more very good Juniors in big man Ian Barwise, Peter Foley, Dan Foster and Billy White. Look for the Stags to play a very tough defense and to run the floor this season.

Up next I like the Portland Bulldogs. Coach Russo loses Andrew Duncanson, Ryan Carmichael and Anthony Ciccarelli. But the Bulldogs have plenty coming back. You know the Dogs would love another shot at the Gold Ball after their loss to Bangor in the State Game last March and they just might very well get that shot. Back for the Bulldogs are Seniors Jake Longstaff, Justin Powell, Anthony Passmore, and Kelly Lamar. Junior Charlie Ho along with a very talented Sophomore class in Joe Zukowski, Koang Thok and Miles Carey-Snow. Plus they get a top transfer Senior Mike Harmon from Bonny Eagle, and they also get Junior Eddie Bogdanovich from South Portand, plus a senior who was injured last season big man Dewayne Alberte. Dewayne had an impressive summer. Watch out for the Bulldogs they will be tough and they very well could be back chasing the Gold.

Next up the Deering Rams. The Rams would love to get back to the State game as well and believe me they do have a shot at it. Coach Dan LeGage will be in his 6th year at the helm for the Rams along with assistant coach Jon Maloney and the Rams get a new assistant coach former Bonny Eagle/UMF star Jon Bird to help the cause. The Rams do lose big man Brandon Carbone, Adam Requia and the Feisty little point guard Pat Plourd but the Rams have the rest back! One of the states top players Kyle Donovan with vets Ronald Abwoch (watch out for him this year) Chris Smith, Tim Conley and the big guy 66 Nicholas Burkhardt along with some underclassmen Parker Dodd. Khader Abbas and Regan Flaherty; Plus Super Soph Eddie Tirabassi. The Rams will be right back in the hunt and they could steal the whole show.

Sleeper teams:

The South Portland Red Riots will be very good this year. The Riots lose their legendary coach Tony DiBiase. Its a shame Tony would have been in his 17th year with the Riots but he was handed his walking papers by the administration who felt it was time for a change. Coach Dibiases assistant for the past 12 years Phil Conley takes over as the head coach. Coach Conley is very capable and he does have some talent returning. They do lose big man Coleman Findley and his brother Matt, plus Eddie Bogdanovich transferred to Portland. The Riots return one of the states top Sophomores Keegan Hyland and he will get help from Seniors Will Furbush, Nick Wright, Nick Gaddar and Chris Biskup, plus another talented Sophomore Matt Lee. The Riots should be right in the thick of things come tourney time.

Next is the Blue Blazes from Westbrook. The Blases have had a couple of down years but they will be strong this year. Coach Karter has some talent this season and if the players buy into his system the Blazes will be contenders this year. Gone are Travis Rand, Michael Tanguay and Shane Kelly. They return Kyle Sanborn, Josh Harriman, Kyle Barrows and Steve LeBel, plus Juniors Tyler Kelly and Christian Hamilton. One of the states top Sophomores Dominic Borelli and another very talented Soph Nich Jobin.
Look for the Blazes to be tough an upset-minded come tourney time.

Up next the Golden Trojans from Thornton. The Trojans lose Tyler Kelly, Mike Burchill and Elliot Thomas. But back are Jeff Winnie and big man Kory Martin along with a top Junior James Morse and add in role players John Trull, Dakota Greene and Kyle Powers ant the Trojans under Coach Bob Davies will make a strong run this season.

Also watch out for Windham and Scarborough this year as they could surprise.

WIZ Predictions:

Class A East Champs- Bangor
Class A West Champs- Cheverus
Class A State Champions- Bangor

Class B East:

Have to stick with Camden Hills to repeat in the East. It will be tough but I think Coach Hart can do it with the team he has. The Windjammers lost in the State game to Mountain Valley last season 58-48 and you know they would love another shot at the Gold Ball this year. They do lose two starters from last year to graduation Nick Wooton and Jared Mitchell plus Paul Drapper is gone, but plenty of talent is back. This years seniors Paul Campbell, Christian Pieri Dylan Smith, Jake Grinnell and A.J. Hunt are all back along with one of the states top Juniors Gordan Fischer plus a very good cast of other Juniors plus a very good Sophomore in Jimmy Weffering. I look for the Windjammers to be right back fighting for the Gold this year.

Next the Black Bears of Maranacook. The Black Bears last years favorites by many were stunned in the quarter-finals by MCI 58-50. The great Sophomore class of two years ago are back as Seniors this year and you know they have something they want to prove. They want that Gold back that they got 2 years ago. They have one of the state top players in Ryan Martin (Hell Light-Up-The Christmas Trees long before Xmas is here)
Plus Will Bardaglio, Mike Poulin and Devin Garrity. Wow! What a line-up! They can taste it and they just might get it back.

Up next the Gardiner Tigers. The Tigers lose big man Sean McNally (UMaine) and Devon Brown to graduation. Everyone else is back and Gardiner drops from Class A to Class B this year and they will be very tough to beat in Class B. Kyle Stilphen is one of the states top athletes. The three-sport player is also one of the best in his class at basketball. He will lead the Tigers along with Mike Lavalle, Alex Nivus, Mike Denham, Ryan Guerrette, Jacob Coan, Eric Goodwin, Jake Wright and Jordan Grant. I see the Tigers right in the Mix come tourney time.

