Mt. Blue’s Evans Sterling dunks against Skowhegan in a boys basketball game Friday in Skowhegan. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

SKOWHEGAN — Evans Sterling is stepping up his game during the 2023-2024 season. And his work is paying off for the Mt. Blue boys basketball team.

Sterling, a 6-3 senior guard, is one of the top scorers in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, averaging 26.9 points per game. The Cougars are the lone undefeated team in Class A North at 7-0.

“This is the best (start) we’ve had since 1996,” said Mt. Blue junior guard Carter Norton. “It’s pretty crazy, but we all have fun together when we play together.”

“(The start) is really inspiring,” Sterling said. “I think we should not only have the best start in (school) history, but we should have the best finish, too. We’re looking to close this one out with a good season, and that’s not going to happen with anything short of a championship. That’s how I feel about that.”

Sterling’s play has been a critical part of Mt. Blue remaining undefeated. His success is not a surprise. As a junior, he was a KVAC first-team all-star selection. But this season, Sterling has shown the ability to close games. Trailing Camden Hills at halftime of a Dec. 30 game, Sterling scored 28 of his 36 points in the second half, leading the Cougars to a 72-42 win. On Friday night, Mt. Blue had a 53-50 lead over Skowhegan entering the fourth quarter. Sterling scored all 17 of Mt. Blue’s points in the quarter and led the Cougars to a 70-58 victory.

“Evans just gets that look in his eyes, and just decides that we’re not losing tonight,” said Mt. Blue head coach Troy Norton after the win over Skowhegan. “He’s been developing this (killer instinct) during the season. He did the same thing against Camden Hills. We were down at halftime, he scored 28 in the second half and basically put us on his back. He’s just playing at an unbelievable level.”


“He comes out every night and is the best player on the court in every game we play,” Carter Norton added.

Mt. Blue’s Evans Sterling takes a layup against Skowhegan during a boys basketball game Friday in Skowhegan. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

All of Sterling’s attributes were on display Friday night in the win over Skowhegan. He distributed the ball with ease to his teammates (Carter Norton scored 17 points, while Nolan Leso added 11). He showed shooting touch from beyond the arc. He slashed the lane several times over and saved room for two thunderous two-handed dunks. Sterling’s defense was also impressive, using his height and jumping ability to his advantage by collecting five blocks.

“His defense has been incredible this year,” Troy Norton said. “He can guard point guards. He can guard shooters. He was guarding (6-7 Skowhegan forward Ryan Donoghue) when he was in foul trouble. He can rebound. He just does it all. His defense has been off the charts. His leadership is just outstanding. He takes these kids that don’t have a lot of varsity experience and just gives them the confidence that we can win, on every night. He just makes everybody around him better.”

Sterling said he worked on multiple aspects of his game before the season.

“I’ve been working on my 3-point shooting, just working on my pace,” Sterling said. “In previous years, I just played at one speed. Now I’m just working on my pace, (hitting) that mid-range (shot), the 3-pointer. That’s helped me a lot.

“I take a lot of pride in being a leader,” Sterling continued. “This is a young team, and we really need a leader. Me and our other senior, Charles Stevens, I think have been doing a good job leading this team on the court, being vocal.”

Sterling has shown an ability that can carry him to the next level. He’s been in contact with multiple colleges for basketball but has yet to make a final decision.

“I’m looking at a couple of schools,” Sterling said. “I’m looking to make my decision after the season, but as of now, I haven’t made my decision yet.”

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