No, it wasn’t a misprint. Windham High’s boys’ basketball team really did beat Portland 18-16 on Tuesday night at the Portland Expo. That’s right, two Class AA boys’ teams failed to score 20 points.

“My phone’s been going off the hook. ‘Is that the right score?'” Portland Coach Joe Russo said.

The most points either team scored in a quarter was seven, when Windham (6-9) extended its 8-7 halftime lead to 15-11.

Both Russo and Windham Coach Chad Pulkkinen said they were not intentionally stalling. Instead, they both stuck with their 2-3 zone defense, believing it gave their team the best chance to win.

“It was a chess match of who was going to give in,” Pulkkinen said. “We didn’t stall at all.”

Pulkkinen added, “We had the lead the entire game, so there was no reason for us to come out of (the zone). We weren’t going to change our game plan. Portland (3-12) needed to change theirs.”


Russo said while the pace was deliberate, the bigger issue was that his team made only five shots and struggled to get attempts against Windham. According to Pulkkinen’s analysis of the game tape, Portland had possession of the ball for 25 minutes, 40 seconds of the 32-minute game. The Eagles, who shot 6 of 16, have hung their hat on their stingy zone. They’ve also beaten Oxford Hills and Bangor, which is 12-3, without reaching 40 points in those games.

Still, the low score leads to an annual question: Should Maine adopt a shot clock for high school basketball?

“If there’s an argument for a shot clock, our game was a poster child for it,” Pulkkinen said.

“I’m in favor of a shot clock, not because of that game, just because that’s what they play at the next level,” Russo said.

Eight states use a shot clock for high school basketball, bucking the rules set by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, New York, California, North Dakota and South Dakota employ either a 30- or 35-second clock for both boys’ and girls’ basketball.

Wisconsin voted to become the ninth state this season but reversed its decision after significant pushback from school administrators worried about the cost of installing shot clocks and paying people to operate them.


Cost and the NFHS rules are the major reasons for keeping the status quo in Maine, said Mike Burnham, the Maine Principals’ Association’s executive director for interscholastic activities.

“First and foremost is the added expense that every school would need to purchase two shot clocks, get them wired, and then hire someone separate to run it,” Burnham said.

Burnham also suggested that the Windham-Portland game is an exception.

“I think the game of basketball right now is more up and down and there may not be the need for a shot clock,” he said.

In the 2014-15 season, Portland lost at South Portland, 20-16 in overtime.

“That one five years ago, we were intentionally stalling,” Russo said. “This one was poor execution, poor shooting, and then the chess match of why wouldn’t (Windham) extend its defense and why wouldn’t I extend ours.”


North Yarmouth Academy Coach Jason Knight celebrates with his team after Te’Andre King (23) broke the school record for career scoring. North Yarmouth Academy photo

TE’ANDRE KING of North Yarmouth Academy didn’t want to know how close he was to Tim DeLuca’s school career scoring record of 1,401 points.

“You don’t want to have that mindset because I care more about winning,” said King, a strong 6-foot-4 senior forward with an effervescent personality. “I could care less about going out there and scoring so-and-so points.”

So when the NYA fans rushed the court after a 56-50 Class C win Tuesday against Traip Academy, King said he wasn’t sure what was going on. Neither he nor NYA Coach Jason Knight realized King had scored 27 points (17 in the fourth quarter) – two more than he needed to break the record – until a postgame announcement was made.

“The game was over and I was running to the locker room because I was sweaty, I smelled bad and I just wanted to change, eat some pasta and go home,” King said. “When the game was finished, the fans stormed the court, and I thought it was because of the big win against Traip, a tough team.”

King broke the record with a putback off a missed foul shot. Knight termed the bucket “apropos.” King’s ability to crash the offensive boards has been his trademark as a four-year starter.

King grew up in New York City and stays with a host family in Portland during the school year. He didn’t begin playing basketball until he was in eighth grade and did not play organized ball until joining the NYA team. He’s now being recruited by several Division II and III schools, including UMaine-Farmington, the University of New England and St. Joseph’s.

King led the Western Maine Conference in scoring and rebounding as a sophomore and junior, averaging 23.5 points and 13.5 rebounds over that span. This season, he is scoring a bit less (20.1 ppg), and that’s fine. The Panthers are 10-4.  Junior guard Chris Hamblett is averaging 13.6 points. Sophomore Logan Welch is at 10 ppg and has made more 3-pointers than NYA had as a team last season. King said he takes pride in seeing his teammates improve, rattling off a flurry of teammates’ names and their contributions.

King said he remembers looking at the ball marking DeLuca’s record in the NYA trophy case and thinking, if he worked hard enough, he could break that record. He hopes a future Panther is similarly motivated.

“To know that I worked hard and I did this, I know that anyone else can work hard and do the same thing,” King said.

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