This past Thursday, the night before the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School boys and girls basketball teams made their trip to the Maine High School basketball tournament in Augusta, several parents of the players organized a pizza party at Ari’s on Main Street in downtown Norway to wish the players good luck.
They called it ‘February Frenzy.’
It worked. Both the boys and girls defeated their opponents, the girls in what can best be described as a frenzy. The Lady Vikings defeated Skowhegan 47 – 43 Friday afternoon in four count ‘em, four – overtimes. The next night, on Saturday, the boys defeated a rather contentious Bangor High School basketball team in what at times resembled a street frenzy.
The pizza gathering was the brainchild of Gretchen Fleming, the mother of one of the team starters on what is a very good basketball team coached by Scott Graffam, a sideline veteran who seems like a cross between Bobby Knight and Lou Carnesecca. His colleague with the girls, Nate Pelletier, has taken a very young team and has brought them to the brink of high school basketball competition, a championship. For comparison sake, think Jim Calhoun or Bill Self.
These are two extremely well coached and talented basketball teams. At this point, we do not know the outcome of their games on Wednesday. All we know is this has been a magical season and that both squads have a lot to look forward to next year.
If there’s one thing special about one team, however, it’s the girls. This group of young women have both the athletic talent and the hunger to get better with every performance. But there’s something more. They almost come across as a group of young women having a lot of fun scoring more points than their opponents, while the boys can have just as much fun while executing the coach’s game plan.
We could name the players but that’s for statisticians. On these two teams, everyone contributes.
That is what high school basketball is all about.
The Advertiser Democrat Editorial Board