George Stevens Academy’s 97-69 boys basketball victory over Lee Academy on Friday night at Blue Hill was memorable for a variety of reasons.
Defending state champion George Stevens Academy and Lee Academy were the last two undefeated teams in Class C North, and the midseason win further established the Eagles as the team to beat in the division again this year.
The most noteworthy stat of the night belonged to 6-foot junior guard Taylor Schildroth, who ripped the nets for a school-record 61 points. The effort ranks among the top single-game efforts in Maine schoolboy basketball history.
“My phone was blowing up after the game Friday night and Saturday,” said Schildroth, a 2016 Bangor Daily News All-Maine third-team selection. “It’s slowed down now, but a lot of people have been texting me and messaging me on Facebook saying, ‘How the heck did you do that?’
“I tell them, ‘I don’t really know,’” he said.
The game also included the rare feat of two teammates amassing double figures in points and rebounds, with 6-3 senior forward Jarrod Chase finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds for George Stevens Academy and 6-6 junior center Max Mattson adding 11 points and 15 boards.
Schildroth made 20 of 36 field-goal attempts overall, including 12 of 21 from the 3-point arc. He was perfect on nine free-throw attempts while eclipsing the school record of 52 points set by Eagles’ assistant coach Matt Mattson a quarter-century ago.
“I’ve never seen anyone score 61 points in a game before,” said George Stevens Academy head coach Dwayne Carter. “It was pretty amazing. It was pretty awesome.”
While no official statewide regular-season records are maintained for Maine high school basketball, an unofficial listing maintained by the Maine High School Basketball archives website ranks Schildroth’s outburst as tied for sixth among single-game performances in state schoolboy history.
William Perkins of Morse High School set the standard, according to the site, when he made 37 field goals and eight free throws for 82 points against Rockland on Jan. 8, 1921.
Perkins is followed by Joe Fernald of Milbridge (76 points against Jonesboro during the 1956-57 season), Mark McBreairty of Allagash (76 points against Wisdom on Dec. 6, 1974), Steve Pound of Stearns of Millinocket (68 points vs. Caribou during the 1967-68 season), Eugene Hussey of Porter High School in Kezar Falls (63 points vs. Lebanon Academy, year unknown), John Alson of Bridge Academy in Dresden (61 points vs. Sabattus on June 31, 1947) and now Schildroth.
Schildroth’s effort likely can be considered a modern state record since it marks the most points scored in a game since implementation of the 3-point shot in 1987. The previous unofficial, single-game record in the 3-point era, according to the listing, was 57 points by T.J. Caouette of Winthrop (vs. Telstar during the 1995-96 season) and Jake Rioux of Van Buren (vs. Madawaska on Jan. 3, 2014).
“I made a shot in the paint early on, and I got a couple open looks off swings, and I made my first couple of [3-pointers],” said Schildroth. “Then I missed one, but after that, I hit a few more [3-pointers], and I thought, ‘They’re going to keep going in.’
“The best part was my teammates realized that, too, so whenever they could they just did ball reversals and swings and found me, and the ball just kept falling,” he said.
Fast start, strong finish
Schildroth scored 27 points, including seven 3-pointers, during a fast-paced first quarter that ended with George Stevens Academy leading 33-10.
“The first quarter a lot of times will set the tone,” he said. “Early in the game we try to get everyone an even amount of shots to see who’s on and then we kind of play it from there. I remember one game at Narraguagus Jarrod had seven or eight [3-pointers], and he was hitting them early, so we were trying to get him the ball, and Beckett [Slayton’s] a great shooter, so we look to him, too.
“I just hit my first couple, and it kind of went from there. For games like that, there’s really no explanation, the hoop just seemed about 10 feet wide,” he said.
Schildroth added nine points and two more 3-pointers in the second quarter before sitting out the last three minutes of the period after picking up his second foul.
Despite sitting for 20 to 25 minutes of actual time between the late stages of the second quarter and the 10-minute intermission, Schildroth did not cool off.
He drove to the rim for some early baskets in the third quarter and finished the period with 13 more points for a total of 49.
“We always try to establish the inside game first, then go to the outside. We did that in the first half, too,” said Carter. “We go to the rim, and then the defense collapses, and we kick it out. It was good ball movement, I was really happy with it.”
Schildroth soon passed Matt Mattson’s school mark.
“We were joking at halftime, and he said, ‘If you get to 51 I’m calling timeout and taking you out.’ He was kidding,” said Schildroth, who reached the game’s final few minutes closing in on 60.
“We weren’t really thinking about it,” said Carter. “We were up by about 18, and then Matt said to me, ‘You realize he’s got 58 points.’ I knew he had a ton, but I thought he had 40-something because other guys were scoring, too. It didn’t really hit me until there were about four minutes left.
“We talked about it, and I said I think we should try to get him one more shot and see if he can get 60, so we did, and we swung the ball around, and he hit it, and then we called timeout and took him out,” he said.
Schildroth nearly doubled his previous high school career high, the 32 points he scored to lead George Stevens Academy past Bucksport 55-43 in last year’s Class C North championship game.
“It’s good having teammates who are unselfish, because obviously I was shooting a lot more than a normal game,” said Schildroth. “But no one at any point ever told me to stop shooting or said it was a bad shot or didn’t pass it to me when I was open, they were all in. We have a great team like that.”
George Stevens Academy, which improved to 9-0, is 30-1 since the beginning of the 2015-16 season. The Eagles are scheduled to host Piscataquis of Guilford on Tuesday.
“Everyone can have their day,” said Carter. “We’ve just got to keep working on executing and taking advantage of what we can, and when someone’s on, we get them the ball.”