May 22, 2018
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Calais boys basketball team survives 700-mile road marathon

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Calais High School boys basketball coach Ed Leeman hollers out instructions to his team during an East Class C tourney game last February in Bangor.
By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

The Calais boys basketball team originally was set to have a light schedule last week, with just a four-hour trip to Fort Kent on Saturday.

But the wrath of winter and its accompanying postponements required the Blue Devils to ride a bus more than 700 miles to play three road games in as many days in order to get them all in before the end of the regular season this Friday.

Two games that were postponed twice earlier this season finally were played Thursday and Friday evenings, with Calais making an approximately 160-mile round trip to Lincoln on Thursday night and then making a trip of similar distance the next night to face Sumner of East Sullivan.

The team then boarded a bus again at 7:30 a.m. Saturday for a nearly 400-mile round trip to the Saint John Valley to face Fort Kent that afternoon.

“The other schools had to deal with postponements, too, so by the time we were able to reschedule the games those were the dates we had left,” said Calais athletic administrator Randy Morrison.

The good news for the Blue Devils was that they won all three contests, defeating Mattanawcook 64-28, Sumner 63-39 and Fort Kent 64-49 to maintain their second-place standing in Eastern Maine Class C entering the final days of the regular season.

Coach Ed Leeman’s club spent Sunday and Monday at home before playing its final road game of the regular season Tuesday night at Narraguagus of Harrington — a modest 130-mile round trip for the Blue Devils that produced a 78-39 victory.

Calais, now 14-3 this season, is scheduled to host neighboring Woodland in its regular-season finale Thursday.

Gavin Kane joins 500-win club

Spruce Mountain of Jay girls basketball coach Gavin Kane joined an elite group Saturday when the Phoenix defeated Lisbon 61-34.

The win improved Kane’s career coaching record to 500-98.

The Mt. Blue of Farmington graduate began his varsity coaching career with the Rangeley boys team during the 1985-86 season. He guided the Lakers for nine years and led that team to the 1989 Class D state championship.

Kane probably is best known for a lengthy stint at Dirigo High School in Dixfield, where he coached the school’s girls basketball team to six Class C state championships and 11 consecutive Western Maine titles between 1995 and 2006.

At one point he also coached Dirigo’s boys and girls varsity teams simultaneously.

Kane, who also has served two-year stints as an assistant coach at the University of Maine at Farmington and with the University of Maine women’s basketball program, is in his third year at Spruce Mountain.

The Phoenix are 17-0 this winter and ranked third in Western Maine Class B entering their regular-season finale Thursday at Carrabec of North Anson.


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