Aroostook Central Institute
Early Basketball History
The earliest information that I could find on the introduction of basketball at A.C.I. was 1909. The boys had a basketball team that did quite well finishing with a record of 8-8 and won a play-off game with Caribou 18-14 to win the League Championship. The Championship game was played at the Rollaway Skating Rink in Presque Isle. At the time A.C.I. played their games in Blaine. Members of the team were; Tom Herrick, Harold Rose, Lyle Richardson, Clinton Robinson, Harry York and Sherman Tapley.
1910: Island Falls High School and A.C.I. battled it out for the Aroostook County Interscholastic championship. During the regular each team had won on their own home court. A play-off game was held in Mars Hill with Island Falls coming away with the win 14-7. A.C.I. finished the regular season with a record of 5-3.
Mars Hill Historical Society
1911: The Aroostook Central Basketball League was formed consisting of Bridgewater, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Mars Hill, Presque Isle and Washburn and A.C.I. Bridgewater Classical won the league championship and A.C.I. finished third with a 6-4 record.
1912: Caribou joined the league this year making it a seven member league. A.C.I. started the season quickly with nine consecutive wins and won the league championship with a 10-2 record.
1913: Easton, Fort Fairfield and Bridgewater dropped out of the league. Presque Isle won the league championship while A.C.I. finished in fourth spot with a 3 – 5 record.
1914: The Northern Aroostook Interscholastic League was created and was comprised of A.C.I., Caribou, Presque Isle, and Fort Fairfield. A.C.I. finished third in the league.
1915: There was no formal team
1916: A.C.I. did not have a team entered in the league.
1917: No record of a team. Easton, Limestone and Washburn formed the Tri-Angular League.
1918: The team had a 2 – 5 record this year. Games when played were played at the Hussey Theater in Mars Hill. They were still in the Aroostook League and Mr. Lambert was the coach.
1919: There was a team but no final record available, they did lose to Presque Isle 43 to 23.
1920: There was a team and they had split with Presque Isle however I could not find further information..
1921: There was a team and they appeared on Washburn’s schedule, however could not find any further information about their season.
1922: A.C.I. won the Northern Aroostook League and the representative to play in the U. Of M. tournament was decided between Washburn, Houlton and A.C.I. The play-off occurred in Orono as part of the tournament; A.C.I. defeated Houlton 37-30 and lost a tough one to Washburn 26-25. The A.C.I. girls also had a team this year. Players on the team were; Neva Grass, Georgina Craig, Dorothy Turner, Pauline Hussey and Maude Cliff, Coach was Ida Kimball.
1923: Played Caribou at Hussey Theater winning 63-18, Richardson had 30 while Banks and Sloat had 14 each. Played Fort Fairfield losing 33-29 Richardson tallied 23 points. May have played just a couple of games. The girls also played Caribou losing 26 to 20.
1924: The A.C.I. boys were 1 – 5 in the league and there was no girls team
1925: The boys were 2-4.
1926: A.C.I. boys finished fourth in the Aroostook League with a record of 3 – 7 and the girls finished sixth with a record of 1 – 9. For boys scored 108 points on the season and Wilson 73.
1927: A.C.I boys finished sixth in the Aroostook League with a 1 – 9 record, Noble was the high scorer for the team with 90 points and Sylvester was selected to the All Aroostook first team.
1928: A.C.I. boys improved this season finishing fourth in the Aroostook League with 4 – 6 record. Varney and Banks led the team in scoring with 105 and 94 respectively Varney was also selected to the All Aroostook team. The girls were 3 -7.
1929: A.C.I. was again fourth in the league with a 5-5 record, Varney was selected to the All Aroostook League first team while Banks and Kilton were named to the second team. Varney scored 74 points for the season. Houlton and Presque Isle were the only two girls team in the their League. The A.C.I.girls were 2 – 8.
1930: A.C.I. finished the season with a 3 – 7 record finishing fifth. Tapley and McPherson were named All Aroostook second teamers. In the girls league A.C.I. finished last with a 0-10 record. Saunders was named to All Aroostook League second team.
