It seems like every winter, local basketball players up the ante in regards to drama and triumph and the 2011-12 season was no different.
There were plenty of highlights this season. Here’s a glimpse:
The Brunswick boys’ team started the year 4-1 and wound up 11-7 to earn the No. 6 seed in Eastern A. The Dragons drew No. 3 Mt. Blue in the quarterfinals in Augusta. During the regular season, host Brunswick edged the Cougars, 59-56, but the rematch was all Mt. Blue, as it rolled, 72-47, ending the Dragons’ season at 11-8.
The Mt. Ararat girls enjoyed four separate three-game win streaks this winter. The Eagles won 12 of 18 regular season games, earned the No. 4 seed in Eastern A and held off fifth-ranked Messalonskee, 52-46, in the quarterfinals. Mt. Ararat then ran into top-ranked, undefeated Cony in the semifinals, a team which the Eagles lost to twice in the regular year. The third time was almost a charm, but Mt. Ararat fell, 46-39, as its season culminated at 13-7.
The Bowdoin women produced another memorable campaign in 2011-12, winning 21 games and surviving the first weekend of the NCAA Division III tournament. The run ended in the Sweet 16, but the Polar Bears further solidified their status as one of the country’s premier programs.
One year after going 0-9, the Hyde boys went 15-1 in the regular season and earned the top seed for the Western D tournament. After defeating Buckfield (60-40) and Vinalhaven (66-39) in the quarterfinals and semifinals, the Phoenix appeared state game-bound, leading Forest Hills by 19 late in the third period of the regional final, but then the bottom fell out. A dramatic Tigers’ rally, abetted by Hyde’s longtime bugaboo, questionable officiating, spelled a stunning 61-60 defeat. The Phoenix finished 17-2, but what a year it was.
Mitchell Black helped the Brunswick boys reach the tournament.
Leah Hitchcock and the Mt. Ararat girls’ team got to the semifinals this winter.
Sara Binkhorst and the Bowdoin women made another tournament run this winter.