Evan Worster of Forest Hills High in Jackman is closing in on his 100th game as a varsity basketball player. As far as anyone knows, that easily surpasses anyone else’s career total.
While that statistic isn’t among those officially kept, it appears Worster’s mark is a state record.
“I’ve talked to all the teams in our conference (East-West) and I’ve sent out e-mails to others around the state and no one has told me they know of another player who has played in as many games as Evan,” said Forest Hills Coach Anthony Amero.
“We thought Raymond Alley of Vinalhaven might have played in 100 games but he didn’t start as an eighth-grader.”
A call to Dennis Pratt, who coached Alley at Vinalhaven in the late 1980s and early 1990s, confirmed that.
“Raymond didn’t play much as an eighth-grader,” said Pratt. “He probably played in a half-dozen games.”
Pratt estimated Alley, who went on to a standout career at Husson University in Bangor, played 80 to 90 games in high school. That’s still a high number but nothing like Worster’s. If Forest Hills reaches the state final as it did a year ago, Worster will finish with 104 games.
Worster played in his 97th game Wednesday night in a win over Valley. Those are all starts, too, and only Maine Principals’ Association sanctioned regular season and tournament games. He will reach 100 in a home game Feb. 5 against Greenville.
To have any chance of reaching 100, a player would have to start playing in the eighth grade. That narrows the field to Class D schools.
The rule in Maine to allow eighth-graders to play on the varsity is if a high school has fewer than 40 boys or 40 girls, the school can use eighth- graders on the boys’ and girls’ teams.
Forest Hills has a total enrollment of 50 students.
Amero remembers Worster’s first non-MPA game as an eighth-grader.
“We were playing Carrabec in a preseason game,” said Amero. “I knew I would need to use Evan during the season because we didn’t have a lot of players. I decided to start the little guy against Carrabec. He played so well, he’s started every game since.”
Worster was 5-foot-6 and 120 pounds as an eighth-grader. He’s grown to 6-3 and 175 pounds as a senior.
The fact the Tigers have made the tournament in each of Worster’s seasons has helped add to his total, noted his coach.
His eighth-grade year, Forest Hills went to the regional final, losing to Richmond. His ninth- grade year, the Tigers lost to Hyde in the quarterfinals. As a sophomore, the team lost to Vinalhaven in the semifinals and last year as a junior, Forest Hills made it to the state final before losing to Jonesport-Beals.
Forest Hills (13-2), ranked first in Western Class D, could go deep into the playoffs again.
Worster has been a prolific scorer. He is the school’s all-time leading scorer and is closing in on 1,500 points.
Worster scored 51 points in a tournament quarterfinal last year against A.R. Gould and averaged 35 points in four tournament games.
Forest Hills has had several blowouts this season where Worster has played just over half the game. He’s averaging 20 points.
Worster, the valedictorian of his senior class, recently had an interview with Brown University.
He’s also looking at Bowdoin, Southern Maine and other schools.
While basketball would seem to be his sport at the next level, Worster is also a talented pitcher.
Amero said baseball may be his best sport because he has a good command of his pitches.
Worster was also an all-East-West Conference golfer last season.
DUE TO LIMITED seating at York High for next Tuesday’s 7 p.m. home game against Falmouth, there will be an advance sale of tickets.
They can be purchased tonight prior to and during the game against Cape Elizabeth, and in the main office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $4 for adults, and $2 for students and seniors. Family passes will be honored but they have to have a ticket.
Falmouth (15-0) and York (14-1) are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in Western Class B. Falmouth beat York 71-51 on Jan. 3.
YARMOUTH HAS had an up-and-down season but the Clippers, the defending Class B state champions, are playing their best basketball down the stretch.
The Clippers (9-6) have won four straight and rank eighth in the Heal point standings.
There was naturally going to be an adjustment period after graduating Josh Britten, the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season, forward Chris Knaub and guard Sam Torres.
Yarmouth beat seventh- ranked Greely 60-53 on Tuesday night. Christian Henry, a starter last season, led the Clippers with 20 points and junior David Murphy added 17.
In a victory against Traip Academy last Friday night, Murphy scored 26 to equal a career high. Murphy had five 3-pointers.
THE NO. 1 RANKING in Western Class A is very much up for grabs with three games remaining.
Portland, South Portland and Deering have taken turns at No. 1.
South Portland moved to No. 1 for the second time in eight days with its victory against Deering on Tuesday, but Portland moved into a tie for the top spot with the Red Riots via its win over Cheverus on Wednesday night.
Deering has been No. 1 but the Rams, losers of two straight, have dipped to fourth while steadily improving Westbrook has climbed to third.
There are three teams with 12-3 records. Portland and South Portland are 13-2.
Portland plays at South Portland on Tuesday with the winner likely gaining the top spot for the tournament.
The Bulldogs close the regular season with Deering next Friday while South Portland plays Cheverus.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: