Jim Bessey of Mt. Blue and Roger Reed of Bangor set a new record every time they coach a boys’ basketball game against each other.

The venerable bench bosses’ first two battles this winter, both Bangor victories during the KVAC regular season, are believed to have established the mark for most combined wins by the opposing coaches in any Maine high basketball game, ever.

That standard fell by the wayside Wednesday night and took the tournament record along with it when No. 1 Bangor and No. 4 Mt. Blue squared off in the Eastern Class A semifinals at Augusta Civic Center.

Bessey and Reed owned a total of 1,017 varsity wins entering the showdown. Reed, 71, had 554 of those. Bessey, 68, checked in with 463.

Except for a four-year stint at Madison in the 1980s, Bessey has spent his 36-year career in Farmington.

Reed and Dick Barstow are the lone members of Maine’s 500-win fraternity.

More To Come

When guard Kate Sawyer had a late jumper fall short in the closing seconds of Wednesday’s Eastern A quarterfinal, it was all too familiar to Craig Jipson and his Red Eddies. EL lost to Hampden 50-47 Wednesday just as it did two years ago against Messalonskee.

“Two years ago, (Kirsten) Prue has an elbow jumper to tie the game and it didn’t go in,” said Jipson. “I think it was a little ironic that Kate Sawyer had an elbow jumper down by two. It was a great shot, but it didn’t go in. At some point, somebody in our program has to make that big shot. We need someone to hit that program-defining shot. I think with the kids coming up we can go far.”

EL has been the second seed in Eastern A the last three years and won two KVAC titles. The Red Eddies have advanced as far as the semifinals twice during that span. The next step is getting to the next round, but EL has some promising young players coming up through the system that could keep EL a contender for the years to come.

“The last three years we’ve won 58 games and gotten to the semifinal,” said Jipson. “Now we have to get to the next level. That’s hard to get to the next level and win an Eastern Maine championship. We lose all of our size but we certainly have a lot of talent coming back. It will be a matter of how the inside kids develop.”

EL finished the year 16-4. That was with a roster built around mostly underclassmen. Starters Ashlee Arnold and Sawyer are both sophomores while Kory Norcross is a freshman. The only seniors the team will have next year will be Emily Hartnett, Marykate Masters and Kelly Philbrook.

Blank slate

Western Class D tournament fans expected to see a toss-up, coin-flip, who-knows kind of game when No. 2 Greenville and No. 3 Richmond squared off in Wednesday’s boys’ semifinals.

Instead, they saw a one-sided, drama-killing quarter and a tournament oddity rarer than a major league baseball no-hitter.

Richmond shut out Greenville in the first quarter while piling up the first 22 points in a 63-47 victory.

Kyle O’Brien and Tom Carter combined for 15 points in the opening flurry. They were anything but finished. O’Brien wound up with 21 points and 20 rebounds. Carter chalked up 19 points and 14 boards.

The Bobcats forced Greenville into 4-for-26 shooting in the first half.

In another historic twist, Richmond advanced to the regional final for the sixth consecutive year. That’s only two behind the record of eight owned by Valley, which won Western D every year from 1998 to 2005.

Three-time defending champion Richmond will face Vinalhaven in the final for the second year in a row.

Gould is the only team to defeat Richmond during its current run. The Huskies won the 2007 Western title game.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.