The Houlton boys basketball team is looking for another gold ball.. The Shires last won the State Class C title back in 2014 when they stopped Wayneflete in a two point game. The players on this years team are excited be playing for a State Championship
(Nolan Porter):" It has kind of sunk in I have had two or three days to think about it. I have been thinking about it a lot getting ready trying to stay focused. We have a week to prepare so it is hard to stay focused."
(Nick Brewer):" We have to play our best game ever. We all need to show up and play good defense."
The Shiretowners clamped up the defensive pressure during the tournament they allowed just over 33 points a game in the three victories at the Cross Insurance Center
(Tim Brewer):" I think our defensive effort for the whole tournament was huge. Going forward we are going to have to put up another effort like that."
(Keegan Gentle):" That is one of Coach Brewer's main things in practice is to work on defense. Get up deny the ball put pressure on the other team so we focus on that a lot in practice."
At the beginning of the year the Shires set some goals including a long tournament run.
Nick Brewer:" I like the way the team is going. Each day we got better and better. We played even more as a team."
Porter:" We knew we could we just had to play full games of basketball. A lot of time during the season we would play just half a game defensively. The Cross Center helped a lot it was really intense."
Tim Brewer:" Multiple kids scored like six points. It was a total team effort especially on the defensive end. We spread it around a little bit and that made it harder to be guarded and that was key for us."
While this is the first State Championship appearance for the players, their Coach has been there on numerous occasions. He knows that Wintrop will be a very tough opponent for his team, but he will have this message before the game.
Brewer:" The main thing is to stay relaxed. This is as far as you can go and the biggest game of the year. You just have to play your best basketball in the last game."