1931: The final standings of the Aroostook League found the boys in fourth place with a 4 – 6 record, they were 8 – 8 overall Saunders led the team in scoring with 113 points and Young added 81. The girls fifth with a 5 - 7-2 record.. Coach Crimmins. Games were being played in Hussey’s Theatre.
1932: A.C.I. boys finished second in the league with an 8-2 record behind Presque Isle who was 10-0. They were invited to the Eastern Maine Tournament at Orono where they lost to Winslow 26 – 18. A.C.I. girls finished sixth with a 0-10 record. Tapley & Phil Rogers were named to the All Aroostook boys first team and Adelman was named to the second team. Phil Rogers led the team in scoring with 99 points Tapley had 93 on the year. They were selected by the State Principals Assoc. as one of the eight teams to participate in the 12th annual tournament to be held at the University of Maine in Orono. They were to face Winslow. Starters for A.C.I. were Raymond, Tapley, Rogers, Addelman, Durost.
1933: A.C.I. had a very nice year and was selected to represent the County in the University of Maine tournament but a few days later were beaten decisively by Houlton and there was a three way tie for the League with A.C.I., Fort Fairfield and Houlton deadlocked. Houlton and A.C.I. ended up tied but after some debate A.C.I. was selected to represent the County. In the opening round game at Orono they defeated Old Town 26 – 23 andwere defeated in the semi-finals by Winslow 33 – 19. Phil Rogers was named to the All-Tournament team. Regular season records Houlton and A.C.I. tied with 8 – 2 records. All Aroostook selections first team: Phil Rogers, and Adelman. Rogers had scored 101 points on the season, Adelman 74 and Clarence Keegan 58.
The A.C.I. girls finished fifth in league play with a 3 – 7 record.
1934: The A.C.I boys finished third in the Aroostook League with a 4 – 6 record, Graves scored 104 points for the season and was selected to the All-League first team. The girl’s team compiled a record of 3-7 finishing fourth, Hallett led the girls in scoring with 97 points and A. Fulton added 55. A.C.I. lost to Houlton in the County Tournament 22 – 18.
1935: A.C.I boys finished second in the league behind Presque Isle with a 7-3 record. Blanchard led them in scoring with 103 points, Graves added 53. Blanchard was named to the All Aroostook First Team and Graves to the second team. On the girls side A.C.I. tied for first place with Houlton and there was no play-off game. No scoring available. Maxine Rand was chosen as one of the All-Tournament guards at Livermore Falls tournament.
1936: The A.C.I boys again finished second behind Presque Isle with a 7-3 record. Blanchard was selected to the All Aroostook first team. The A.C.I girls won their division with a 7-1 record, Maxine Rand, Hamilton and A. Huntington were selected to the All Aroostook first team. C. Huntington was named to the second team. Rand led the team in scoring with 78 points and Hamilton finished the season with 62.
1937: A.C.I boys won the Aroostook League title compiling an 18 – 4 record (10-0 in Aroostook League) and also won the Aroostook Regional Tournament at Caribou and represented Aroostook County in the final Eastern Maine tournament in Bangor. In the Regional Tournament they defeated Limestone 40-34 and Houlton 29 – 13. At the Eastern Maine Tournament they were defeated by Winslow 30 – 28 and in a consolation game lost to N.H.Fay High School 38 – 29. The starting five consisted of ; Russell Blanchard, Reese, John Whitten, Sherm McPherson and Hotham. Reese led the team in scoring with 130 points, Whitten 111 and Blanchard with 96. Reese and Blanchard were selected to the All Aroostook first team and McPherson was named to the second team. Verdelle Clark was the coach.
The A.C.I girls finished third in the Aroostook League with a 6 – 4 record. M. Rand led her team and the league in scoring with 111 points while White scored 46. Rand was an All Aroostook first team selection and White a second team choice.
1938: The A.C.I boys had a 4-6 record in the League and finished in fourth place. Rogers led the team in scoring with 65 points and was a 2nd team All Aroostook selection. The girls finished fifth with a 2 – 6 record.
