The George Stevens Academy boys varsity basketball team had an uphill battle at the start of the season. As a young team, coach Dwayne Carter saw the major challenges as learning to play together and bridging the experience gap.
The team is “starting to turn the corner” said Carter in a recent phone interview.
The team lost its season opener to Orono in a close match, 53-49. It went on to win the next two games against Piscataquis (45-43) and Searsport (45-32).
The boys then had a four-game stretch of tough losses. One of the toughest was against Mount Desert Island, a Class B team that overpowered the Eagles, 64-38.
“They’re in the top teams in Class B,” said Carter. “We knew that it would be a challenge going in. We wanted to go out and play hard, and we played well for the first 14 minutes.”
The tough game spurred a lot of hard work by the team, said Carter. “We have refocused, and did a lot of one-on-one work with players, and the team as a whole.”
Since then, the team has started to come together. “Before that game we were really playing like a bunch of individuals, and now we’re starting to play like a team,” said Carter.
“We learned some stuff from that game,” said Carter. “You only get better by playing better teams.”
With the lessons learned from the tough MDI game, the team went on to trounce Piscataquis, 65-36, and top Central, 58-51.
Currently the Eagles are 4-5 and in 10th place in the HEAL point standings. The top 11 teams make the playoffs. It’s still early to put too much stock into HEAL point standings, and only a few points separate the seventh through 11th place teams at this point in the season.
The boys varsity team hosts Deer Isle-Stonington High School on Friday, January 20, at 7 p.m.