Two of a kind Angell, Nash courting success at Leavitt

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TURNER – It’s only takes a brief glance to know Cameron Angell and Matt Nash weren’t separated at birth. They’ve rarely been separated on the basketball court since then, though.

The Leavitt seniors, who Leavitt coach Mike Remillard calls his bookends, have been virtually inseparable since they started playing basketball together in the second grade. They, and their parents, have logged a lot of miles together to play their favorite sport.

“When we were younger, we’d play on anywhere from two to four teams at a time, year-round,” Angell said.

Nash’s mother, Karen, and Angell’s parents, Peter and Kelly, shuttled the boys to and from travel, school, AAU and pick-up games. The two boys wanted to play ball wherever and whenever they could, and usually did it together. “When we were younger, we played seven days a week,” said Nash. “Right after school, they’d pick us up, bring us to practice, feed us, bring us to another practice, go home. Same thing every single day. Games on weekends. It was a year-round thing, and they never complained.”

When they became freshmen at Leavitt, Remillard decided it was time to temporarily separate the bookends to ensure their long-term growth. Nash played the point for the J.V. Angell practiced with the J.V., but played for the varsity.

“It forced Matt to be a better ball-handler and more of a leader without having Cam as a shadow or overshadowing him,” Remillard said. “I needed to get him ready in advance to play point guard, and Cameron was brought in to varsity to see what it was about.”

They were reunited their sophomore year and played valuable supporting roles on the 2004-05 Hornets, the first Leavitt team to play in Bangor.

“It was great to play in that atmosphere. There was nothing like it – the intensity of the game, the speed of the game,” Nash said. “It was just so much fun playing at that level. It makes me want to work even harder to get back there.”

If they get back there (only this time, it will be in Augusta), it will be with Angell and Nash leading the way. The 6-foot-6 Angell is one of the most explosive players in the KVAC, capable of posting a triple-double on any given night, as he did in last week’s win against Lewiston. He had to pick up some of the slack in that game, as Nash had to sit on the sidelines recovering from a concussion.

While the offense typically goes through Angell, Nash is the floor general, a 6-foot-4 guard who can rebound and get the Hornets’ break going immediately.

“Matt’s a great player when he’s not injured,” Angell joked. “You can tell when he’s out, though, because he’s the point guard. He runs the show. When he’s not out there, you can tell that we’re lacking something.”

It’s not surprising, then, that Angell feels the loss of Nash the most, or vice versa, when one is out of the lineup or off his game on a particular night.

“There’s such a comfort factor between the two of them that it’s almost like they’re playing like three guys instead of two,” Remillard said.

“We feed off of each other’s energy,” Nash said. “If one person gets pumped up, it pumps the other person up. If one person is working hard in practice, you want to work that hard, too. It’s like a competition, but a friendly competition, because we both want to get that much better.”

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