1939: The boys finished in a second place tie with Houlton both having 6-4 records. Beal led the “Hilltoppers” in scoring with 190, Rogers 129 points and Higgins had 115. Rogers and Beal were named to the All Aroostook second team. The girls team was 4 – 6 in the League, Mahan and Gustin were all league selections.
1940: The Final League standings had A.C.I in last place with a 1 – 9 record, overall record was 4 - 12. They had a play-off game with Washburn which would determine who wou participate in the County tournament, they lost by a score of 21 – 15. The girls team had a record of 3 – 7. Frances Mahan led the team in scoring and Dorine Weeks was second. Leading the Hilltoppers boys offensively were McCrum, S. Weeks and F. Weeks.
1941: A.C.I was 5-5 in Leagaue play and 8-5 overall. Oakfield, Easton, Van Buren and A.C.I. played for the Small school championship in Presque Isle. A.C.I won the tournament by defeating Van Buren 27 – 25 in the semi-final and Oakfield 32 – 25 in the Final. In the semi-final A.C.I was led by McCrum with 13 points while Weeks added nine. In the final F. Weeks had 8, McCrum 8 and S. Weeks 6. All Tourney selections were S. Weeks, and McCrum. A.C.I. qualified for the EM Small School tournament held in Brewer. The defeated Winterport in the quarter final 51 – 22, S. Weeks led the team in scoring with 14 and McCrum added 13. In the semi-final A.C.I. knocked off Bucksport 33 – 29, McCrum led the team with 10 points, S. Weeks added 8 and F. Weeks seven. In the Eastern Maine Final A.C.I. started quickly and built a 12 – 7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Sangerville bounced back in the second frame to take a 16 – 15 lead from that point on Sangerville controlled the game and came away with a 43 – 27 win. McCrum led the hilltoppers with nine, the Weeks boys both added 7. Leading the offense during the regular season was McCrum with 92 points and S. Weeks with 91. McCrum, S. Weeks and F. Weeks were named to the All Aroostook second team. Only three teams participated in the girls league this year A.C.I not being one of them. For the regular season S. Weeks averaged 13ppg, D. McCrum 12.9ppg and F. Weeks 8.1ppg. Coach was Bill Phair.
1942: The boys team finished 3rd in the Aroostook League with a 5-5 record, and 6 – 6 overall. Won the Class S County Tournament by defeating Madawaska 37 – 29, Van Buren 33 – 21 and Mapleton 27 – 22.Weeks was selected to the All Aroostook first team. Weeks and Tapley were the leading scorers for the team with 64 and 63 points respectively. Were defeated by Lee Academy, 43 to 29 in Millinocket in the game which determined who would attend in the Eastern Maine Small School tourney. Weeks led A.C.I. with nine points
1942 – Front row: Vaughn Shaw, Walter Dearborn, Frank Pierce, Ray Halloran, Floyd Weeks, W. Tapley, Gilbert Boulier. Back: Lawrence Kearney, Maurice Clark, Eugene Smith, “Bud” Graves, Reggie Pomprey, “Red” Garrison , Coach Stan Stromback. Photo courtesy of PaperTalk magazine
1943: The “Hilltopper” boys improved this year with a 7 – 3 record and a third place finish in the league and were 10 – 5 overall. Weeks was name to the league first team and Hincks was named to the League second team.
Aroostook Central Institute was dropped from the Aroostook League as it was deemed they had an inadequate playing surface. A new high school gym was built in 1949.
1944: Because of the size of the gym many teams would not come to Mars Hill and play, therefore they were not a member of the Aroostook League. The did have a record of 6 – 4 and played several JV teams and FFA teams.
1945: A varsity team was not sponsored this year because of playing facility. They did play a schedule and had an 8 – 4 record. They were chosen to play Oakfield to determine who would go the Class B tournament. They lost that game 29 – 18 .
1946: They had a full schedule this year and had a record of 7 – 9, they did play some JV teams and FFA teams. At the County tournament they defeated Mapleton 41 – 39 and lost to Easton 37 – 21. In the consolation game the lost to Washburn 38 – 21.
