It happened Saturday evening. I’m driving to the Bangor Auditorium to broadcast the Hermon vs. John Bapst girls basketball game. My first broadcast of the season at the ole barn on Dutton Street.
I drove by those mammoth new steel beams behind Paul Bunyan and I started thinking about how great the new arena is going to be.
Then… I walked into the old mecca of basketball… I closed my eyes… and guess what I saw….
I saw Ellsworth’s Tim Scott and the “miracle minute” vs M.A. I saw that Norm Prouty coached Hampden team, under .500 and coming from a play-in spot, go on to win the Eastern “B” title.
I saw Joe Campbell’s tip-in at the buzzer. I saw that team from little Allagash play for the final time because soon there was no more Allagash High School. I saw PI’s Kim Condon play on that injured ankle — who knew a potato had such healing powers. I saw all those 3-pointers by the Calvary Chapel team that year. And then I saw it again last year from the Washburn team. I saw that roof leak as the Mount View and Houlton girls played. Then, Dexter and Rockland boys played. And played. And played, 5 overtimes.
With my eyes still closed it was so easy to see tourney week memories…
I saw MDI’s Victoria Watras. She was Cindy Blodgett before Cindy Blodgett. I saw coach Jesse Bedwell so upset, his glasses fell off and he stepped on them by mistake. I saw that Calais sign reminding fans about their number one status “wearing white and playing at night.” I saw Cony’s Marci Lane and those glasses. I saw that Matt Rossignol dribbling and shooting show. And then I saw it again with Tony Tobin. And then I saw it again with Maranacook’s
Ryan Martin. I saw a team decide to not cut down the nets after winning the Eastern Maine title — their plan was to cut the nets after winning the state title. The team never got that chance.
I saw all those lefty shooters. Bucksport’s Jay Moore. Medomak’s Josh Nash. The Goose, Troy Scott from Lawrence. I saw coach Arnie Clark’s whistle — he always has that whistle around his neck. I saw referee Tony Tammaro’s wink and smile. I saw Woody Bailey and Bill Fletcher.
And yes, I saw that first hot dog of tournament week.
About 26 days away… but who’s counting!
ITEMS FROM THE DUFFEL BAG:
— Speaking of tourney memories…The passing of Bangor’s Leroy Patterson reminded me to check the BDN All-Maine team 1962. Leroy Patterson (Bangor), Joe Harrington (Morse), Bruce MacKinnon (Morse), Santo Cimino (Cheverus), Gary Jones (Pennell).
— The Ricky Davis Maine Red Claws experience didn’t last long!
— Wonder if NHL all-star captain Zdeno Chara will make Tim Thomas his No. 1 pick at this weekend’s festivities.
— You get a chance to check out Mainer Steve Clifford twice this week when the Celtics play the Orlando Magic. The one-time coach of the Woodland HS Dragons is now Stan Van Gundy’s assistant with the Magic. Wonder if he’s got the job of trying to convince Dwight Howard to stay put.
— Say the following out loud and tell me it’s OK…. “Nick Punto and Mike Aviles can platoon at shortstop for the Red Sox and we’ll be all right”.
— Hope to see you at the WZON Hot Stove Night Tuesday at the Bangor Civic Center!