An early history of Washburn basketball from the early 1900’s to 1970.
The Early Years
It appears that the first year of organized basketball in Washburn was 1908, they went 4-0 in the Northern League. Washburn won the Northern League and Ashland the Southern League, in a three game championship series Ashland defeated Washburn two games to 1. Leon “Ike” Stoddard was a first team All County selection and Bill Duncan was a second team selection. Principal Chester Grant was the coach.
In 1911 they finished second behind Bridgewater with a record of 8-2, had the highest point total for a single game during the season of 75 against Fort Fairfield, defeating them 75-3.
1912 they played in the Aroostook Central School League compiling a record of 9-3. The roster was comprised of Ernest Umphrey, Harry Duncan, Hanford Crouse, Fay Shaw and George Carter, Coach was Wallace Woodman.
1913: The last game of the league series will be played in Caribou Friday evening March 14. A special train will start from Presque Isle at 7 o’clock for Caribou. The return trip fare will be 50 cents. Everybody come. At the time Washburn H.S. was 1 – 6. Key members of the team were: Umphrey, Porter, Crouse, Blackstone and Johnson. Final League standings: Presque Isle 8 – 0, Caribou 4 – 4, Ashland 4 – 4, A.C.I. 3 – 5 and Washburn 1 – 7.
2014 – 2015 There was nothing written about basketball in Washburn from 1914 – 1915.
1916: There were only three teams in the league that year and Washburn was not one of them.
1917: At the beginning of this season Easton, Limestone and Washburn formed the “Triangular League of Northern Aroostook”. Washburn won the league championship with four consecutive victories and had an overall record of 5 and 3.
1920: Basketball was back in Washburn in 1920, research shows that they had split with Presque Isle during the season. Presque won the league championship but as a result of having split with Presque Isle Washburn felt that they were entitled to a play-off game with Presque Isle. The game was played in Caribou with Presque Isle soundly defeating Washburn 25-7.
In 1921 Washburn produced its first Championship team in 13 years. The University of Maine had its first basketball tournament that year. A play-off series was held in the County to determine who would represent them at the tournament. St. Marys of Van Buren, Ricker Classical Institute, Washburn and Fort Fairfield would play-off, St. Mary’s defeated Ricker 26 to 18 and Washburn defeated Fort Fairfield 28 to 24. The final play-off game was held in Orono with St. Mary’s defeating Washburn 32 to 25. Anson Story led the way for Washburn with 11 points. Their overall record that year was 15-5.
In 1922 the Aroostook County Interscholastic Championship and representation as to who would represent the County at the UMO tournament was decided between Washburn, Houlton and A.C.I. The play-off occurred at Orono. A.C.I defeated Houlton 37-30 and then lost to Washburn 26 to 25. Washburn played Mattanawcook in the finals and were beaten 41-15. Washburn completed their season with a 9-8 record. The basketball team of Oak Grove Seminary won the final game for the University of Maine tournament championship Saturday morning bv defeating Mattanawoook Academy the High School champions, 27 to 14. In In the game for the second honors of the high school division Southwest Harbor defeated Washburn by a score of 22-21. This was the second annual tournament.
1923 Washburn won its third consecutive Aroostook County basketball championship and represented the County at the University of Maine Tournament. They defeated Skowhegan 18 to 9 and then lost to Bangor 47 to 12. Washburn had defeated Presque Isle in a play-off 45 to 29 game to determine the County Champion. Their final record was 11-3.
There is little mention of Washburn in the 1924 and 1925 season, however they did have a team just little information available.
1926: The boys compiled a record of 1 – 9 in the Aroostook League. Washburn girls won their first Aroostook League title with a record of 9-1 in the league and 11-1 overall. Center Ruby Stoddard was their leading scorer with 316 points, Gertrude Stairs had 125 points, Thelma Crouse 102. The Washburn boys were last in the League with a record of 1 – 9. Plissey led Washburn in scoring with 86 points.
1927: Washburn boys finished fourth in the Aroostook League with a 4-6 record. Washburn was again led by Plissey with 78 points, G. Umphrey 57 amd K. Perry 44. The girls finished with a 0 – 8 record
1928: Washburn boys were fifth in the League with a 2 – 8 record while the girls were 0 – 10.
1929 The Washburn boys were last in the league with a 1-9 record. Estey was the leading scorer for Washburn with 61 points. The girls were also 3 - 5.