1947: Not much information about A.C.I they did play one game losing to Fort Fairfield 81-24. They did play Washburn twice winning both games by scores of 35-31 and 49-47. Coach this year was Everett Beals and Univ. of Maine grad.
1948: Defeated Limestone in the first game of the Aroostook S/M Tournament held in Presque Isle 34 – 31. Sweeney led A.C.I. with 11 points followed by H. Bridges and McClay with nine each. Easton then defeated A.C.I. in the semi-finals 46-36. The team was coached by Stan Stromback.
1949: Had a regular season record of 9 – 6 and were invited to play in the County M Tournament. In the County Tournament they were defeated by Washburn 54 – 35.
1950: A.C.I. basketball was back and they participated in the Aroostook League finishing with a 1-9 record and an 9 – 9 overall record.. In the County tournament They defeated Mapleton in the first game of the tournament 48 – 36; in the second game they defeated Limestone 52 – 35. In the Championship game they lost to Island Falls 61 – 5,1 Gene Jones let A.C.I. with 15 points.. In an Eastern Maine play-off game in Brewer they defeated Hallowell 42 – 41. In the Eastern Maine Tournament they were defeated by Madison 53 – 42. I. Smith led the team in scoring with 223 points, D. Orser had 205, E. Jones 185 and D. York 130.
1951: A.C.I. finished 3 - 7 in the Aroostook League and 7 – 15 overall, did not qualify for post season action.
1952: In the Aroostook League tournament for M & S schools held at the Cunningham gym A.C.I. won their opening game 40-39 over Bridgewater but fell to Island Falls in the semi-final and did not qualify for the EM M Tournament. Kilpatrick was selected to the All-Star First Team and Tompkins was named to the second team. Overall record was 9 – 9. Head coach C.E. Ullman.
1953: In the County M & S tournament Mapleton downed A.C.I. 56- to 53 in an exciting game. Overall record of 5 – 13. Head coach was C.E. Ullman.
1954: Overall record of 5 – 13. A.C.I. lost to Washburn in opening round of the County M Tournament held at the Cunningham gym.
1955: Overall record of 3 – 13. A.C. I. was defeated in the championship game of the Aroostook M Tournament by Washburn 50-49. Tompkins led A.C.I with 15.4ppg and Kirkpatrick 9.1pg. This was George Ullman’s last year as coach
1956: Regualar season record of 7 – 9. A.C.I won the County M Tournament (held at Fort Fairfield Armory) by defeating Ricker 68 – 55 and Washburn63 -57. Dick Beem paced the Panthers with 24 points while Wendy Shaw and Adrian Smith had 16 and 12 points respectively. Went to the Eastern Maine M tournament were they were defeated by (3) Corinna 73 (6) Aroostook Central Institute 61. Dick Beem was an All tournament selection. A.C.I. was coached by Perely Dean. Team members: Bob Phillips, Dale Collins, Wallace Shaw, Adrian Smith, Dick Beem, Wendell Shaw, Dennis Lunney, TerryStraight, Lane McCaughy and Marty Shaw. Mgr. Hansen.
1957: Regular season record of 2 – 15. In the opening round of the County M-S Playoffs A.C.I. defeated Ricker 68 – 55, Lowell Weeks led the way with 23 points along with 23 rebounds, Layne McGaughy added 18 and Thomas 15. The team was eliminated in the next round and did not make the tournament. Layne McGaughy was named to the All Aroostook Second Team.
1958: Regular season record of 5 – 13 and 2 – 8 in the Aroostook League. Lane McCaughy was named County All Tourney. In the County M Tournament they defeated Ricker by 77 - 69 receiving excellent performances from Larry Weeks and Lawrence Beals. They were defeated in the semi-finals by Ashland 66 – 57. Head coach: Perley Dean.
