The first few evenings of the high school basketball season have produced some mind-boggling offensive exhibitions.
Mitch Worcester, a senior guard from Washburn, erupted for a school-record 53 points last Friday night during the Beavers’ 90-42 victory over Van Buren.
Worcester made 11 3-point field goals, 10 free throws and five 2-point field goals en route to that finish, which leaves his season’s average at 43.0 points per game in Washburn’s 2-0 start heading into Thursday’s scheduled game at Wisdom of Saint Agatha.
The school record Worcester snapped may have been his own, as he scored 47 points before fouling out during overtime of his team’s 77-76 win over Fort Fairfield on Jan. 25, 2011.
Another big-time scoring effort by a Washburn player that has been documented was Matt Baker’s 46 points during a 69-63 win over East Grand of Danforth in the 1991 Eastern Maine Class D quarterfinals at the Bangor Auditorium.
“Legend has it that in the 1950s George Seward scored 46 or 48 points in a game,” said Washburn athletic administrator Ron Ericson. “Then Matt Baker scored his 46 in the early ‘90s and Mitch scored his 47. There were a couple of others in the low 40s, but I’ve been here nearly 40 years and I think that’s what we’re working with. I don’t think anybody had ever scored in the 50s before.”
Worcester is remembered by basketball fans at the Auditorium for his long-range shooting exhibition during the 2011 tournament when he set Eastern D individual records for 3-pointers in a game (eight) and regional tournament (13) while helping Washburn set team records for single-game 3-pointers (20) and 3-pointers in a regional tournament (30).
And those marks all came despite the fact the Beavers were ousted by Jonesport-Beals 84-72 during the semifinals in a game in which Worcester and Washburn set their respective single-game marks.
One key holdover from that Jonesport-Beals team, senior forward Garet Beal, is averaging 34.3 points per game through the Royals’ 4-0 start this season.
That effort has been highlighted by his 82 points in approximately 20 hours last weekend, with a 40-point showing in a win over Sumner of East Sullivan on Friday night followed by 42 more points Saturday afternoon when the Royals outlasted Deer Isle-Stonington 64-58 in overtime in a rematch of their 2012 Eastern D championship game.
“He’s the kind of basketball player where you’re not going to stop him with one person,” said Deer Isle-Stonington coach Glenn Billings, whose team employed a box-and-one defense throughout its game against the University of Maine-bound Beal. “You’ve got to be able to funnel him into different situations, and he’s still going to get his points.”
Jonesport-Beals, the reigning Class D state champion, was slated to play at Shead of Eastport on Tuesday night.
Another player averaging more than 30 points per game during the very early stages of the season is Isaiah Bess of Penquis of Milo.
The 6-foot-3-inch junior swingman is coming off a 38-point uprising during a 73-34 victory over Stearns of Millinocket on Friday night, a performance that included 10 3-point field goals.
That followed his 25-point opening-night performance during a win over Schenck of East Millinocket for Penquis, which will take a 2-0 record into Thursday night’s game at Dexter.
Another noteworthy start to the season has come from Belfast senior Ryan Rice, who scored 29 points last Friday night for the Lions as they came from behind to upend Waterville 65-64.
The win was the second of the season for Belfast, now 2-1 after finishing last winter 1-17 and at the bottom of the Eastern B Heal point ratings.
Rice’s two free throws with eight seconds left against Waterville gave the victory to Belfast, which had opened its season with a win against Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and a five-point loss to Oceanside of Rockland, considered one of the teams to beat in the division this winter.
Rice has averaged 22.0 points per game in Belfast’s first three games. The Lions were scheduled to visit Camden Hills of Rockport on Tuesday night.
5 to receive MSHOF scholarhships
Five top student-athletes from around the state will be the recipients of $5,000 scholarships when the Maine Sports Hall of Fame holds its 38th induction ceremony May 5 at the Augusta Civic Center.
Those to be recognized are Georgia Bolduc, Waterville High School; Caitlin Bucksbaum, Falmouth High School; Adrienne Carmack, John Bapst Memorial High School of Bangor; Madeline Wiegman, Leavitt Area High School of Turner Center; and Evan Worster, Forest Hills Consolidated School of Jackman.
Bolduc has set four school and one state record in indoor and outdoor track at Waterville and has been a team captain for two seasons. Bolduc also has been a standout gymnast, winning state championships in 2010 and 2011 and the Northeast Regional title last year.
Bucksbaum has led Falmouth to the Class B girls soccer state championship each of the last two years. She has been recognized as a Western Maine Conference all-star and was named the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year in 2012. She is a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year who plans to attend Villanova University next fall.
Carmack is a three-sport standout at John Bapst Memorial in cross country, swimming and outdoor track. She has qualified for the New England cross country championships in all four seasons in high school and has finished among the top 10 in both the regional and state meet competitions. A first-team Penobscot Valley Conference all-star, she helped lead the Crusaders’ cross country team to two Eastern Maine titles and one state championship.
Wiegman has been a team captain and first-team all-conference honoree for Leavitt in both cross country and skiing, and helped lead the Hornets to the 2012 Class A Nordic ski title. Wiegman was also an individual state champion in the Nordic Ski Classic during her junior year.
Worster has rewritten the record books at Forest Hills, scoring more than 1,000 points overall through his junior season and setting Western Maine Class D tournament records with 51 points and 21 field goals in one game in 2012. He is an all-conference performer in both baseball and golf and was selected East-West Conference Player of the Year in golf as a sophomore.
Banquet tickets are $40 for members of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and $45 for non-members. A reserved table for 10 is $400. Tickets may be purchased until April 28. A social hour is scheduled for 11 a.m. The dinner buffet will begin promptly at noon.
Make checks payable to the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. To purchase tickets online, visit mshof.com and click on the Banquet Tickets link.