Class A boys' preview: Hornets, Cougars hope stability will spark turnaround

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Spruce Mountain guard Caulin Parker (10) dishes off the ball as Mt. Blue’s Coop Hollingsworth (34) and Caleb Hall (23) close in during a basketball game in Farmington last season.

Continuity can be an overlooked ingredient in high school sports, which is not surprising since players, and sometimes even coaches, are virtually guaranteed to come and go every year.

Leavitt and Mt. Blue are hoping to establish some continuity this season and beyond, which they hope in turn will establish them as perennial tournament participants after missing out both years since realignment.

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Leavitt expects to have continuity in the backcourt after some upheaval last season. After cycling through four different point guards last year, freshman Wyatt Hathaway will be running the point this year, flanked by senior Bryce Hudson, junior Josh Banks and sophomores Damion Calder, Mark Herman and Keegan Melanson.

“We have some very young guards, but they’re athletic and quick,” coach Mike Hathaway said.

Coach Hathaway’s directive to his son at the point and the rest of the backcourt will be to push the ball. The Hornets aren’t as big as they have been in recent years, although they do have a promising young big man in 6-5 sophomore Cole Morin, who averaged 7.5 points and nine rebounds per game as a freshman.

“We’d like to see him be a pretty consistent double-double threat in his second year as a starter,” Hathaway said.

The Hornets will be battling for a postseason berth in an A South region that is dominated by WMC powers such as defending state champion Greely, Falmouth and York, as well as improved Westbrook, Fryeburg and Brunswick squads.

Mt. Blue will navigate an equally-competitive A North with its fifth coach in the last seven years. Charlie Castonguay, who was an assistant girls’ coach at Leavitt for Tammy Anderson’s 2011  girls’ state championship team and later coached the Oak Hill girls, inherits a team coming off a 1-17 season and looking to start fresh.

“We’re very young. We have two seniors and basically one returning starter,” Castonguay said.

Senior point guard Marshall Doyon is the returning starter, and forward James Andrews the other senior. Junior guard Garrett Reynolds is the only other player with varsity experience.

Andrews and junior Caleb Talbot are the only players on the roster who crack six feet.

“We’re going to be by far the shortest team in Class A,” Castonguay said. “We’re going to have to rebound as a team, defend well and not turn the ball over.”

In their annual preseason poll, KVAC coaches projected Hampden Academy to return to its spot atop the Class A standings after a two-year absence. Senior center Ian McIntyre, a holdover from the tail end of Hampden’s 2012-15 run as regional champions, will try to lead the  Broncos past the rest of the poll’s top five of Gardiner, Nokomis, Cony and Erskine.

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