They graced the hardwood in Maine — 30 years apart.
One was a New England champion. The other won the Class A state title.
Now, they’re going head to head for the coveted title of Maine’s Best Boys Basketball Team of All Time.
The field began with a long list of nominees that produced a field of 64 teams. Five days later, Bangor Daily News readers have picked their favorites through five rounds, setting up the matchup for The Maine Event.
The championship match brings together the fabled 1963 team from Stearns High School in Millinocket and Bangor High’s 1993 ballclub.
The Minutemen advanced with a 67-vote victory over the 1985 Waterville team. The Rams had to overcome the 1987 Morse of Bath squad and earned a 24-vote margin of victory.
We’ll conceal the voting tally for the final round in order to unveil our winner early this week.
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The ’63 Minutemen are one of only two team sin our contest, along with the 1991 Deering squad, that did not win a state championship. They overcame a double-overtime loss to Morse in the Class LL title game by avenging that lone defeat, beating the Shipbuilders in the New England Championship contest at Boston Garden.
Coach George Wentworth’s teams won four other state championships in the 1960s, etching his name and that of the Stearns program in the Maine basketball history books.
Among the standout players on the squad were Terry Carr, Jon MacDonald and Dave Vaznis.
Stearns’ opponent is the ’93 Bangor team coached by Roger Reed. The Rams prevailed as Class A state champions, one year after coming up short in the fabled five-overtime loss to South Portland in the 1992 title contest.
Bangor got a shot at the Red Riots and dispatched them 62-37. It marked the Rams’ first championship since 1959, but marked the first of six state titles in 11 seasons.
The ’93 team featured Mark Reed, John Tennett, Chris Pickering, Dean Heistand and Ryan Braford.
And even though both of our Maine Event teams are part of Maine basketball history, one can add yet another title, that of Maine’s Best Boys Basketball Team of All Time.
The 1963 Stearns team advanced through our bracket by beating 2004 Calvary Chapel Christian of Orrington, 1990 Mountain Valley of Rumford, 1993 Winthrop and Bangor’s 1995 squad.
Bangor’s 1993 group had reached the Fabulous 4 by beating 2014 Portland, 1957 Old Town, 1979 South Portland, and the 1963 Morse squad.
Voting will conclude at 11 p.m. Sunday.