The roster looks different, but the results are largely the same for the George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill boys basketball team through the first third of the season.
Coach Dwayne Carter’s Eagles are 6-0 and ranked atop the Class C North standings heading into their game against Calais at the Cross Insurance Center on Friday as part of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.
The opening tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
It’s been a remarkable run for GSA, which since the start of the 2014-15 season has won 103 of its 113 regular-season and tournament games, including a 15-2 postseason record that included consecutive state championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
And while such local legends as Taylor Schildroth, Max Mattson and Jarrod Chase have graduated from that scene, six seniors moved on from last winter’s team that reached the Class C North final, and junior forward Andrew Szwez transferred to Class AA Bangor, George Stevens Academy looks well positioned for a deep playoff run again this winter.
The cast of other contenders is slightly different, too, with defending C North champion Houlton now back in Class B by reclassification for at least the next two years. But the current Class C North crop features a top five of George Stevens, Fort Kent, Stearns, Central Aroostook of Mars Hill and Dexter, teams that entered the holiday break with a combined 25-2 record.
Credit George Stevens’ presence in that pack in part to some newfound depth.
“We have a number of players who have had good starts to the season. A couple of times we have had five and six players in double figures, which has been great,” Carter said.
One veteran who has taken a significant step forward so far this season is senior guard Caden Mattson. Long known as a defensive stopper for the Eagles, the 6-foot-1 Mattson has broadened his game to average a team-leading 15.5 points along with 7.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest.
And Mattson’s defense remains constant, with 3.2 steals and 2.1 pass deflections per outing,
GSA also has benefited from newcomer Milos Sujica, a 6-3 international student who as a senior is playing his first season with the Eagles.
Sujica plays both guard and forward and has averaged 14.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.5 deflections during George Stevens’ undefeated start.
“Milos gives us another 3-point threat, can also play the post and is good off the dribble to the rim,” Carter said. “He is a very unselfish player, and sees the court well, passes very well and rebounds well. He has fit in well and makes us more dynamic as a team.”
Other prominent work has been done by senior guard Austin Moon, junior forward Mike Moon, and sophomores David Gadsby and Teague Smallidge as George Stevens has won its first six games by an average of 24.8 points.
“They have made significant contributions to our successes,” Carter said. “We are doing it with everyone, which has been great.”