Sleeper Teams:

Mattanawcook The Lynx made it to the Eastern Finals last year losing a heartbreaker to Camden 61-60. You know they would love to go further this year. Senior Derek Dead Eye Libby had a great summer playing with the MBR team. This kid can shoot the lights out. He will get help from Junior Brady Vose along with a good cast of supporting players. Look for the Lynx to be right in the mix come tourney time.

Next up I like Erskine this year. The Eagles went 8-10 in regular season last year and lost by 2pts. in the prelims to Gardiner 40-38, but that was in Class A. Erskine also makes the drop to Class B this year and they will be tough at this level. Back this year will be Senior Jack Garrity along with his twin brother Peter. Look for both to have a big year. Then add in Junior Garret Holt and Devon Veileux and the Eagles will be right in the thick of things come time for the Tourney.

Up Next the Hawks of Hermon. The Hawks went 11-7 in regular season last year. Then they win a thriller by 2pts. 52-50 over Medomak in the Prelim game. Then they lose a heartbreaker a 3 overtime loss to Ellsworth in the quarter-finals. The Hawks will be hungry this season. The Senior Derek Helms returns along with Junior Kevin Tarr and Super Sensation the Super Soph Colton Gross. The Hawks will surprise this year and they very well could go deep into the tournament.

Class B West:

In B West I like the Capers of Cape Elizabeth. Coach Jim Ray gets the best out of his players and this year his team has plenty of talent. The Capers only lose two to graduation. Nick Goodyknoonz and Will Hall are gone. Cape went 10-8 in the regular season last year, won their quarter-final game over Poland 79-56, beat York in the quarters 61-50 before losing to Mountain Valley in the Semis 62-33. The Capers have a ton of talent coming back. They will be led by one of the states top players in Class B Senior Shaine Burks, plus Senior point guard Tommy Ray, along with big man Ian Place and plenty of more help with, Tony Welch, Steve Whitten, Woodlin Tabery and Jimmy Bump. Plus Juniors Conor Lawler, John Messina and Alex Bowe. Plus a Super Soph Andrew Dickey. Cape will be very strong with plenty of depth. I Look for Cape to take the West this Year.

Up next is the Falcons of Mountain Valley. Last years defending State Champions lose a lot to Graduation. Andy Shorey, D J Gerrish, Matt Lyons plus the Cookie Man Brendan Keckel are gone. (They will miss them cookies!). They do have some experience returning in Owen Jones, Dean McCrillis, Bryan Canwell and Keith Brennick for the Seniors. Plus Juniors Justin Staires, Matt Laubauskas, Jacob Hickey and Travis Ruff. Who knows the Falcons with their winning traditions could steal the whole show and possibly bring the Gold back to Rumford for Back-To-Back Titles.

Next up would be the Greely Rangers. The Rangers finished last season at 17-1 and headed to the tournament as the #1 seed. Beat Yarmouth in the quarter-finals 67-43. beat Falmouth in the Semis 63-40 and they lost to Mountain Valley in the Western Maine Final 39-32. Coach Ken Marks loses Big Guns Caleb Jordan, Matt McDonough and Will Grogan to graduation. They have some young talent coming back. Junior Chris Young will have a breakout year this season and he will get help from Seniors Spencer Adams and Alex Lavoie plus Juniors Erik Thayer and Ben Andreasen. Plus a very good Sophomore in Trevor Tierney. Look for the Rangers to be in the fight come tourney time.

Sleeper Teams:

The Falmouth Yachtsmen. Coach Halligan somehow gets his teams there every year. They lose 5 Seniors from last year. Brady Frost, Adam Pachard, Jesse Hugo, Sam Barns and Alex Westervelt are gone. But Coach Halligan returns some young talent. Theyll be led by Seniors Mike Doyle and Kevin Smith and will get help from Junior Jack Wyman and a Super Soph Stephano Mancini. The Yachtsmen will be right back in the tournament.

Next up the Yarmouth Clippers. The Clippers went 11-7 in regular season last year and they beat Lake Region in the prelim game 75-47 and they lost in the quarter-final to Greely 67-43. The Clippers lose little to graduation. Bryan Ertz is gone but back are Lucas Denning and Joey Dillworth. These two plus a good cast of role players the Clippers will be back in the Tourney as well.

Up next the Falcons of Freeport. These Falcons also finished at 11-7 in regular season games last year and they lost in the quarter-final game to Mountain Valley 74-46. They lose two top players Danny Mehler and Luke Charest to graduation. Senior Reid Christian is back with Tom Markelon plus a very good Junior in John Klages plus a good cast of role players and Coach Sickels should have his team back in the tournament again this year.

WIZ Predictions:

Class B East Champs- Camden
Class B West Champs- Cape Elizabeth
Class B state Champions- Camden

Class C East:

The Calais Blue Devils will look to make it 3 in a row. The two time defending State Champions do lose Brandon Tomah and Chris Taylor to graduation but look what they have returning. Senior point guard Sam Bell will lead the way but he will get plenty of help from Juniors Cal Shorey and Jordan Leeman plus Rod Tirrell and add in the younger Shorey Freshmen Cam. That line-up will be very hard to beat. The Blue Devils are undefeated the last two years. Can they do it again?

