April 27, 2018
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Lincoln basketball tournament raises money for rec center

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

LINCOLN, Maine — It’s not often in a basketball player’s life that he drills the winning shot with about 1½ seconds left on the clock, and Cameron Fournier of Lincoln plans to savor it.

With his Lincoln Lazers recreation league team down 32-31 at Mattanawcook Academy on Saturday and seconds to go, teammate Hayden Weatherbee stole a lobbed pass from between two Orrington All Stars players and fed Fournier a pass that he turned into a score from about 6 feet from the basket.

“It was just a jump shot,” Fournier said Saturday, “but I was thinking, please, please go in.”

Not that the sixth-grader had any big doubt that it would.

“I knew I had it,” he said. “It was all lined up.”

Thirteen teams of fifth- and sixth-grade boys and girls filled gymnasiums at the academy and at Mattanawcook Junior High School for the ninth annual Lincoln Recreation Department Basketball Tournament, the town’s largest annual fundraiser for its proposed recreation and community center on 10.6 acres off Route 6.

Play continued Sunday with championship rounds at both schools in the afternoon. The East Millinocket-Medway girls team defeated Millinocket 23-17 to capture the girls championship, while Orono-Veazie beat the East Millinocket-Medway team 62-17 to capture the boys team championship on Sunday.

“The level of play was very good. There were some very good games throughout the two days,” Recreation Department Director Ron Weatherbee said Sunday.

The tournament typically raises about $2,400 to $3,700. As of Dec. 31, the Community Recreational Center Trust Fund created in 2002 had a balance of $370,129 — plus the fundraising trust account’s $36,709, for a total of $406,838.

At least 1,000 people attended and things ran smoothly.

“No incidents to report,” said Weatherbee, who was refereeing games when he wasn’t handling concession stand proceeds or helping to sell recreation T-shirts. “People are happy. Some of the games are very close and some of them haven’t been.”

Teams from Orrington, Houlton, East Grand, Hampden, Millinocket and East Millinocket were among those playing. Danforth coach April Crone said the tourney was worth the distance traveled.

“We don’t have a recreation team so the girls don’t get a lot of chances to play,” Crone said. “This is a good experience for them.”

Fundraising totals from the tournament won’t be available for several days, Weatherbee said.

Recreation committee members have said they hope to supplement the tournament with larger-scale fundraisers. The Town Council unanimously approved on Feb. 14 the creation of a committee charged with creating a large-scale fundraising campaign to raise $4 million or $5 million for the proposed center.

A preliminary estimate of the center’s cost was $7 million, but the recreation center building committee has begun reducing that cost by planning phases and looking at more affordable components.

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