January 30

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Rams fight for playoff berth

Cony finishes regular season against Skowhegan, Edward Little

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Cony moved into eighth place in the Eastern Maine Class A tournament standings following its win against Mt. Ararat on Tuesday, but with two games remaining in the regular season the Rams aren’t yet assured of a post-season berth.

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• Gardiner senior Ed Weymouth scored 24 points in a 63-59 loss to Nokomis.

• Gardiner junior Brad Weston scored 16 points in a win against Belfast.

• Maranacook junior Taylor Wilbur scored 27 points in a win over MCI.

• Winthrop junior Taylor Morang scored 15 points and had five asists in a win against Monmouth.

• Maranacook senior Caleb Jackson scored 20 points in a win against MCI.

• Gardiner junior Seth McFarland scored 19 pointd in a win over Belfast and 16 in a loss to Nokomis.

“There’s no way to guarantee getting in because it’s going to depend on what a lot of people do,” Cony coach T.J. Maines said. “If we win two games, we’re probably in.”

The Rams finish on the road against Skowhegan on Friday and Edward Little on Tuesday. The eighth and ninth teams play a prelim game and there are three teams — Cony, Lewiston and Lawrence — competing for two spots.

Lawrence finishes with Brunswick, Bangor and Messalonskee while Lewiston plays on the road against Mt. Ararat and Edward Little.

“If Lewiston wins out and Lawrence wins two out three we’re done,” Maines said. “The bottom line for us is we’ve got to take care of the two games. If we don’t take care of it, it’s up to others to lose.”

Maines was pleased with Tuesday’s 63-56 win against Mt. Ararat. Senior Kevin Kingsbury scored a game 10 points but more importantly guarded Mt. Ararat’s high-scoring Shy Ulrickson in the second half.

“Kingsbury did a great job defensively,” Maines said. “We chased (Ulrickson) all over the floor. He was absolutely exhausted in the fourth quarter.”

• • •

Monmouth is jockeying for playoff position in Western Maine Class C. The Mustangs (10-6) played against St. Dom’s on Thursday night and finish the regular season Tuesday at home against Lisbon, one the Mountain Valley Conference’s hottest teams. The Greyhounds have one eight of their last nine games.

“They’re a senior laden team in the backcourt,” Monmouth coach Lucas Turner said. “They’ve also got a couple of good big guys.”

Lucas has six seniors of his own who have been to the tournament two of the past three years. The Mustangs are currently sixth place and would like to stay there or move up to avoid a prelim game on the road.

“I think we’ve got to win one to be assured,” Turner said.

In addition to his seniors, Lucas is especially pleased with the play of freshman starter Hunter Richardson who often guards the opposition’s leading scorer.

“You only have to tell that kid something once,” Turner said. “He’s a really smart and athletic kid.”

• • •

Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt is torn over moving up a spot to fourth in the Western Maine Class C standings to avoid a prelim game.

“If we don’t have a prelim we’ve got a 13-day layoff between our last game and the quarterfinals,” Schmidt said. “So in some ways I’d rather have a prelim. Not that we don’t want to win our last two games.”

The Black Bears finish at home, tonight against Gardiner and Tuesday versus More, both point-worthy teams in Class B. They lost to Gardiner in the season opener but played without starters Caleb Jackson and Kent Mohlar and senior Richard Hall was limited with an injury.

“We’re very different because we’re healthy and we’re better in general because we’re starting to understand our roles,” Schmidt said. “I feel like we’re playing as a team.”

Schmidt hasn’t seen Gardiner since the first game of the season but knows what to expect from the Tigers.

“They always plays hard,” he said. “They don’t quit. I feel like we have to match their intensity level.”

• • •

Winthrop would like to avoid a prelim so a couple of its players can recover form injury. The Ramblers (13-3) are third in Western Maine Class C going into tonight’s game at Lisbon. They finish the regular season Monday at home against St. Dom’s.

The Ramblers are currently playing without starters Zach Steele and Matt Sekerak, both are key defensive players and Sekerak is a good outside shooter to boot. Steele is recovering from a foot injury and should be ready by at least the post-season while Sekerak twisted his knee against Hall-Dale.

“We’re still up in the air with what’s happening with him,” Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur said. “We haven’t had any word.”

Two freshmen are helping take up the slack. Jacob Hickey, the team’s leading scorer, has moved from his sixth-man role to take Sekerak’s spot while Bennett Brooks is filling in Hickey’s role as first off the bench.

“In our minds we still have business to take care of,” MacArthur said. “We’d like to get healthy before this final stretch.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638ghawkins@centralmaine.comTwitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ
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