Up next the Raiders of Washington Academy. The Raiders went 12-5 in regular season last year then beat Ft. Kent in the quarters 74-65 before losing to PCHS 57-52 in the Semis. The Raiders return Senior Joey Hunter along with Eric Leighton and they have a Super Soph in Ben Teer. The other Soph Josh Johnson I understand has moved out of state. But still expect a big year for the Raiders.

Next up is the Orono Red Riots. The Riots went 11-7 in regular season last year and lost a close one to Houlton in the Semi-Finals 59-56. With Senior Seth Dwyer back along with Joel Riemersma look for the Red Riots to be right back in the thick of things come tourney time.

Sleeper teams:

The Dexter Tigers will be very hungry this year. After going 12-6 last year they beat Narraguagus in the prelim 57-37 but lost to Piscataquis in the Quarter-Finals 54-33. The Tigers return Gavin Cote and Nate Pierce and the Tigers will be in the hunt again when the tournament rolls around.

Up next are the Pandas from Lee Academy. The Pandas make the move up to Class C from Class D. In Class D last year the Pandas went 11-7 in regular season play, then they beat Shead in the Prelim 74-51, beat Limestone in the Quarter-Finals 67-49, Then lost a heartbreaker to Schenck in the Semi-Final 50-49. The Pandas will be led by Senior Devon Parker and I hear they got a real good freshmen A J Harris and who knows who else may be playing for the Pandas. Look for Lee to have another good year.

Next up the Shiretowners from Houlton. The Shiretowners went 11-7 last year in regular season play. They beat Orono in the Quarters 59-56 and lost to Calais in the Semis 54-45. The Shiretowners return 3 big Seniors Parker Brown, Ryan Hill and Josh Beals. Add in Junior James Bates and the Shiretowners will be very good again this season. They might even surprise everybody and come out on top in the East.

Class C West:

The Winthrop Ramblers will be very tough to beat this year. They went 16-2 last season. Beat St. Doms in the Quarters 65-47, and lost to Boothbay in the Semis 71-46. They do lose Mike Gingras, Kyle Plossy and Jason Ridley to graduation. But they have the States # 1 player in Sam LeClerc. You think LeClerc was good last wait till you see him this year. What a summer this kid had. Sam has plenty of help too. Junior Larry Foster is back as is Erza Damm and Tim Gingras and add in Kevin Hart, Jake Steele and Skyler Whaley. Plus they get a transfer from Mt. Blue Junior Zach Farrington who will help out. Look for the Ramblers to come out on top in the West.

Up next the Cougars of Dirigo. The Cougars are coached by one of the best coaches in the state Gavin Kane. Last year the Cougars went 17-1 in regular season play and went into the tournament the # 1 seed. They beat Livermore Falls in the Quarter-Final 77-38, took care of Traip in the Semi-Final 67-54 and lost to Boothbay in the Western Maine Final 52-45. They lose three key players to graduation. Mike Holmquist, Spencer Berry and Josh Daley are gone. But back are the States # 1 Junior 67 Thomas Knight. This guy will be a force inside this year and he can step back and nail the 3 pointer. He will get help from Seniors Colby Knapp, Adam Law and Erik Kersey, Plus they have a couple of Super Sophs in Nick Crutchfield and Tyler Chaisson. The Cougars will be well coached and will be right at the top of their game come tourney time and they very well could steal the whole show.

Next up the Boothbay Seahawks. The Seahawks lose a ton to graduation. 8 Seniors are gone including Big Guns Owen Johnson, Roy Arsenault, Matt Sceviour and Pat Norton. But they return Big Man Kris Noonan. Kris at 65 is one of the states best big men. He had an outstanding summer playing with the MBR team and he will be a force in Class C east this year. He will get help from Seniors Tim Stover and Joe Farrin plus a good Junior in Sam Cook. The Seahawks coached by the legend I.J. Pinkham will be right in the middle of things come tourney time and the will look to steal the whole show.

Sleeper Teams:

The North Yarmouth Academy Panthers will make some noise this year. The Panthers finished last season with a record 7-11 and went into the tourney as the # 11 seed. They squeaked by Georges Valley in the prelim 44-42 and they lost to Boothbay in the Quarters 58-36. They lose two starters to graduation. Banak Thiwat and Choul Ngoal are gone. But Coach Ed Rogers has some talent coming back. Senior Liam Anderson should have a breakout year and fellow Senior Pak Lul is back along with two very good Juniors in Andrew Gendron and Calvin Chicoine. I see the Panthers making a very strong run this year.

Up Next would be the Waynflete Flyers. The Flyers went 13-5 under Coach Rich Henry last season. They beat Mt. Abram in the Prelim 72-22 and lost to Traip in the Quarters 60-49. They do lose 3 starters to graduation. Kahiye Hassen, Thomas Newton and Andrew Veroneau are gone. Coming back though are Seniors Lucas ONeil and Jared Entwistle along with Junior Hassen Jeylani and a very good Sophomre Billy NGoal. Lucas ONeil is an excellent point guard look for him to lead this group to a very good season this year.

