Boothbay boys basketball fans should expect to see a lot more of the top teams in the Mountain Valley Conference this winter. The conference has rearranged its basketball schedule so the traditional power schools will play one another twice this season. That means Boothbay plays home and away against Class B contenders Mountain Valley and Spruce Mountain and against defending State Class C champion Winthrop. The Seahawks also have two games against Class B Lisbon.
Boothbay finished 14-5 with a quarterfinal loss to Traip in last year’s Class C South tournament. Boothbay is in a strong position to contend in Class C South due to four returning starters. This year’s Seahawks return seniors Hunter Crocker and Nicholas Morley. Crocker was the second leading scorer last season, and Morley is a strong defender and rebounder. Juniors Sullivan Rice and Ben Pearce are also returning starters. Rice is a solid ball handler and, at six feet six inches, Pearce is strong defender who Pinkham expects could become an excellent rebounder this season.
As for the returning starters, Pinkham described Crocker as a strong rebounder and scorer. “He is an excellent shooter, and right now he is still in football shape. In a couple weeks, I expect to see him shooting the ball like he can,” he said. Like Crocker, Morley is a three-year starter. Pinkham described his returning captain as the most dependable player on this year’s team. “With Nick, you know what you are getting. He shows up and plays hard every night,” Pinkham said.
For his junior starters, Pinkham expects Rice and Pearce to build on solid seasons. He wants Rice to continue developing his leadership abilities as the team’s floor general and become a consistent scoring threat. “We are looking for Sullivan to become more aggressive on offense. He is a good ball handler and passer, but we want him to take the ball to the basket more,” he said. Pearce is a solid performer on both ends of the court. Irving expects him to be a major contributor this season. “He has the chance to be really good. He is a good shooter and plays good defense. We want him to become a better rebounder this season,” he said.
Boothbay begins the season on Saturday, Dec. 7 against rival Wiscasset followed by a Dec. 10 road game versus Dirigo and home games against Lisbon on Dec. 12 before Winthrop comes to town Dec. 14.
“I’m looking forward to this season. We have good team size with plenty of talent and we hope to take advantage of that,” Pinkham said. “In our first scrimmage (Gardiner) we played well together, but there is a great deal of work to be done. Our execution needs improvement, and our players really need to know what everyone is doing,” he said.
Another good sign for Boothbay boys basketball is the roster size. The varsity Seahawks have 13 players and junior varsity has 15.