Sports

Maine Basketball Hall of Fame Classic benefits players and fans

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Last week’s announcement of the first Maine Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at the Class B, C and D North tournament site, the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, is interesting, timely, beneficial, and exciting.

With John Bapst Memorial High School of Bangor the only North school to hold its home games at the CIC, the Classic will give 26 teams — 12 boys and 14 girls — who are not Bapst opponents an opportunity to play on the tournament site on Dec. 27-28.

The Hall’s decision is a fair one considering each of the teams involved is giving up a countable home Heal point and revenue game to play in the Classic.

This event is not a fundraiser. The Hall hopes to break even, give 26 teams a chance to play in the CIC, and hope the event will bring fans to Bangor.

Those fans will have an opportunity to visit the Hall’s interesting and informative CIC home in the upper corridor concourse which contains a great deal of history of this state’s rich basketball tradition.

Playing a game at the tournament site will give the coaches, players, and teams a chance to get on the floor, which is a lot different to play on when compared to their high school gymnasiums.
On the extra 10 feet of the college-size floor of 94 feet at the CIC, home of the University of Maine Black Bears, it’s harder to successfully press full or three-quarters court defensively.
Running that extra 10 feet up and down the court can also lead to earlier fatigue on the players’ legs, and we know when the legs go so may the shooting percentages dip. More fouls can also occur.

Playing on the CIC floor provides a great opportunity to shoot on the floor and get acclimated to the not-too-friendly shooting backgrounds compared to most high school gyms. There is a good deal of space behind the baskets and on the sides at the CIC, unlike high school gyms.

The floor will have a different feel for the players as it is a portable floor and the dribbles may not seem the same as on a high school gym’s floor.

As these are countable Heal point games coaches should tell their players to shoot more from the corners as the depth perception for 3-pointers taken there is better than other areas around the 3-point arc in the CIC. It will be more like shooting from the corners in high school because the perception that you’re farther away from the basket will be less than other spots at the CIC.
The CIC will not be nearly as filled as it will be during tourney time but hopefully area hoop fans will turn out and take in some good high school basketball.

Here’s hoping that the teams enjoy and gain something from playing in the CIC and that the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame can accomplish its goals.

Here is the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame Classic schedule:
Thursday, Dec. 27: Penquis vs. Greenville boys, 10 a.m.; Penquis vs. Piscataquis Community girls, 11:45 a.m.; Washburn vs. Fort Fairfield girls, 1:30 p.m.; Searsport vs. Central girls, 3:15 p.m.; George Stevens Academy vs. Mattanawcook Academy girls, 5 p.m.; GSA vs.Calais boys, 6:45 p.m.; Brewer vs. Cony boys, 8 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28: Houlton vs. Mattanawcook boys, 10 a.m.; Houlton vs. Stearns girls, 11:45 a.m.; Stearns vs. Dexter boys, 1:30 p.m.; Schenck vs. Dexter girls, 3:15 p.m.; Central vs. Lee Academy boys, 5 p.m.; Lee Academy vs. Calais girls, 6:45 p.m.

Cimbollek is a retired high school basketball coach and athletic director.

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