Next up the Traip Rangers. The Rangers finished last season at 12-6. They beat Hall-Dale in the Prelim 71-51, beat Waynflete in the Quarters 60-49 before losing to Dirigo in the Semis 67-54. The Rangers lose 4 starters to graduation. Isaiah Plummer, Andrew Plummers, Ryan Birse and Matt Downs are gone. Back is the lone starter Senior Trevor Higgins. Trevor had a super season last year and he will be one of the best players in C West this year. He will get help from fellow Seniors Cody Abbott and Tyler Metevier, plus two Juniors that will help in the cause Brennen Connor and Eric Modica. Look for Coach Jeremy Paul to have this group playing very well this season.

WIZ Predictions:

Class C East Champs- Calais
Class C West Champs- Winthrop
Class C State Champions- Winthrop

Class D East:

Have to go with Deer Isle to repeat in the East this year. Sure they lose Bryant Ciomei but the got his brother back Senior Colin Ciomei and Junior Eben Powers also returns. They will get help from Drew Eaton and Evan Rollings. The Mariners went a perfect 22-0 last season taking home the Gold Ball. Things wont be as easy this season but with Ciomei and Powers leading the way I think the Mariners can take the East again.

Up next is the Central Aroostook Panthers. The Panthers went 18-0 in regular season games last year. They beat Machias in the Prelim 78-42, beat Calvary in the Quarters 64-58 and lost to DIS in the Semis 76-63. The Panthers return standouts Manny Martinez and Cameron York. These two should have a huge season this year and they will get help from Sophomore Casey Brewer, plus add in Blake and Logan McCarthy and a couple of rookie Freshman Caleb Kelly and Logan McLaughlin. The Panthers will be strong again and they could very well take the whole thing.

Next up the Woodland Dragons. The Dragons went 11-7 in regular season last year and headed to the tournament as the # 9 seed. The Dragons lost a heartbreaker in overtime in the Prelim game to Washburn 59-55. Dragons Coach Troy Cilley has a ton of talent this year. Ben Sears and Chad James will lead the way for the Dragons along with help from Aaron St.Pierre, Spencer Brown and the Sophomore Corey Rolfe, plus add in the other Sophomore Keith Curtis. The Dragons will make a strong run come tourney time.

Sleeper Teams:

The Fort Fairfield Tigers will be pretty tough this season. The Tigers went 5-13 last season and just missed making the 16 Class D East Tournament getting beat out by South Aroostook. But the Tigers have a lot of experience returning this year. Look for Junior Doug Sharpe to have a big year and hell have help from fellow Juniors Austin Dufour and Matt Cresenzo, plus Seniors Ryan Noyes and Cody Closson and the Sophomore Josh Booth should have a very good year. Look for the Tigers to be in the hunt come tourney time.

Next up the Easton Bears. The Bears finished 11-7 in regular season play last year and were seeded at # 11 but lost in the Prelim to # 6 Calvary 89-64. Senior Jeremy Brock returns for the Bears along with fellow Senior Nate Sanders and they will get help from 3 Juniors Brad Trask, Sam Bacon and Sean Daniels. I think the Bears will have a good year and go a little deeper in this years tournament.

Up Next the South Aroostook Warriors. The Warriors went 4-14 in regular season last year and the squeak in the final 16 for the East tourney but the were beaten in the prelim game by # 1 seed Schenck 85-44. Colby Clark is back for his final year along with Rob Toothaker, plus Junior Tyler Robinson and they also have one of those Super Soph Dakota Sleeper. Dakota is the brother of the former Legend of the County Wille Sleeper. Plus they have a very good Freshman in Cody Robinson. Look for the Warriors to be much improved this year.

Class D West:

The Richmond Bobcats went a perfect 17-0 in regular season play last year. They entered the Tournament as the # 1 seed. The Bobcats beat Rangeley in the quarter-finals 61-44, beat a good Buckfield team in the semis 52-48 and they lost to Gould in the Western Maine Final 50-42. They lose Glendon Kendrick, Kyle Lancaster and Erik Nash from their starting line-up due to graduation but the Big Guy 611 Marc Zaharchukis back along with Brandon Lancaster and Sam Carter, plus they will get help from Walter Miller, Josh Brown, Nick Woods and Eric Murrin. I dont see anyone beating this team this season. Coach Paul Lancaster has to be excited I dont see anyone in Class D that will be able to stop Zaharchuk. Look for the Bobcats to take the Gold Ball home this year.

Next up would be the Valley Crusaders and they will be out to prove me wrong. The Crusaders finished up with an 11-6 record in regular season last year. The Crusaders beat Hyde in the quarter-final 53-50 and they lost to Gould in the Semis 52-44. They lose Stefan Staples and Lucas Hinds to graduation; But the Legendary coach Dwight Littlefield has some talent this year. Back for their Senior year are Trevor Miller, Curtis Miller, Scott Hunnewell and Brandon Osgood and they will get help from Jonathan Hunnewell, Ronald Pinkham along with two sophomore Cameron Miller and Nathan Schultz. Look for Valley to have a very good year and try to upset Richmond in the tournament.

Up next the Buckfield Bucks. The Bucks finished at 9-7 heading into last years tournament. They beat Elan in the quarter-final 62-33 and lost to Richmond in the Semis 52-48. They lose their top scorer Jamie Henderson to graduation but thats it everyone else is back. John Condon, Zach Cowett, Cy Wilkinson and Andrew Litchfield are all back for their senior season. These guys will be tough to be and they just might surprise us all.