1959: Regualar season record of 7 – 9 and finished 7th in the Heal Point ratings. At the Fort Fairfield Armory Perley Dean’s Panthers rolled over Ricker in the opening game 71 – 34 and then defeated Washburn 76-56 to gain the Aroostook M Championship. Billy Thomas led the offensive onslaught with 26 points, Weeks had 17 and Hathaway 16. At the Eastern Maine M Tournament No. 2 Brownville Junction defeated A.C.I 56 to 41.
1960: Regular season record of 2 - 15. A.C.I. finished last in the Aroostook League with a 0-10 record. Officials of the Aroostook League held their annual meeting and voted to discontinue activities in basketball but would schedule each other in all other activities. This was one of the oldest Leagues in the State, having operated for 34 years. Larry Weeks was named to the All Aroostook first team. Head coach: Perley Dean
1961: Had a record of 11-7 finishing 9th in the Heal Point ratings. A.C.I. did not qualify for the Class L Tournament. Terry Spurling became the new head coach this season.
1962: A.C.I compiled a 14 – 3 record and were ranked no. 2 in Eastern Maine Class L. Won all eight of their home games. At the County M Tournament they defeated Ashland in the opening round 63 – 41, in the semi-final knocked off Ricker 53 – 32 and lost to Washburn in the final 56 – 43. At the Eastern Maine tournament A.C.I. defeated Dexter 81 – 55 in the quarter finals. The “Panthers” controlled this game from the start using a balanced attack. Carrol Weeks had 16 points, John Turner 14, Steve Shaw 13 and Steve Bubar 10. The “Panthers” were also 26 for 35 from the foul line. They lost to Orono in the semi-finals 53 – 49. A.C.I. had a 30 -22 lead at half time only to see Orono out score them 17 to 8 in the third period. Carroll Weeks led the “Panthers” with 15 points, Steve Bubar added 10 and John Turner 9. Carroll Weeks All Tournament selection.
No. 22 is Steve Bubar. Photo contributed by Stephen Lawrence.
1963: Compiled a 13 – 5 record and were ranked No. 1 in Eastern Maine Class L. In the quarter final game of the Eastern Maine L Tournament the Ellsworth Eagles gave the “Panthers” a scare taking a 44 – 41 lead late in the 3rd quarter. The Panthers fought back and took the lead early in the 4th period and hung on to win 59 – 56. Brian Blanchard and Jon Turner had 16 points each and Steve Bubar added 10. The Panthers were 19 for 33 from the foul line. In the semi-final they had to overcome an 11 point half time deficit eventually defeating Bar Harbor 83 – 80 in overtime. Leading the way for A.C.I. was Brian Blanchard with 31 points, Steve Bubar 17, McCrum 13 and Bridges 12. A.C.I. was 17 for 35 from the foul line. In the EM final they met Orono who was going after their third consecutive title. After holding a small lead at the end of the 1st quarter over Orono the Red Riots exploded in the 2nd quarter outscoring the Panthers 22 – 9. In the third period A.C.I. cut the lead to four 45-41and worked extremely hard before losing 61 -57. Brian Blanchard let the “Panthers” with 24 points, Les Bridges had 17 and Steve Bubar 7. They were 15 for 21 from the foul line. Class L East B. Blanchard All Tourney. During the season Steve Bubar led the team in scoring at 16.5ppg, Les Bridges 14ppg and John Turner 11ppg.
Photo contributor: The Stats Guy.
