You’ve heard of the 24 Hours of Daytona… the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France…perhaps even the Soochow International 24 Hour Race in Taipei…
Well, I completed the 24 Hours of Le Maine High School Hoops over the weekend – from Bangor to Augusta to Portland and back. What a ride!
It began at the Cross Center in Bangor Friday night. I saw the Lake Region HS pep band and singers put on a pre-game concert like no other. For almost 90 minutes before the game, with their own microphones and speakers, they entertained.
And then their team came out on the floor and exercised some state championship night demons.
Five times in the past eight years the Lakers played on state championship night – only to come up short to Presque Isle or Waterville each time.
Friday night was their time.
Then I saw the Coyotes of Old Town wipe away more than two decades of seasons too short. Their opponent, Poland HS, wasn’t even around the last time the Canoe City kids held up the gold ball. But on this night Melmed and Hoogterp did their best Clark Young/Kevin Baker guard impersonation and this 2014 team showed everyone how to peak at just the right time in a season.
In Augusta, I saw the Washburn girls gain their piece of schoolgirl history. Move over Westbrook, Gorham and Lawrence – the Beavers are part of the four consecutive titles club. They may have done it in a more dominant fashion than any of them.
Oh yeah, those 78 points were a new state game record!
Just one question left to ask the Washburn players…are you tired yet?
Then it was on to Portland…just in time to see the end of the McAuley girls championship game. From high above courtside at the CCCC I said to myself “you just saw back-to-back girls four peats.”
Move over Westbrook, Gorham, Lawrence and Washburn.
What a gig I’ve got.
To cap off the 24 Hours of Hoops I saw a Hampden team that didn’t play like the Hampden team I saw play all winter. I think the Portland Bulldogs had a lot to do with that.
Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other guy. I tip my cap to the Bulldogs.
And I tip my cap to every player, coach, manager, trainer, official, band member, cheerleader, scorekeeper, floor sweeper, administrator, bus driver, clock keeper, and anyone else I may have forgotten who help make tourney time the spectacle it is.
Do yourself a favor some year… try the 24 Hours of Le Hoops.