Sleeper Teams:

The Rangeley Lakers finished 8-10 in regular season last year and they beat Portland Christian in the prelim game 74-48 before losing to Richmond in the quarter-final 61-44. The Lakers will be led by David Raymond and Ben Bliss. Look for the Rangers to be in the mix come tourney time.

Next up the Buccaneers of Elan. The Buccaneers finished their regular season at just 9-3 last year and they lost to Buckfield in the quarter-final 62-33. They only lose two players to graduation and they have a very good group of players back this year. They will be led by Junior Malcolm Turner and he will get help Sean Waddleton and Fred Hussain. Look for the Buccaneers to be very hungry come tournament time.

Up Next I like Greater Portland Christian. The Lions finished 7-8 in regular season play last year and got bumped by Rangeley in the prelim game 74-48. They have their 3 captains back for their final year. Derek Green, Matt Congdon and Mike Saunders and they have more seniors that will help the cause in Jacob Thibeault, Tyler Yarborough, Nate Harriman and Joe Tshamala. The Lions have some experience and they should be right in the hunt come tourney time.

WIZ Predictions:

Class D East Champs- Deer Isle
Class D West Champs- Richmond
Class D State Champions- Richmond

WIZ Preseason Player Rankings:

The WIZ Preseason Player Rankings are base on play from last year, play from AAU, play from summer H.S. hoops and play from fall leagues. I have a list of the Top 25 Players State Wide, A Top 100 Seniors list, A top 75 Juniors list, A top 40 Sophpmore list and a Top 25 Un-Ranked Freshmen list. We must remember this is a preseason list and many players will change in rankings as the season progresses as many players improve throughout the year and as always new stars arise. At the end of the season The WIZ puts out his End Of season Player Rankings which are a much truer ranking. Also when compelling a ranking list like this there is always the possibility that a player may be missed or there may be UNs players we do not know about. If there are players you feel are missed please let us know.

WIZ TOP 25 Players State Wide:

1.Sam LeClerc-----------Sr.-----------Winthrop
2.Jon McAllian----------Sr.-----------Bangor
3.Thomas Knight---------Jr.-----------Dirigo
4.Derek Libbey----------Sr.-----------Mattanawcook
5.Ryan Martin-----------Sr.-----------Maranacook
6.Lee Suvlu-------------Sr.-----------Bangor
7.Sean Bergeron---------Sr.-----------Kennebunk
8.Ryan Weston-----------Sr.-----------Bangor
9.Kyle Donovan----------Sr.-----------Deering
10.Mick DiStasio--------Jr.-----------Cheverus
11.Keegan Hyland--------So.-----------South Portland
12.Mike Harmon----------Sr.-----------Portland
13.Orlando Holmes-------Sr.-----------Messalonskee
14.Kyle Philbrook-------Sr.-----------Edward Little
15.Mike Foustoukos------Sr.-----------Gorham
16.Andrew Pullen--------Sr.-----------Cony
17.Kris Noonan----------Sr.-----------Boothbay
18.Shaine Burks---------Sr.-----------Cape Elizabeth
19.Justin Powell--------Sr.-----------Portland
20.Dominic Borrelli-----So.-----------Westbrook
21.Marc Zaharchuk-------Sr.-----------Richmond
22.Ethan Cushman--------Sr.-----------John Bapst
23.Gordan Fischer-------Jr.-----------Camden Hills
24.James Morse----------Jr.-----------Thornton
25.Jacob Moore----------So.-----------Hampden

WIZ Top 100 Seniors (Class of 2008)

