December 17, 2012

High School Notebook: It's business as usual for Bonny Eagle

From staff reports

Bonny Eagle has the same boys' basketball team as last year with the exception of Cole Libby, who graduated.

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Grant Burfeind of Falmouth shoots over Greely’s Connor McCarthy during a Western Maine Conference game Thursday at Falmouth. Burfeind scored 11 points to help the Yachtsmen roll to a 63-45 win.

Photos by John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Jon Thomas drives against Malcolm Dopwell of Thornton Academy during Bonny Eagle’s 62-29 victory Friday night. The Scots are 3-0 heading into Tuesday’s game against Portland, which is also undefeated.

The way the Scots (3-0) play hasn't changed. They love 3-point shots and are good at knocking them down.

Friday night against Thornton Academy, Bonny Eagle made 13 from beyond the arc in a 62-29 win.

Like a year ago, the Scots aren't tall. The four starters back from last season -- Dustin Cole, C.J. Autry, Jon Thomas and Ben Malloy -- range in height from 5-foot-9 (Cole) to 6-2 (Autry). But they can all jump. The new starter, Kyle Wright, is 6-4.

Cole, a Maine Sunday Telegram all-state selection last season as a sophomore, was under the weather against Thornton, but Autry and Malloy stepped up to score 22 and 20 points. Cole still played a solid game with 12 points and 11 assists.

Cole was off to a hot start before the Thornton game. He scored 39 points in the season opener against Sanford, then 19 in the first quarter of a rout against Massabesic.

It should be interesting when Bonny Eagle travels to the Expo on Tuesday to play Portland, also 3-0.

The Bulldogs, the Western Class A favorites in some corners, have a tall and talented team in the same vein as Deering. After Portland, Bonny Eagle plays Gorham on Friday. A week later, they play at Deering.

"We're just thinking about Portland," said Bonny Eagle Coach Phil Bourassa.

Bonny Eagle made it to the Western Maine final against Deering last season. The Rams won the state title.

The Scots' contrasting style against their taller opponents should make for entertaining games when they meet Portland and Deering. Bonny Eagle plays both teams once in the regular season, but who thinks they won't meet again in the tournament?

WHILE BONNY EAGLE has practically all of its lineup back, Falmouth graduated all five starters. The Yachtsmen, though, had talented players waiting in the wings and haven't lost a beat from a team that reached the Western Class B final last season.

Falmouth has one of the tallest teams in the state, with a starting lineup of players 6-2 and taller. The Yachtsmen can put a front line on the floor of 6-7, 6-6 and 6-5.

Falmouth (4-0) and York (4-0), the only remaining unbeaten teams in Western Class B, play Jan. 3 at Falmouth. The Wildcats are perhaps the only Class B team that can match Falmouth's size.

A HANDFUL OF SKIERS who found success at last winter's state championship meets have opted to attend ski academies this winter instead of competing for their high school programs.

Gone from Class B state champion Yarmouth are senior Tara Humphries, the runner-up in both classical and freestyle and the Western Maine Conference freestyle champion, and junior Jack Elder, the state freestyle champ who was runner-up in classical. Both are attending ski schools in Vermont.

Ditto for junior Ian Moore, formerly of North Yarmouth Academy, the Class C classical champion who was runner-up in freestyle, and Elly Bengtsson, a junior from Freeport who was the Class C slalom and giant slalom champ. Sassi Memorial winner Sadie James is now skiing for Gould Academy instead of Mt. Abram.

All those skiers were ready to move up a level, said long-time Yarmouth Coach Bob Morse.

"The high school programs give a great foundation," he said in an email response, "but I can not take two weeks off in November and take my team to Yellowstone or Canada for early-season skiing. I wish I could."

Another familiar name will be missing from local Nordic results this winter. Waynflete senior Josh Espy will concentrate on Eastern Cup races.

"Maine has had a high number of skiers who have gone on to ski in college, and have not gone to a ski school," Morse said.

"Nordic skiers do not reach their potential until their late 20s, so not many Nordic skiers continue the trail to the national team level of competition."

THIS IS LIKELY to be the last winter in a while to have all the state championship ski meets crammed into February vacation week, which is exactly when resorts such as Sunday River, Sugarloaf and Saddleback do not want to give up a lodge for a horde of high school teams packing crock pots and cupcakes.

None of those big three ski areas currently host a high school state meet. Mt. Abram will host Class A this year, Black Mountain hosts Class B and Big Rock hosts Class C in this last season of the current cycle.

The MPA ski committee will meet next month to discuss the possibility of holding the Alpine events at a time other than during school vacation, a decision that could bring some of the state's better-known mountains into play.

Two of the state's top-notch Nordic facilities -- Black Mountain in Rumford and the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle -- have plenty of room to spread out, so they likely will continue to host during school vacation.

"We would still have an overall championship," said Yarmouth Principal Ted Hall, a member of the committee, "but at different times."

THE FIRST Nordic competition of the season took place Saturday at Sugarloaf. Dustin Ramsay of Hampden Academy and Emma Houston of Mt. Abram won a short uphill freestyle race on the Lower Snubber Trail.

"Everyone had a blast," said Buzz Bean, who organized the event, the Billy Chenard Memorial Scholarship Fund Race.

Chenard, a Rumford native who died in May at the age of 55, was a former junior national Nordic combined champion and longtime volunteer with the Chisholm Ski Club.

-- Staff Writers Tom Chard and Glenn Jordan contributed to this report.

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