A local basketball milestone was recently brought to light 46 years after it happened.
Laurel “Laurie” Reed, Boothbay Region High School class of 1974, was an outstanding basketball player who made the girls varsity squad all four years (70-74) of high school. She was the team’s leading scorer for at least three of those four years, and was a state foul shooting champion her junior year and runner-up her senior year.
Several years ago, BRHS teacher and athletic director Allan Crocker (BRHS class of 1996) began researching and documenting the school’s sports history from the mid-50s to the present. The history includes individual and team accomplishments that will hopefully be made available to the public in some form in the near future.
In his research, Crocker found Reed’s scoring totals listed in three editions of The Log, the school’s yearbook, from 1972, 1973 and 1974.
“When I added up the points from her sophomore through senior year, it came to 996 points. I made a note of it and always intended to get down to look at the (Boothbay Register) newspaper archives to see if I could find any stats from her freshman year but never found the time to do so,” said Crocker. Reed scored 426 points her sophomore year, 325 points her junior year, and 245 points her senior year.
The significance of being a 1,000-point scorer in high school basketball back in the 1970s was not as great as it is today and girls basketball – sorry to say –wasn’t a great spectator draw, nor was it covered in the newspapers or television on a regular basis.
A few months back, Crocker began talking with Larry Brown, the school’s resource officer from Boothbay Harbor Police Department, about his research and specifically about Reed’s career and point total. He told Brown the 1971 Log did not list the team’s scoring leaders and that he had not been able to do anymore research.
“That’s when Larry ran with it,” said Crocker.
Brown, who has enjoyed Seahawk sports ever since he moved here in 1997, began his quest by contacting Reed’s former teammates from the 70-71 season, including Cathie Parkhurst, Cindy Brown, Kathy Frizzell, Rhonda (Hodgdon) Robinson and the team’s scorekeeper, Wendy Rego. All agreed that Reed “must have” scored at least four points during her freshman year, but none had any written proof.
He also spoke with Peter Cook, an outstanding athlete as well from the class of ’74, by phone at Cook’s Connecticut home a few weeks back. Cook agreed with Reed’s teammates that she was a dominant player and most likely would have scored at least four points.
Other classmates and teammates, as well as Reed’s eighth grade coach Laura Arsenault, were suggested to Brown to contact, and a search on the internet for the coach of the team in ’71, Gail Steeves, has turned up empty.
That’s when Brown went to Boothbay Region Historical Society.
He began pouring through the 1971 Boothbay Register yearbook to possibly find any article on a girls’ basketball game (the boys’ team got most of the press). He didn’t find anything on his initial search.
On Saturday, Dec. 5, Brown went through the newspaper yearbook again and – voila! – he found what he was looking for.
In the Jan. 14, 1971 issue of the Register, there was an article on the recent game against Wiscasset and, although the team lost (no score given) by two points, it mentioned that “Marianne Rowe and Laurie Reed were high scorers with 12 points each.”
The printed proof of Reed’s accomplishment is, however, bittersweet as she will never know about the milestone. Reed died on July 21, 1999 at St. Andrews Hospital from multiple myeloma cancer at the age of 43.
According to her obituary, after high school, Reed graduated from the University of Maine, Orono and then joined the U.S. Army, where she became a captain and fought in the Gulf War. After leaving the armed forces, she lived in Powder Springs, Georgia. She is buried in Oceanview Cemetery, Boothbay. Her parents and a brother are deceased and she is survived by a sister, Collette, and a brother, Michael.
Whether or not there is a listing of Reed’s stats from her freshman year out there (Crocker and Brown are still on the search), she will be honored at a future ceremony at the school as “possibly” Boothbay Region High School’s first 1,000-point scorer. That crown is currently worn by Melissa Hodgdon.
Crocker and Brown are also searching for scoring stats from other standout basketball players (and any other sport) from the school’s 60-year history and other sports fans from the region have also volunteered to help with the research. Crocker’s research and documentation are immense but, as he told the newspaper, there may be some athletes he has missed, especially from the early years.
Should anyone have any suggestions on the research, please contact Crocker or Brown.