1.Sam LeClerc----------Winthrop
2.Jon McAllian---------Bangor
3.Derek Libbey---------Mattanawcook
4.Ryan Martin----------Maranacook
5.Lee Suvlu------------Bangor
6.Sean Bergeron--------Kennebunk
7.Ryan Weston----------Bangor
8.Kyle Donovan---------Deering
9.Mike Harmon----------Portland
10.Orlando Holmes------Messalonskee
11.Kyle Philbrook------Edward Little
12.Mike Foustoukos-----Gorham
13.Andrew Pullen-------Cony
14.Kris Noonan---------Boothbay
15.Shaine Burks--------Cape Elizabeth
16.Justin Powell-------Portland
17.Marc Zaharchuk------Richmond
18.Ethan Cushman-------John Bapst
19.Kyle Stilphen-------Gardiner
20.Mike Poulin---------Maranacook
21.Antonio Juco--------Hampden
22.Eric Prue-----------Edward Little
23.Jake Longstaff------Portland
24.Paul Campbell-------Camden Hills
25.Doug Alston---------Cheverus
26.Sam Bell------------Calais
27.Adam Bernstein------Bangor
28.Jeff Winnie---------Thornton
29.Colin Ciomei--------Deer Isle
30.Will Bardaglio------Maranacook
31.Eric Thistle--------Skowhegan
32.Adam Kingsbury------Presque Isle
33.Shawn Dottsie-------Mt.Ararat
34.Brad Haase----------Hampden
35.Bill Zolpher--------Bangor
36.Kyle Corrigan-------Caribou
37.Christian Pieri-----Camden Hills
38.DeWayne Alberte-----Portland
39.Ryan Hill-----------Houlton
40.Tom Ray-------------Cape Elizabeth
41.Nate Peirce---------Dexter
42.Athony Passmore-----Portland
43.Joey Hunter---------Washington Acad.
44.Colby Knapp---------Dirigo
45.Mike Lavalle--------Gardiner
46.Ben Rosser----------Caribou
47.Cameron OBrien-----Cony
48.Chris Hughes--------Scarborough
49.Liam Anderson-------NYA
50.Mike Lowell---------Schenck
51.Will Furbush--------South Portland
52.Lucas ONeil--------Wayneflete
53.Justin Brown--------Hampden
54.Joe Gilbert---------Mt.Blue
55.Travis Gurrette-----Windham
56.Jack Garrity--------Erskine
57.Lucas Denning-------Yarmouth
58.Tim Gingras---------Winthrop
59.Reid Christian------Freeport
60.Gavin Cote----------Dexter
61.Cameron York--------Central Aroostook
62.Andy Pogar----------Scarborough
63.Trevor Higgins------Traip
64.Casy McKauge--------Bonny Eagle
65.Billy Colasante-----St.Doms
66.Kory Martin---------Thornton
67.Josh Dibatisha------Mt.Ararat
68.Kevin Smith---------Falmouth
69.Mamadou Ba----------Old Town
70.Dan Scully----------Brunswick
71.Dylan Smith---------Camden Hills
72.Ben Harnett---------Edward Little
73.Devon Costigan------Lawrence
74.Alex Fraiser--------Cheverus
75.Nick Wright---------South Portland
76.Chris Smith---------Deering
77.Nate Burke----------Hampden
78.Erza Damm-----------Winthrop
79.Owen Jones----------Mountain Valley
80.Brandon Moffett-----Oxford Hills
81.Cy Wilkinson--------Buckfield
82.Rod Tirrell---------Calais
83.Tim Stover----------Boothbay
84.Mike Doyle----------Falmouth
85.Zach Keene----------Livermore Falls
86.Muktar Sharif-------Edward Little
87.Larry Foster---------Winthrop
88.Derek Keller---------Mt.View
89.Curtis Miller--------Valley
90.Joe Dilworth---------Yarmouth
91.Colby Clark----------South Aroostook
92.Ian Place------------Cape Elizabeth
93.Peter Garrity--------Erskine
94.Jeremy Brock---------Easton
95.Dean McGrillis-------Mountain Valley
96.Derek Helms----------Hermon
97.Ben Doucette---------Van Buren
98.Trevor Miller--------Valley
99.Zach Cowatt----------Buckfield
100.Jordan Stinglen-----Seacoast Christian

WIZ Top 75 Juniors (Class of 2009)

1.Thomas Knight---------Dirigo
2.Mick DiStasio---------Cheverus
3.Gordan Fischer--------Camden Hills
4.James Morse-----------Thornton
5.Ronald Abwoch---------Deering
6.Jarrid Palmer---------Lewiston
7.Ben Russell-----------Mt.Blue
8.Cal Shorey------------Calais
9.Peter Foley-----------Cheverus
10.Chris Young----------Greely
11.Tyler Cummings-------Hall-Dale
12.Eddie Bagdonovich----Portland
13.Jason Dennison-------Wiscasset
14.Chad James-----------Woodland
15.Jordan Leeman--------Calais
16.Jamie Sawyer---------Mt.Blue
17.Ian Barwise----------Cheverus
18.Nick Baudansa--------Rockland
19.Corey Therriault-----Edward Little
20.Colby Hutchins-------Brewer
21.Russ Mortland--------Presque Isle
22.John Klages----------Freeport
23.Phil Leighton--------Lake Region
24.Dan Foster-----------Cheverus
25.Christian Hamilton---Westbrook
26.Justin Staires-------Mountain Valley
27.Eric Goodwin---------Gardiner
28.Garrett Holt---------Erskine
29.Dan Sheehan----------York
30.Parker Dodd----------Deering
31.James Bates----------Houlton
32.Jack Wyman-----------Falmouth
33.Brett Bradford-------Bangor Christian
34.Lincoln Dresser------Rockland
35.Alex Kee-------------Morse
36.Greg ONeil----------Cony
37.Kevin Hart-----------Winthrop
38.Nate Dixon-----------Windham
39.Kevin Tarr-----------Hermon
40.Alex Bowe------------Cape Elizabeth
41.Nate Doehler---------Bonny Eagle
42.Brad Trask-----------Easton
43.Andrew Gendron-------NYA
44.Devon Garrity--------Maranacook
45.Malcome Turner-------Elan
46.Ebon Powers----------Deer Isle
47.Matt Perkins---------Lawrence
48.Dylan Dedmon---------Bucksport
49.Manny Marttinez------Central Aroostook
50.Tim Fraser-----------Brunswick
51.Brian Carville-------Cony
52.Regan Flaherty-------Deering
53.Connor Lawler--------Cape Elizabeth
54.Ben Sears------------Woodland
55.Doug Sharpe----------Ft.Fairfield
56.Brady Vose-----------Mattanawcook
57.Alex Nivus-----------Gardiner
58.Tyler Patterson------Rockland
59.David Ketchan--------Winthrop
60.Matt Laubouskas------Mountain Valley
61.Doug Nash------------Leavitt
62.Alex Goldrup---------Medomak
63.Ben Andreason--------Greely
64.Khader Abbas---------Deering
65.Isaac Brower---------Hyde
66.Nate Frazier---------Bangor
67.Ian Philbrook--------Scarborough
68.Teel Iverson---------Rockland
69.Danny Hart-----------Camden Hills
70.Ryan MacQueston------Windham
71.Cameron Newman-------Biddeford
72.Eric Thayer--------- Greely
73.Charlie Ho-----------Portland
74.Evan McCarthy--------Katahdin
75.Eddie Manning--------Scarborough

