February 1, 2013

Boys' Basketball Notebook: Forest Hills player climbing over 100 games for career

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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.

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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.

(Continued on page 2)

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