Just a year ago, Ben Teer was living out the Maine high school basketball player’s dream — leading Washington Academy of East Machias to the Class C state championship.
The 5-foot-9 guard from Northfield averaged 18.9 points, 7.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game en route to being named to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine team.
But despite that success, Teer wanted more out of basketball — a college career — and he wasn’t quite certain he had it in him.
But a season with the postgraduate team at Lee Academy has turned any doubts into self-confidence.
“Last year I wasn’t so sure about my ability to come in and play basketball here, but I’ve started earlier in the season and now I’m a sixth or seventh man coming in off the bench,” said Teer, who was back at the Bangor Auditorium on Monday evening watching Machias upend Schenck of East Millinocket 41-36 in an Eastern D quarterfinal. “It’s been an adjustment but I’ve done well.”
Teer’s basketball development as a postgraduate has involved a mix of refining his skills and gaining a clearer understanding of his role.
“It’s a lot faster paced, and I’ve become a lot better with the mental part of the game,” said Teer, a four-year starter at WA. “I’ve become more comfortable with being a pure point guard. I’m not asked to score a lot, I’m averaging six or eight points a game but also five or six assists.
“Just controlling the tempo better is where I’ve to adjust my game.”
Teer says he has benefited from the caliber of competition, both within the Lee roster and opponents from some of the top prep programs in the country.
“We played against some guys who are set to go to the NBA, another guy who is supposedly the next LeBron from Canada,” said Teer. “It’s good see all the better competition, and it just makes you want to get better and compete even more.”
Teer also was named a Top Performer by New England Recruiting Report for his efforts while playing in the National Prep School Invitational tournament held at the University of Rhode Island earlier this month.
“Teer was extremely impressive in his 14 minutes of action, showing his value as a high-IQ playmaker and capable 3-point shooter,” the website reported.
Teer is mulling several college offers, including nationally known Division II programs Chaminade of Hawaii and Alaska-Fairbanks as well as Division III Salem State, and plans to take some official college visits in March.
“Ben has been the consummate team guy,” said Lee coach Andrew Papaefthemiou, whose team hosts in-state prep rival Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
“He has improved from a D-III player to a scholarship kid, and that is a tribute to him and his will and desire. He does all the little things in a strategic way. He is always following up with coaches, asking me or my assistant to make copies of his game for review. I couldn’t be happier for him, and Ben is an example of why I got into coaching.”
Teer also is keeping his options open for any Division I feelers that come along in the next few weeks
“It’s kind of funny now but when I first came to Lee the coaches even told me straight up, ‘He’s never going to play for us,’” Teer said. “I was throwing the ball away, I was bouncing it off the wall, and now I’m coming off the bench and making a contribution.
“It’s amazing how far I’ve come.”
Stewart, Powers win weight classes
Jacob Stewart of Bucksport and Jacob Powers of Camden Hills of Rockport were among the individual champions at the recent Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance All-Star Wrestling Tournament held at Mount Ararat School in Topsham.
The meet was open to all top finishers at the 2011 state championship meet as they prepare for the New Englands to be held March 4-5 at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn.
Stewart, who finished second in the 140-pound division of the Class C state meet, pinned Windham’s Tony Taylor with one second left in the second round to win in the same class at the all-star meet.
Powers, who went undefeated en route to the Class B state crown at 160 pounds, pinned Class A state champion Brandon Corson at 2:48 in their all-star championship final. Corson has lost just twice this season, both times to Powers.
Joining Powers and Stewart as individual weight-class champions were Connor Sheehan (103) of Fryeburg, Tyler Davidson (112), Jake Rasque (119) and Josh Perschy (285), all of Marshwood of South Berwick, Ethan Gilman (125) and Peter LePage (135) of Massabesic of Waterboro, Jared Jensen (130) of Brunswick, Jake Oh (145) and Malcolm Marshall (152) of Mount Ararat, Norton Revell (171) of Cony of Augusta, Stephen Sawyer of Westbrook (189) and Michael Cyr (215) of Scarborough.
Among wrestlers earning second-place finishes at the all-star meet were Coleman Powers (119) of Camden Hills, Trevor Weymouth (125) of Foxcroft Academy, Ryan Grover (152) of Sumner of East Sullivan, Levi Hayden (171) of Skowhegan, Andrew Pineo (189) of Skowhegan, Zac Ragot (215) of Washington Academy of East Machias, and C.J. Stratton (285) of Penobscot Valley of Howland.
Third-place finishers included Mark Smith (112) of Foxcroft, Jordan Lord (119) of George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill, Calan Bragg (125) of Camden Hills and Cody Lozier (130) of Fort Kent. Spencer Levesque (135) of Fort Kent and Connor Winchenbach (103), Brandon Graffam (189), Rhett Chase (215) and Jacob Halberg (285), all of Camden Hills, placed fourth in their weight classes.
Marshwood won the team championship with 89 points, edging Noble of North Berwick (82). Camden Hills was third with 62 points.