Part 2 1947 Patten Academy wins New England Championship. From the archives
Patten, Maine (WAGM) - It was 75 years ago that school with 27 boys in it took one of the largest schools in New England. Patten Academy pulled off one of the greatest upsets ever in a New England Basketball Championship. This past Friday the team was recognized at the State Basketball Tournament by the Maine Principals Association for the accomplishment. Thurston Townsend was in attendance and was given a standing ovation. We go back in the archives to 2007 and the 60th anniversary of Patten Academy winning the title.
Thurston Townsend and 7 other basketball players from Patten captured the imagination of basketball fans all over the state of Maine when they defeated Boston Latin Thurston :” I talked to Ken McCourt yesterday , he said we never discussed the game before. we went our way and just played and never expected anyone to beat us.’ There were just 27 boys in the high school in 1947 and eight were on the basketball team. The team captured the Maine title when they stopped Fairfield in Lewiston and captured the Class M title and gained the berth against Boston Latin. The team was used to playing games in front of a sold-out hall in Patten, but they had never played in a venue as large as the Boston Garden or in front of 14 thousand fans.
Thurston:” The biggest thing about the court that bothered this basketball court set in the middle of this big open space there was no wall we were used to playing when the sideline was right the wall and we had a great open space on both sides and it was little hard to get used to.”
Several of the residents of Northern Penobscot and Southern Aroostook made the trip to Boston for the contest and the ones who weren’t able to go they kept abreast of the score if they were in the right location.
Thurston sot:” Tremendous number of people went. my wife, we weren’t’ married then of course.. she went to the movies and they would break into the move every quarter every half and tell them the score..”
vo: The players were the toast of New England and were adopted by citizens of Maine who gave them a heroes welcome back to the Pine Tree State
Thurston sot:” We came back to Bangor with the train and we had a reception there . The B AND A put a special bus on and we had a reception in Lincoln, one in Sherman and one in Patten.”
It was 60- years ago, but the accomplishment lives on and Townsend says people still come up to him and talk about the game Thurston sot:” now grandchildren of the people that were that age are beginning to get it into a little bit and want to read the scrapbook and see what happened”
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