1964: Front: Roger Shaw, Ed Clough, Brian Blanchard, Steve Bubar, Dan McCrum; Back: Coach Terry Spurling, Frank Hallett, Darwin Caldwell, Galen McCrum, Stan Lento, Butch Shaw, Frank Keenan, Jim Bubar – manager. Photo courtesy of PaperTalk magazine
1964: A 14 – 4 record had them ranked 4th in Eastern Maine Class L. In the L quarter final match up versus Orono the “Panthers” held off the Red Riots in the final minute to pull out a 66 to 63 win. The game had been tied seven times from the third period until the final buzzer. Brian Blanchard was key for A.C.I. with 27 points, Eddie Clough added 14 and Steve Bubar 12. A.C.I. was 21 for 59 from the floor and 24 of 33 from the charity stripe. In the semi-final game against top seed Ellsworth the “Panthers” were in a tight game throughout. The Eagles took the early lead and A.C.I. bounced back to take a six point lead in the second period only to have Ellsworth tie it at the half at 28 all. At the end of the 3rd qtr. it was Ellsworth up four 46 to 42, eventually building a lead of 54-46. The “Panthers” fought back behind the play of Roger Shaw and Clyde “Butch” Shaw cutting the lead to two. Despite having three starters foul out in the fourth quarter the “Eagles” were able to come away with a 54 to 52 win. Blanchard was again the “Panthers” top scorer with 17, Ed Clough added 15 and Roger Shaw 12. Blanchard was again selected to the BDN All tournament team. This was coach Spurling’s last season at A.C.I. he would move on to Houlton. Coach Terry Spurling’s last season at A.C.I.
1965: No tournament appearance, record of 2 – 16 and an 19th place finish. They defeated Washburn twice. They would consolidate with Bridgewater in 1966. Head coach Linwood Hersey
1966: Central Aroostook formerly known as A.C.I. finished no. 7 in the Heal Point Ratings with a record of 16 – 2 and faced off against no. 2 Orono in the quarter-final. The Red Riots started fast and built an early 13 – 1 advantage and extended it to 17 – 4. Orono maintained their lead and were up 30 to 20 at the half, although the Panthers were able to cut the lead to five at the end of the third period. Frank Hallett hit a basket to cut the lead to two with 2:10 to play but Orono responded to come away with a 56 to 52 win. For the “Panthers” Galen McCrum had 17, Frank Hallett and Sharpe each had 11. The Panthers were 15 for 23 from the foul line. Central Aroostook finished with a record of 16-3.
1967: Central Aroostook High School finished the regular season with a 15 – 1 record and in fourth place in the Heal Point ratings. In the quarter-final game Williams upset the “Panthers” 80 – 65. It was a tie game after one quarter 18-18 but Williams outscored the “Panthers” 19 to 6 in the second quarter to take a 37-24 half time lead. At the end of the third period Williams led 53 to 30. Using a full court press in the 4th quarter the “Panthers” cut the lead to nine but Williams ran off five consecutive points to regain momentum. Galen McCrum led the “Panthers” in scoring with 18, followed by Frank Hallett with 15, Mark Weeks 13 and Mark Carney 12. Central Aroostook was 15 for 23 from the foul line.
1968: Record of 6-12 and 13th in the Heal Point ratings. M. Weeks led the team in scoring with 16.9ppg and M. Gray 13ppg. Weeks was also 74% from the free throw line and Gray 67.2%. Central Aroostook did not qualify for the Eastern Maine Tournament. The A.C.I. girls were 3 – 1 this season.
1969: Finished with an 11 – 7 record and in eighth place in Eastern Maine Class M. They faced no. 1 ranked Sumner in the quarter final game of the tournament. The “Panthers” jumped out to 21 – 20 lead at the end of the first period but the “Tigers” of Sumner responded in the second frame outscoring CAHS 25-12 and led 45-33 at the half. The “Tigers” kept the pressure on and came away with an 82 – 54 win. Peter Irvine led the CAHS attack with 21 points, Devoe added 9 and Church 8. CAHS was coached by George Archer.
1970: The “Panthers” finished with a respectable 14 – 4 record good for fifth in the Class M Heal Point ratings. Central Aroostook faced Woodland in the opening round of the tournament and suffered a 59 – 41 loss.
A.C.I. – All tourney
1962: Carrol Weeks (1st team), Steve Bubar (2nd team) Class L
1963: Brian Blanchard (Class L)
1964: Brian Blanchard (Class L)
1969: Class M East Peter Irvine All Tourney
Thank you to Elizabeth Stevens at the Bangor Public Library for providing me related articles from the Bangor Daily News, The book Fifty-One Years of Basketball Playing in Aroostook County, Northeast Publishing, the Mark and Emily Turner Library, the CAHS Library for allowing me to research, also the Stats Guy for providing important information.