Colin Morse has epitomized versatility among Eastern Maine Class B basketball players early this season.
The 6-foot-3-inch senior at Camden Hills of Rockport had proven himself capable of grabbing a defensive rebound, driving the length of the court and taking the ball to the basket all by himself when necessary throughout the earlier stages of his varsity career with the Windjammers.
But for now, at least, Morse has begun his senior year with coach Jeff Hart’s club not as the basket-attacking forward, but as the more patient point guard.
“I can’t be as fast as I’d like to be,” said Morse after contributing four points, eight assists, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots to his team’s 56-45 victory at Mount View of Thorndike on Saturday.
“Something in my game that I like to do is bring the ball up and just run down the floor and be faster than everybody. But being the point guard and needing to get everybody involved I’ve got to slow things down, and I’ve got to be patient running the offense to get good shots.”
Morse’s position shift has come out of necessity. While the Camden Hills roster boasts eight seniors, it lacks an experienced point guard.
“He’s one of our guys that can get his own shot, but he’s had to give that up,” said Hart, whose second-ranked Windjammers took a 3-1 record into Wednesday night’s scheduled Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game at Maranacook of Readfield. “We’d like to get to a point where he doesn’t have to be the point guard all the time and we can make it easier to make his game more diverse, get him down in the post or get him on the wing where he can get his shot off against people.
“But right now, his job is to get everybody involved and make sure we’re balanced, and he’s doing a nice job.”
Morse’s role has not come without some individual sacrifice, as he figured to be one of the team’s leading scorers but has relinquished some of that role to create a more balanced Camden Hills offense.
“I know I can score and everyone else knows I can score,” he said, “but if I’m getting my teammates involved and we’re winning, that’s all I care about.”
Morse’s positional switch also has facilitated some philosophical adjustments by the rest of the offense to accommodate its collective height — all five starters against Mount View were 6-foot-2 or taller — and lack of a traditional point guard.
“The key for us is playing without the ball, learning how to get people open and playing together,” said Hart, one of the state’s winningest coaches with 466 victories, all during his 32 years at Camden Hills and its predecessor, Camden-Rockport High School.
“That’s kind of foreign to a lot of teams now. Everybody’s doing the dribble-drive where you get the ball and just try to drive by people and dish it, and I just don’t think that’s what our strengths are this year, so we’re trying to do it with screens and cuts, hitting the open guy, making the extra pass and getting it off the glass.”
So far, it’s working out for the Windjammers with Morse at the point.
“Obviously we work on ballhandling in practice, and I think it will help over time to develop the skills of some of the younger kids, so as the season goes on, they’ll mature a little bit and be able to contribute at point guard,” said Camden Hills senior forward Chandler Crans. “But right now, Colin’s running the point pretty well.”
Alumni games to benefit bleacher campaign
The Camden Hills Regional High School alumni basketball games scheduled for Dec. 28 will have a special cause.
The games will serve as a fundraiser for the school’s community bleacher project, which seeks to support the purchase and installation of a 650-seat set of bleachers and a press box-storage facility at Don Palmer Field on the Rockport campus.
Don Palmer Field is the primary venue for the Windjammers’ football, soccer, lacrosse, track and cross-country teams, and the new set of bleachers and press box would also allow for a wider range of community events to be held at the facility.
To date, the project has raised more than $30,000, according to Camden Hills athletic administrator Steve Alex.
The alumni game schedule begins with a women’s contest at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s contest at 7:30 p.m. The local Five Towns Basketball boys and girls youth players will take part in exhibition games during halftime of the alumni contests, and concessions and a raffle will be available to everyone.
Alumni wishing to participate and sign up may call Alex at 236-7800, ext. 414.
For more information and funding options regarding the community bleacher project, visit camdenhillscommunitybleacherproject.com, call Camden Hills principal Dr. Nick Ithomitis at 236-7800, ext. 254 or Alex at 236-7800, ext. 414, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.