WIZ Top 40 Sophomores (Class of 2010)

1.Keegan Hyland---------South Portland
2.Dominic Borrelli------Westbrook
3.Jacob Moore-----------Hampden
4.Kong Thok-------------Portland
5.Indiana Faithfull-----Cheverus
6.Eddie Tirabassi-------Deering
7.Stephano Mancini------Falmouth
8.Colton Gross----------Hermon
9.Walter Stover---------Portland
10.Lenny Cummings-------Cheverus
11.Nich Jobin-----------Westbrook
12.Noah Burdit----------Hampden
13.Evan Kenny-----------GNG
14.Ben Teer-------------Washington Acad.
15.Paul Verville--------Skowhegan
16.Andrew Dickey--------Cape Elizabeth
17.Jason Burns----------Cony
18.Trevor Tierney-------Greely
19.Joe Zukowski---------Portland
20.Nate Hennigan--------Bangor
21.Dylan Kingsbury------Presque Isle
22.Nate Carson----------Brewer
23.Dakota Sleeper-------South Aroostook
24.Jordan Taylor--------Skowhegan
25.Luke Bartlett--------Old Town
26.Jordan Hoyt----------Mt.Blue
27.Rachon Edgerton------Brunswick
28.Tyler Pelletier------Mt.Ararat
29.Ray Leach------------Hall-Dale
30.Tyler Chaisson-------Dirigo
31.Josh Sangillo--------Windham
32.Jimmy Weffering------Camden Hills
33.Cal Winchester-------Bangor
34.Jim Philbrook--------Edward Little
35.Miles Carey-Snow-----Portland
36.Tim Levesque---------Oak Hill
37.Austin Clark---------Jay
38.Matt Lee-------------South Portland
39.Tyler Bessette-------Brewer
40.Ryan Petros----------Ellsworth

WIZ Top 25 Upcoming Freshmen (Class of 2011)
(Un-Ranked and in no particular order)

Dennis Ross----------Deering
Nate Thistle---------Skowhegan
James Ek-------------Portland
Joe Doane------------Cape Elizabeth
Josh Walker----------Mt. Ararat
Graham Safford-------Camden
Brad Reed------------Belfast
Cam Shorey-----------Calais
Zach Gardiner--------Westbrook
Joe Savino-----------Cheverus
Zach Blodget---------Bangor
Ryan Ecker-----------Rockland
Clint Orcutt---------Mt.Blue
Tyler McFarland------Camden
Zach Bean------------Scarborough
Andrew Shaw----------Thornton
Mekae Hyde-----------Lewiston
Jamie Ross-----------Deering
Cameron Brown--------Cape Elizabeth
Keegan Pieri---------Camden
Josiah Hartley-------Bangor
Ray Bessette---------Brewer
John Hardy-----------Deering
Joseph Veroneau------Waynflete
Cameron Kaubris------Mountain Valley

WIZ Preseason Top 10 Teams heading into Week # 1

1.Bangor-----Last year Class A State Champions! The Rams want to Repeat Baby! McAllian! The Alaskan Assassin Suvlu! Weston! Bernstein! Zolpher! Who will stop these guys! Can they Go-All-The-Way!

2.Cheverus----The Stags are lookn Good! Gotta have the Faith! They got Indiana Faithfull! Mick Distasio! Peter Foley! Ian Barwise! Doug Alston! Danny Foster! And they got Coach! Bobby Brown!

3.Portland-----Who Let The Dogs Out! Last years WM Champions! 3 Transfers come in To help The Dogs! Harmon! Stover! Bagdonovich! Combine with Powell! Longstaff! Passomre! Alberte! Thok! And Manny More! Russo has to be

4.Hampden-----The Broncos are Loaded! Juco! Brown! Haase! TwoSuper Sophs! Moore! Burditt! # 2 in the East! Theyll Look to Upset # 1!

5.Deering-----The Rams want to Steal The Whole Show! They just Might! Donovan! Abwoch! Smith! Conley! Dodd! Plus Many More! The Rams are Gonna Be Hungry!

6.Camden Hills-They can taste it! Theyve been there before! One thing Stands in their Way! Maranacook! This will Be An-All-Out-War! Who will Get It! Campbell! Pieri! And! Fischer! Think Windjammers!

7.Edward Little-The Eddies Have something to say! Quick Exit Last Year! They Want More! They may Get It! Philbrook! Prue! Harnett! Shirif! How far will They Go!

8.Maranacook---Forget Last Year! The Black Bears are on a Mission! They want Gold! Period! Nothing else Matters! Martin! Bardaglio! Poulin! And Garrity! They had Gold before! They want it Back!

