AUBURN — When Edward Little plays Cheverus for the Class A state championship Saturday night, all eyes will be on the point guard in gold-and-blue, Indiana Faithfull. Tim Mains, the Red Eddies’ point man, will quietly run the offense, hit the occasional open shot and play his usual pesky defense.

Playing in a starting lineup with three all-conference players, Mains isn’t one to draw a lot of attention to himself. Even in the Eastern A championship against Brewer, when he hit four big 3-pointers for the Red Eddies, he was overshadowed by EL’s fourth-quarter comeback and the exploits of their all-star troika.

The junior doesn’t mind the spotlight pointing elsewhere, in part because he knows that when it shines on him, it sometimes may not be for the best of reasons.

Last year, during a junior varsity game. Mains thought he had successfully taken a charge near the basket, but the whistle didn’t blow. The player who had charged into him went up for a rebound and landed on Mains’ head, slamming it into the floor.

Mains wasn’t knocked out, but the concussion he suffered was severe enough to keep him out for the rest of the season and caused painful headaches.

“I had headaches every day,” Mains said. “I took some Excedrin migraine medication, and that was really the only thing that made the pain go away.”

He recovered and returned for summer basketball, ready to take a charge any time the opportunity presented itself. For a time, Edward Little coach Mike Adams was worried what might happen if it did.

“Timmy doesn’t take his charges on the ball. He takes those bone-jarring, crunching ones. He takes the ones that you feel for two days,” Adams said. “I was very hesitant and nervous about that, and I was the one sometimes saying ‘Timmy, don’t. It’s summertime.’ But he still did. He can’t stop doing that. That’s who he is.”

Mains made it through summer basketball without incident, but a he took a knee to the head early in soccer season and was sidelined for precautionary reasons for a couple of weeks.

Once basketball season started, health wasn’t Mains’ primary concern. Fitting into the varsity lineup was. He knew the best way to do that was to get the ball inside to James Philbrook and Bo Leary or on the wing to Yusuf Iman.

Adams needed a point guard who could take advantage of the Eddies’ many offensive weapons.

“The key is to get it to the right guy and the right spot where they can really do their damage,” he said, “and Tim does a really good job of that.”

“We have other scorers on the team, so I just try to take care of the ball and distribute it to whoever is open,” he said.

But as defenses turned their attention to EL’s talented trio, Mains found himself open more and more. At first, he wasn’t too eager to take advantage.

“Coming into this year, I really wasn’t very confident in my shot. But as the season went on, I started gaining some more confidence,” Mains said “I shoot in practice a lot, but really, games are the only way I get my confidence up.”

Mains’ confidencc reached a high point in the Eastern Maine final against Brewer, and not just on the offensive end. In addition to his dozen points, he limited Brewer’s leading scorer, Ray Bessette, to 14 points.

Performances like that have Adams comparing Mains to Yusuf Iman, who anonymously directed the Eddies’ offense last year before becoming their top scorer this year. Iman sees some similarities, but is glad that Mains’ conscience takes a back seat at the  appropriate times.

“I think I was a little more timid shooting jump shots that Timmy was,” Iman said. “He can shoot. He shoots a lot better than I did last year.”

Adams said Mains has gotten stronger and more skilled as the season has unfolded and has few weaknesses on his game.

“We call him the ‘Intramural Champion’ because if he goes to some big college, if I was in his dorm, he’d be the first person I’d pick because he’s good at everything,” Adams said. “He goes right out on every single thing he does.”


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