January 10, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL NOTES: McGee makes it official

By Travis Lazarczyk tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Longtime Lawrence High School boys basketball coach Mike McGee will retire at the end of the season. For years, McGee has hinted that this could be his last season on the Bulldogs' bench, but Wednesday he made it official.

KENNEBEC JOURNAL/MORNING SENTINEL TOP 10

1. Portland
2. Hampden
3. Deering
4. Edward Little
5. Falmouth
6. Bonny Eagle
7. Lawrence
8. South Portland
9. Westbrook
10. Oceanside

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

• Forest Hills senior Evan Worster scored 19 points in Tuesday’s 57-54 overtime win at Greenville. Worester set the school’s all-time scoring record in the game, and now has 1,342 points in his career.
• Winslow’s Austin Ireland scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 73-61 win over Medomak Valley on Tuesday.
• Kael McCarthy scored 23 points to lead MCI to a 55-50 win over Maranacook on Tuesday.
• Nokomis guard Spencer Hartsgrove scored 28 points to help the Warriors earn a 63-56 win over Gardiner.
• Taylor Bacon of Skowhegan scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a loss to Oxford Hills. On Friday, Bacon had 19 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to Erskine.
• Erskine guard Devin Duncan scored 22 points, including the Eagles’ final 14 points of the game, in a 56-53 come-from-behind win at Skowhegan on Friday.
• Ian James of Mt. Abram scored 26 points in a 65-52 win over Carrabec on Saturday.

McGee coached 31 seasons at Lawrence, and this is his 29th as head coach. A Lawrence graduate, McGee has 342 wins, two state championships, six Eastern Maine championships (one as an assistant coach) and three Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference titles.

As a player, McGee helped Lawrence win Eastern Maine titles in 1974 and 1976.

Lawrence is in the middle of one of its best seasons in years. The Bulldogs are 8-1 heading into tonight's key game at home against undefeated Edward Little (8-0).

However, the Bulldogs will face the Red Eddies without McGee. Early in last Friday's win over Oxford Hills, McGee was assessed two technical fouls and ejected. Any coach or player ejected from a game is automatically suspended from the next game.

McGee said he is embarrassed by the situation.

"It's my first (ejection) in 30 years. This summer, I was bragging to people I've never been thrown out of a game and bang," McGee said. "I had a hell of a pregame talk and I can't deliver it."

McGee said assistant coach Jason Pellerin, a former head coach of the Lawrence girls varsity team, will assume head coaching duties for the game and will be assisted by Tom Nadeau, a former head coach at Winslow and Hall-Dale.

"You always get good people around you. Jason and Tom will do a good job," McGee said.

Lawrence is ranked third in Eastern Class A, behind Hampden (9-0) and Edward Little. Containing Quinn Leary, the Red Eddies' best player, is a key tonight, McGee said, as is continuing to force turnovers. The Bulldogs have forced an average of 26 turnovers per game over the last few weeks, McGee said.

"Quinn Leary is as good as there is in the state. We have to stay on him," McGee said. "They have three or four good shooters. We're not where we want to be yet, but we're playing better."

* * *

Forest Hills senior Evan Worster said he's glad his chase for the school career scoring record is over.

"It weighed on my mind. I don't think I played my best over the last few games," Worster said. "Now that it's over, I feel like there's a huge weight off my shoulders."

Worster scored 19 points in Tuesday's 57-54 win at Greenville to become the top scorer in Forest Hills history. Worster, a varsity player since eighth grade, now has 1,342 points. The record-setting basket came on a layup, Worster said. Entering the game, he knew he needed nine points to pass Antoine Morin as the Tigers' top scorer.

"I think (the basket) gave us the lead," Worster said. "I realized when I had done it."

Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero, who has coached a handful of 1,000 point scorers, said he was just as relieved as Worster to get the record accomplished.

"I've been blessed with kids who are very unselfish and team-oriented," Amero said. "We really wanted to get (the record) off the books. Evan doesn't want it to be about him."

When Worster set the record, the game was paused and Worster was honored by Forest Hills and Greenville fans alike.

"Greenville was very good about it," Worster, who hopes to continue his basketball career in college, said.

Added Amero: "They really handled it with a lot of class. It's the first time Forest Hills ever got a standing ovation at Greenville."

(Continued on page 2)

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