9.Winthrop-----Whats all the Rambling! The Ramblers will be Hot! They can Smell It! They can Taste It! Will they Get It! LeClerc! Foster! Damm! Gingras! Hart! I think They Will!

10.Calais------Blue Devils Look for a 3-Peat! Would be Sweet! Havent Lost in 2 Years! Wow! Will The Streak End! The Gold Rush is on Baby! Who will get It! Bell! Shorey! Leeman! Tirrell! How Sweet It Is!

Teams Knocking On The Door:

Cape Elizabeth
South Portland
Mountain Valley
Deer Isle

Til Next week: The itch has started again! Good luck to all teams!


MBR takes 11th place at AAU national championship....

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: August 1st, 2007

MBR takes 11th place at AAU national championship....

L-R Billy Colasante, Mike Foustokos, Lee Suvlu, Derek Libbey, Sam Leclerc, Kyle Philbrook, Thomas Knight, Kris Noonan, Evan Kenney, Eric Prue, Brandon Tomah..missing from photo: Ben Hartnett, Casey Reynolds

Orlando, Fl. ( compiled by www.NewEnglandRecruitingReport.com
from WIZ reports with additional comments by MBR)

Head Coach Carl Parker’s squad secures the best ever finish for a Maine boys basketball team at the national championships. 153 teams from across the nation had their eyes on competing for a national championship. The MBR boys basketball team advanced to the sweet 16 bracket at the junior boys/17u AAU National Championship before losing to a Virginia based team.
MBR then played in the 4th round losers bracket advancing to the 6th place game before falling to Georgia’s Inner Strength 55-51 to capture the 11th place medals.

MBR also played in the Super Showcase event just prior to the start of the national championships. Both events were held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. MBR finished 4-1 in the super showcase and 7-2 in the nationals to earn a total record of 11-3 over the eight-day period.
While their impressive streak was deemed a complete team effort it is hard not to take notice of some exceptional performances.

Sam Leclerc of Winthrop HS came into Orlando as the most recognizable name on the MBR roster and the talented floor general did nothing to disprove his impressive reputation. He did an excellent job of running the team throughout the week and is given much of the credit for the precision that characterized his team’s offense. If that wasn’t enough he also stepped up in the big games including a 20 point effort in an 81-65 victory over the Georgia Ballers during the medal round at the super showcase, another 20 point effort that fueled his team to a victory over Mark Trail (and consequent advancement into the medal round) during the nationals, and a high of 27 points in the victory that sent MBR to the sweet 16 as they defeated the Jackson Panthers from Mississippi.

Derek Libbey of Mattanawcook HS exploded onto the recruiting scene as he led the MBR team in scoring throughout the week. He was especially impressive during the nationals as he scored in double figures in all but 1 game, scored 18 or more points in 7 of MBR’s 9 games, and matched LeClerc for a team high 27 points in MBR’s victory over the Baltimore Stars that pushed them into the 6th place game. Libbey was able to do the majority of his damage with his three-point shot as he bombed away on all 8 days of the trip. He also is very crafty getting to the basket and often is at his best when someone is defending him closely.

Another player who made a big impression on college coaches was the skilled 6’8 forward Thomas Knight of Dirigo HS. By the end of the week he had collected quite an impressive set of admirers as coaches were obviously intrigued by a 6’8 lefty with outstanding footwork and a soft jumper. He went for 15+ points on five different occasions including his team’s overtime victory against the New York Gauchos when he was matched up against one of the brightest young frontcourt prospects in all of New England, Tevin Baskin. Thomas is a quick jumper, excellent shot blocker and defensive rebounder

“The Alaskan Assassin” is the nickname Lee Suvlu of Bangor HS earned after his outstanding week of play from MBR.org writer THE WIZ. Suvlu was on fire as soon as he got off the plane as he led his MBR team in scoring during 2 of their 5 games at the super showcase. Like Knight, he also saved his best performance for the Gauchos during the nationals, as he scored 10 of his 17 points that game during the third quarter which pushed MBR’s lead to 18 points.

Kudos also need to go out to: Brandon Tomah of Calais showed why his ability to run a team and knock down shots from the perimeter will be such a valuable addition to Lee Academy next season, also a lock down defender; Kris Noonan of Boothbay who was able to score and rebound around the bucket despite being undersized in quite a few games; Kyle Philbrook who stood out with his performance against the Shining Stars of Ohio is a tremendous defender with excellent court presence; Michael Foustoukos of Gorham HS, a long athletic 6’5” player , hit double figures against Mark Trail is; as well as Eric Prue, Evan Kenney, William Colasante, Casey Reynolds, and Ben Hartnett who provided invaluable depth to Coach Parker’s bench throughout the week.

Overall the entire MBR team can be proud, as they were clearly the Cinderella story of the entire championships and ultimately made history by advancing farther than any team from the state of Maine had ever gone before.

A special Thanks to the WIZ for all his timely recaps from Nationals. Be sure to keep up on his WIZdom on MBR.ORG. Video from AAU national trip: MBR videotaped all the MBR games and as many of the Maine hoops 17u games as possible. We can make DVD’s for you. Give us a call to discuss.
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