EASTON, Me (WAGM) - The Easton boys team had a great year last year, earning the one seed in the tournament and making it all the way to the state championship before falling to Valley. The Class D North champs aren't sitting on their accomplishments, and are just trying to get better everyday.
The Easton Bears have a distinct style of basketball they like to play.
"We all go out and we all play with heart. We want to do the best that we can and everybody shows up and knows what they need to do," said senior Jake Flewelling.
"Intensity for sure. You've got to be strong on defense, always be on and box out at all times," added senior Hunter Brown.
Second year coach Manny Martinez says hard work is the reason the Bears had a successful season last year, and getting the players to buy in on defense first was key.
"I can thank my coach for that, I didn't really like defense last year, but he instilled that intensity in me," explained senior Jordan Doody.
"I love that. I think that's the reason that sometimes we win games when the other team is a little more talented than us. I believe that hard work pays off in the end," said head coach Manny Martinez.
The Bears lost a few key players, but are bringing back a good chunk of their team for another run at a gold ball.
"We lost a lot with Drew and Logan, I'm definitely feeling the loss. I think we have some returning veterans with Jake, Hunter, Jordan, Collin and a few other guys," Martinez said.
"We've all grown up playing together. Being a small school it's a lot easier to get chemistry going with the same guys you've been playing with since second grade. We all know what we need to do and we know each other pretty well, so if someone shows up and they're not having a good day the rest of us know how to pick them up and get them back in their groove," Flewelling added.
Easton isn't focusing about the target on their back being the defending regional champs.
"There is a lot of good teams out there still. I feel like were maybe not looked at as we were last year, but I still hope we can go far," said junior Collin Sotomayor.
"I think we still have a lot of room to grow. We've been playing pretty well, but we still have a high ceiling I think we can reach," Brown explained.