The top two teams in the Eastern Maine Class B Heal point ratings for boys basketball are now working to cope with significant injuries suffered less than an hour apart during separate games earlier this week.
Colin Morse, a 6-foot-2 sophomore forward for undefeated and top-ranked Camden Hills of Rockport, suffered a fractured ankle during the Windjammers’ 74-59 victory over Oceanside of Rockland-Thomaston on Tuesday night.
Morse, a first-year starter for the reigning state champions, had scored in double figures in each of Camden Hills’ first four games, including a 17-point effort at No. 2 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro that included the game-winning shot with 7.9 seconds left of a 71-70 victory.
He is expected to be out of action for six to eight weeks.
“It’s definitely an unfortunate injury for both Colin and our entire team,” said Windjammers’ coach Jeff Hart. “[Colin] was really developing his overall game, and he will be missed. We will hold out hope that he can return in February.”
Morse’s first full game out of the Camden Hills lineup came Thursday night when the Windjammers improved their record to 5-0 with an 89-53 win over Belfast. Senior guard Adam Carlsen helped pick up the slack with a career-high 29 points, while sophomore Chandler Crans also had a career high with 20 points, including five 3-point goals.
Camden Hills is now idle until a home game Dec. 30 against Maranacook of Readfield.
Meanwhile, Medomak Valley is awaiting test results on the left knee of 6-7 junior center John Murray, who was injured during the first possession of the Panthers’ 69-58 victory at Belfast on Tuesday evening.
Murray had averaged 16.7 points per game through Medomak Valley’s first three games and also led coach Nick DePatsy’s club in rebounding. He did not return to action against Belfast and also sat out the Panthers’ 61-47 victory over Lincoln Academy of Newcastle on Thursday night.
Murray was scheduled to see a specialist in Brunswick on Friday afternoon to help determine the extent of his injury.
“We still don’t know yet,” said DePatsy, whose team enters Christmas weekend with a 4-1 record. “There were some good signs the last couple of days, but we just have to wait and see.”
Medomak Valley has benefited in recent games from the return to action of senior guard Isaac Greenrose. Greenrose missed all but a few minutes of the Panthers’ game with Camden Hills after injuring his back during their season-opening victory against Oceanside, but since his return he has been one of Medomak Valley’s top scorers — including a game-high 21 points in the team’s 61-47 win at Lincoln Academy of Newcastle on Thursday night.
The Panthers will host the Medomak Valley Holiday Classic, a daylong tournament featuring 16 boys and girls basketball teams from nine schools, next Monday before returning to regular-season action at Winslow on Wednesday.
Camden Hills coach steps down
Linwood Downs, who coached the Camden Hills of Rockport football team from its infancy in 2005 through its first varsity victory and first Pine Tree Conference Class B playoff berth in 2010, has resigned.
“This was coach Downs’ personal decision and we accept his resignation with regret,” said Camden Hills athletic administrator Bill Hughes. “We are disappointed that he will no longer be leading our program. We are very proud of coach Downs’ leadership as he has been at the helm for the entire history of our program. We thank him for his dedication and commitment to our kids and program.”
Downs guided Camden Hills through four years of developmental play before the team joined the varsity ranks in 2009.
After a winless first season, the Windjammers scored the first varsity win in program history in their 2010 season opener, a 60-28 victory over Nokomis of Newport at Don Palmer Field on the Camden Hills campus.
The team went on to finish the regular season with a 4-4 record before being defeated by Belfast in the first round of the PTC Class B playoffs.
A rebuilding Camden Hills team finished 0-8 this fall.
Downs’ son, Collin, was the starting quarterback during the Windjammers’ first two varsity seasons and now is a first-year student and football player at Army.
Hughes said the school is advertising to fill Camden Hills’ football head coaching vacancy and hopes to have a candidate by late winter.