Keepin' It Real
By: Toby Nelson
I love basketball. I especially love Maine High School basketball. If I could make a career out of it, I would be a high school basketball historian. With that said, this past weekend is always a great time of year as the high school basketball season opened up all across the state.
Everyone starts 0-0. Congratulations if you won a championship last year. The gold ball looks good in the trophy case, but it means nothing now as hope springs eternal for all teams.
I fondly remember my last opening night game in high school. Picture it. December 9th, 1994. East Millinocket, Maine. We (Foxcroft Academy) traveled to Schenck High School, the defending Class C state champs. At that time, they were still a bigger school, had strong athletes, came into gyms dressed in school issued sportcoats and ties, and drove to away games in a motorcoach provided by Great Northern Paper. Their look was worth 15 points a night. Those were the days.
Schenck had sustained losses due to graduation, but they had a good nucleus back, and Steve LeVasseur was still their head coach. Whether you liked him or not, his kids played hard for him and he won a heck of a lot more than he lost. Anyway, we were not coming off a state championship. We weren’t even coming off a playoff appearance. We were 6-12, and not that good, but again, we were 0-0 that night. Speaking of 0-0, that would be the only tie score as we got pummeled, 99-54. A 45-point beatdown on opening night…...ouch.
Our season never recovered. We lost four straight to start the year, only to win four straight. Starting 1995, we were 4-4, but that would be it. We were 2-8 the rest of the way, including a loss in our last game of the season, 106-79 to PCHS. So we bookended our season giving up 205 points in those two games, or 102.5 ppg.
Maybe that’s a record. Maybe when I become a high school basketball historian, I will research that. Either way, good luck to all teams, coaches, and officials.
0-0 is a good place to be, just not for too long.