The Calais boys basketball team figured to have a different look this winter after graduating three starters and then having Bangor Daily News All-Maine forward Cam Shorey transfer to Phillips Exeter (N.H.) Academy.
Now the Blue Devils will have a completely different starting lineup after senior guard Ryan Cavanaugh was lost for the season after suffering a football-related knee injury.
“He was our captain, number one,” said Calais head coach Ed Leeman. “And he was our only returning senior player. He was the one who brought back experience, and he was the one who brought all our toughness to the table.”
This marks the second time in three years that Calais has lost a premium player to a knee injury, as Shorey had to sit out the 2009 season — only to watch the Blue Devils win their third Class C state title in four years that winter.
Games to watch
The remainder of the final full week of play before Christmas features several games of note in the schoolboy basketball ranks.
Wednesday night’s schedule features an early season showdown of two Eastern Maine Class C favorites when Penobscot Valley of Howland visits Lee Academy in a 6:30 p.m. start. Both teams are coming off convincing opening-night victories on Monday, Penobscot Valley over Dexter and Lee over Central of Corinth.
PVHS is led by 6-7 senior center Joey McCloskey, while Lee will try to counter that height with two sophomores, 6-7 Daniel He from China and 6-4 Artie Makovskis from Lithuania.
Two-time defending Eastern B champion Camden Hills of Rockport will get what could be one of its tougher regular-season tests Friday night at Midcoast rival Medomak Valley of Waldoboro. Medomak Valley’s challenge will be to contain BDN All-Maine first-teamer Tyler McFarland and fellow 6-6 forward Keegan Pieri while withstanding the Windjammers’ relentless defensive pressure.
Also on Friday is a Hancock County battle sending George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill to Ellsworth. GSA is off to a 2-0 start in Class C with wins over Orono and Searsport, while Ellsworth returns a solid contingent from last winter’s Eastern B finalists led by senior forward Andrew Austin, senior guard Cote Card and 6-6 senior center Nick Richie.
Two other games of note Friday have Lee Academy at Stearns of Millinocket, and defending Class D state champion Schenck of East Millinocket at Penobscot Valley.
Headlining Saturday’s schedule is a Class D matchup sending Deer Isle-Stonington to Jonesport Beals. Jonesport-Beals is led by sophomore guard Garrett Beal, junior point guard Matt Alley and 6-6 junior center Justin Alley, while sophomores Sam Grindle and Hayden Ciomei are among the leaders of a youthful Deer Isle-Stonington club.