February 7, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL NOTES: McGee pays tribute to Lawrence's Rowdies

By Travis Lazarczyk tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Mike McGee wasn't sure what to expect when Lawrence High School honored him prior to Wednesday night's game against Skowhegan. McGee knew one thing, he would honor the Rowdies.

click image to enlarge

THANKS: Lawrence High School basketball coach Mike McGee has a group hug with the Rowdies, Lawrence’s student cheering section prior to the Bulldogs game against Skowhegan on Thursday. McGee, who is retiring after the season, was honored before the game.

Staff photo/Michael G. Seamans

KENNEBEC JOURNAL/

MORNING SENTINEL TOP 10

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

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

• Lawrence’s Nick Noiles scored 20 points in a 67-46 win over Skowhegan.
• Evan Worster made the 100th consecutive start of his high school basketball career, and scored 20 points for Forest Hills in a 53-49 win over Greenville.
• Waterville’s Josh Gormley scored 21 points and had eight steals in a 65-55 win over MCI. Gormley had 18 points and 11 rebounds in a 64-47 win at Nokomis.
• Valley seniors Josh West and Carrington Miller each had a triple-double in a 94-28 win over Islesboro. Miller scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had 14 assists, while West scored a game-high 26 points with 10 rebounds and 10 steals. Miller also had a triple double (19 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds) in Saturday’s win over Piscataquis.
• Jordon Holmes of Messalonskee scored 20 points in a 55-25 win over Mt. Blue.
• Lawrence’s Spencer Carey scored 26 points in a 46-33 win over Bangor.
• Steven Davis of Mt. View scored 20 points in a 50-45 win over Gardiner.
• Andrew Cartright of Nokomis scored 24 points in a 57-49 win over Maranacook.

"I've caught myself, some games, just looking at them and smiling," McGee said.

Earlier this season, McGee announced he would retire as the boys basketball coach at Lawrence High School, a job he's held for 29 seasons. The school honored McGee prior to Wednesday's regular-season finale, presenting him a rocking chair. State Sen. Rodney Whittemore, who represents Senate District 26, which includes Fairfield, read a letter of thanks to McGee on behalf of the state legislature.

The Rowdies are the Lawrence student section. They sit directly across the Folsom Gymnasium court from the Lawrence bench. They're one of the most boisterous student sections in the state, and McGee made it a point to thank them during Wednesday's pregame ceremony.

After standing at midcourt and raising his arms in a salute to crowd, which included more than two dozen former Lawrence players and assistant coaches, McGee walked into the Rowdies section and gave the students a group hug.

The Rowdies were started in 1987 by Jeff Danz, a Lawrence student, and McGee said he wanted to thank the students for being an important part of the basketball program for two and a half decades.

"The Rowdies are such an advantage for us. I said, when I retire, I'm going to give them a hug and let them know how much they mean to me. I love our students," McGee said.

Lawrence is 14-4 after its win against Skowhegan. With the regular season over, the Bulldogs will enter the Eastern A tournament as the No. 3 seed, and will face either Messalonskee or Brunswick in the quarterfinals, McGee said.

Junior guard Xavier Lewis, who missed the last five games of the regular season with mononucleosis, was able to attend Wednesday night's game. Lewis's return for the playoffs is still questionable, McGee said.

"He may practice next week," McGee said.

* * *

With a regular season record of 13-5, Waterville had its best regular season since 1999, when the Purple Panthers went 12-6.

Now, the Panthers' goal is to win in the preliminary round and play in the regional quarterfinals at the Bangor Auditorium for the first time since 2001, when the team played in Class A.

The Panthers will host a preliminary round game in the Eastern B tournament, and after defeating Winslow on Thursday. Waterville's seed depended on the winner of the Camden Hills-Oceanside game. If Oceanside won, Waterville would jump Camden Hills and take the No. 7 seed. If the Windjammers won, Waterville will be the No. 8 seed.

* * *

Winslow played Thursday's game without starting guard Connor Wildes, who suffered a sprained ankle Monday.

"He had X-rays. They're all fine. Nothing broken," Winslow coach Jared Browne said.

The Black Raiders (13-5) will host a preliminary round game, and Browne thinks they will be either the fourth or fifth seed in the Eastern B tournament. He expects Wildes will be ready for the playoffs.

"If all goes well, we'll try and get him back Wednesday (for the prelims)," Browne said. "If not, he's going to be playing in Bangor, if we get to Bangor."

* * *

Chris Braley, a former standout at Nokomis, announced via his Twitter feed Thursday that he'll play his college basketball at Stony Brook University. Braley is a senior at Phillips Exeter Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire.

The 6-foot-4 Braley has helped the Big Red to an 18-1 record.

A member of the America East Conference, Stony Brook is 17-5, with an 8-1 record in America East play this season, good for first place in the conference.

(Continued on page 2)

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