AUGUSTA, Maine — Matt McDevitt set the tone early Saturday afternoon, and his Greely High School teammates followed his lead.
The Rangers’ senior spearheaded a game-opening 16-5 run with 13 points, and Greely never looked back en route to a convincing 59-43 Class A state championship victory over Messalonskee of Oakland at the Augusta Civic Center.
The Rangers of Cumberland Center led by as many as 34 points in the second half, and McDevitt scored his 1,000th career point among his game-high 23 as coach Travis Seaver’s club polished off an undefeated campaign at 22-0.
The Eagles finished the season 16-6.
McDevitt provided an indication for how the afternoon was going to go in the first 30 seconds, connecting on a back-door layup before most fans could settle into their seats.
“Before the game I saw one of my old AAU coaches. He reminded me that I’ve been playing at this level for four years; it’s just like any other game,” said McDevitt, whose 1,000th point came on a third-quarter free throw.
The bigger, more athletic Rangers hounded the Eagles on the defensive end, denying them any open looks at the basket. Greely limited Messalonskee to four first-half field goals in building a 36-10 lead.
Greely also held Eagles standout Nate Violette scoreless in the opening half thanks to the defensive efforts of Shane DeWolfe, who guarded Violette all over the court.
“We hadn’t seen him during the year. We watched some film the last couple weeks,” said Seaver. “We tried to make his game difficult. Shane’s one of the best defenders in the state. He draws the toughest player every single night. Shane did an awesome job on him.”
Three Greely players scored in double figures as Jordan Bashaw registered 17 points and Ryan Twitchell 10, while McDevitt also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots.
“A great team effort tonight,” said Seaver. “All of our five starters have been the high scorer this season, that’s what makes us so dangerous and so hard to guard.”
With the game well in hand McDevitt, son of Saint Joseph’s College women’s basketball coach Mike McDevitt, calmly got his 1,000th point after being fouled shooting a 3-pointer early in the third quarter.
He sank the first foul shot and timeout was called so he could get a deserved ovation.
“I just tried not to think about it, I guess,” McDevitt said. “We were talking about it [at halftime] and I got a little antsy.”
McDevitt was able to use the combination of his size and quickness on dribble-penetration to overwhelm the Eagles and generate looks for himself and his teammates.
Hitting a few early shots also helped him settle into the flow of the game.
“That’s a weight off the shoulders,” he said. “It felt awesome.”
Tucker Charles and Chase Warren netted eight points apiece for Messalonskee while Christian Alley and Violette each scored six.
Violette struggled to the tune of 2-for-9 shooting from the floor.