Indiana Faithfull, who led Cheverus High to the Class A state basketball title last season after receiving a court injunction to put aside an ineligibility ruling imposed by the Maine Principals’ Association, will return to play in the state tonight.

Faithfull will play for St. Thomas More prep school in Bridgton Academy’s Wolverine Winter Classic in North Bridgton.

The 6-foot-4 Faithfull, from Australia, missed the last five games of Cheverus’ regular season last year after the MPA ruled he was ineligible because of the eight-semester rule — high school athletes have eight consecutive semesters of eligibility.

Faithfull returned to the court for the regional tournament after his family got an injunction in Cumberland County Superior Court. Faithfull started his freshman year in Australia in January 2006 before going to Cheverus and starting his freshman year that September.

Faithfull, now a postgraduate at the Oakdale, Conn., school, is the starting point guard for St. Thomas More, which is 16-2. Faithfull averaged 13.9 points per game last season for Cheverus (21-1), which beat Edward Little 55-50 for the Class A title. Faithfull scored 23 points.

“I’m looking forward to (returning). It should be a lot of fun,” said Faithfull. “We have a real good team. Every game we’re playing against other top players. “

While Faithfull said playing at Cheverus prepared him well, he’s had to adjust his game as the competition improved.

“It’s definitely a lot quicker and more athletic. I’ve gotten stronger and quicker. At this level you have to improve. You can’t take any plays off,” he said.

Faithfull was named Maine’s Mr. Basketball and was a repeat Maine Sunday Telegram All-State selection. After graduation, Faithfull said he chose a postgraduate year to gain more exposure for his basketball, and improve his discipline and organizational skills as a student.

“Indy has been great,” said Coach Jere Quinn. “He’s the starting point guard on a team that’s off to a great start.”

Faithfull is a strong passer but as he showed at Cheverus, he also can score.

“We let our point guard shoot,” said Quinn. “He’s had some games in the 20s. Indy is very unselfish. We would like him to be more selfish when it comes to taking the shot. He’s a lot more athletic than people think.”

St. Thomas More, which beat Bridgton Academy 83-62 in the championship game of its tournament last Saturday, will play the Wolverines again at 8 tonight.

The opening game will have Notre Dame Prep of Fitchburg, Mass., playing Maine Central Institute at 6.

The winners will meet for the championship at 2 p.m. Saturday with the consolation game at noon.

“I expect it will be a different game on their court,” said Faithfull.

Next month, Faithfull said he has a break from school and hopes to watch Cheverus play.

Faithfull said he doesn’t think about the MPA’s ruling and the injunction that reinstated him last season. He’s focusing on the rest of this season and in a month or two, deciding where he will attend college.

“As of right now I’m not sure where that will be,” he said.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]