December 19, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Winthrop dealing with injuries

Ramblers playing well, trying to develop depth

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur is trying to develop depth on his team, no easy task when he’s dealing with a couple of injuries. Junior point guard Taylor Morang missed a couple of games to begin the season with a deep thigh bruise and has yet to feel 100 percent healthy while sophomore center Anthony Owens is out with a bad ankle sprain.

Weekly Honor roll

• Winthrop junior Dakota Carter had 16 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists in a win against Mt. Abram.

• Winthrop junior Matt Sekerak scored 19 points and had eight steals in a win against Mt. Abram.

• Maranacook junior Cam Brochu had 23 points, 16 rebounds and five steals in an 87-81 win against Nokomis.

• Maranacook senior Taylor Wilbur scored 30 points in a win against Nokomis.

• Gardiner junior Seth McFarland had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in a win over Leavitt.

• Richmond sophomore Mike Stewart scored 14 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and recorded five steals in a win against Pine Tree Academy.

• Oak Hill senior Derek Gamage scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a win against Telstar.

• Gardiner junior Brad Weston had 14 points and 10 rebounds in a win against Leavitt.

KENNEBEC JOURNAL/

MORNING SENTINELTop 10

1. Hampden

2. Portland

3. Bonny Eagle

4. Falmouth

5. Brunswick

6. Bangor

7. Cheverus

8. Deering

9. Morse

10. Greely

Morang has played the last couple of games albeit fewer minutes than he’s accustomed to. In Wednesday’s win against Telstar he scored seven points and had seven steals.

“He’s got a little rust on him,” MacArthur said. “He’s a tough kid, he’s not going to let me know.”

Junior Matt Sekerak has filled in for Morang at point guard which MacArthur believes will help the Ramblers in the long run, Owens sprained his ankle early in the second half of last week’s win against Monmouth, and MacArthur hopes he’ll be back by tonight’s game against Wiscasset. If not, he’ll have the Christmas break to get ready for the team’s next game Jan. 2.

“It’s made us a lot less deep and hurts our size defensively,” MacArthur said.

Despite the injuries the Ramblers have played well. They’re 3-2 with a 10-point loss to Dirigo and a six-point loss to Spruce Mountain, both on the road and neither with the team at full strength.

“I’m happy, we’ve just got to continue to get better,” MacArthur said.

The Ramblers return four starters in Morang, Sekerak, Dakota Carter and Ben Allen, all solid multi-sport athletes. They’ve added Owens into the lineup and bring freshman Jacob Hickey off the bench when everyone is healthy. Hickey is a good outside shooter with range who leads the team in scoring. Teams are already beginning to extend their defenses to stop him.

“It’s opened up some lanes,” MacArthur said. “It’s a learning process for him. He’s come a long ways defensively in a month.”

• • •

Monmouth is awaiting the return of senior shooting guard Isiah Calder who missed preseason and the first four games with a torn meniscus. The transfer from Leavitt is expected to play the wing and boost the offense.

“He can take it the basket off the wing and shoot the 3,” Monmouth coach Lucas Turner said.

Freshman Hunter Richardson has started in Calder’s absence and will probably remain in the starting lineup.

“He’s shooting well and playing great defense,” said Turner, who is putting Richardson on the opposition’s top scorer. “At times you forget he’s a freshman. Every once in awhile you remember.”

Senior center Marcques Houston is averaging 17 points a game but could use a little scoring help. Senior Kasey Smith, who is 6-feet, 4-inches tall, could provide that but he’s dealing with a broken nose he sustained in preseason.

“His broken nose is definitely affecting his play,” Turner said. “He doesn’t like his face guard. It alters his shot.”

Turner expects the face guard to come off early next month. The Mustangs resume their regular season schedule against Mt. Abram on Jan. 3. In the meantime they’ll face Waynflete and Traip in the Gray/New Gloucester Christmas tournament.

• • •

Hall-Dale coach Chris Ranslow was happy to be 3-1 entering Thursday night’s game at Mountain Valley considering the illnesses and absences he dealt with this season.

“Four or even all five starters have missed up to four practices in a row for a host of reasons,” Ranslow said. “When that happens you don’t get that continuity.”

Hall-Dale is coming off a 47-38 win against Madison on Wednesday night just a week after a 20-point loss to Wiscasset. Earlier this season, Madison beat Wiscaset.

(Continued on page 2)

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