1930: Washburn boys were 4-6 and the girls 2 - 8. In the early years County teams did quite well at the University of Maine Tournament. In 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927 and 1929 County entries were runners-up for the championship and other years made it to the semi-finals. In 1930 Houlton High School won the first Eastern Maine title for the northernmost County.
Presque Isle dominated County basketball in 1931 winning two Eastern Maine Championships and the State Championship in 1932. The 1931 season Washburn boys were 1-9 and the girls 2-7 with 1 tie. Coach Cunningham was at the helm.
1932 Washburn boys were 1 – 9 and the girls 2 – 8.
1933: Washburn boys 1 – 9, Holts named to All Aroostook Second Team. Girls were 2-8;
1934 Washburn boys were 3-7, Griffin led the team in scoring with 77 points; the girls were 2 – 8, Hay was there leading scorer with 70 points. Lost to Presque Isle in the County Tournament 33 – 26.
1935 Washburn boys were 3 – 6, Griffin was named to the All Aroostook first team and Umphrey to the second team; and girls were 3 – 6.
1936 Washburn boys improved to 5 -5, W. Umphrey was selected to the All-County first team (he led Washburn in scoring with 79 points) and Cluff was a second team selection. There was no record available for girls this year.
1937 season Washburn finished with a 3 -7 record, Griffin was their leading scorer with 78 points and Crouse added 68; the girls were 1 – 9 Umphrey led them in scoring with 79 points and Lancaster contributed 39 .
1938 Washburn boys were 4-6 good for fifth place in the Aroostook League, two Mason boys were named to the All Aroostook 2nd team; the girls team was a very respectable 7 – 3 and finished in second place, Umphrey was named to the All Aroostook team.
1939 the boys finished 4th in the League with a 4-6 record. Won the Aroostook League Class B title and the Aroostook Class B Tournament. Stoddard was a first team All Aroostook selection while Libby and Russell were named to the second team. Washburn lost to Shead at the EM Tournament s 36 – 23, Stoddard led Washburn with 12 points. Stoddard led Washburn in scoring for the season with 64 points followed by Umphrey with 60; the girls were 2nd with 7 – 1 – 2 record, Mason and Bearce were named to the All-Aroostook team. Jack Harriman was the coach at this time. The girls had a successful season finishing first in the league with a 9 – 1 record.
1940 – Washburn won the County Small School tournament when they defeated Mapleton 36 – 13 in their first game, M. Russell led Washburn with 13 points. They then went on to defeat Sherman 37 – 26 with Russell leading the way again with 12 points. Libby and Umphey were named to the All-Tourney team. Washburn boys finished the season at 2 – 8, Libby led the team in scoring with 94 points, Russell was second with 76 points, both were named to the All Aroostook second team. Mattanawcook defeated Washburn in the EM Tournament quarter final 52 – 23, J. Russell was high man for Washburn with 7 points. No info available for girls team.
1941- Washburn finished last the League with a 0 – 10 record, the girls were second with a record of 2 – 2. The Washburn girls lost their final game of the season on their home floor to Houlton 20-13.
1942 – Washburn improved to 4 – 6 good for fourth place in the league and 9 – 8 overall. They lost their opening round game in the Aroostook Small School tournament to Mapleton. Everett Cary of Washburn led the league in scoring with 165 points and was selected to the All Aroostook second team. Coach: John Mills
1943 – Washburn finished 5th with a 2-8 league record and were 5 – 10 overall, Griffin was named to the All Aroostook team.
1944 – Washburn finished 5 - 8 good for 3rd place, Day of Washburn was named to the All Aroostook first team and Blackstone to the second team.
1945 – Washburn boys won the small school championship in a tournament run-off held at Presque Isle, they defeated Oakfield 37-16 and Mapleton 25-23. In the Oakfield game Washburn was led by Hall with 19 points and B. Blackstone with nine. Hall and B. Blackstone were named to the Tourney All Star 1st team, while Thompson and Porter were named to the 2nd team. They had finished 1 – 7 in the Aroostook League, Hall was named to the All Aroostook 1st team.
1946 – Washburn went 3 – 10 on the season and 0 -8 in the League. Thompson of Washburn was the second leading scorer in the League with 95 points and was named to the All Aroostook second team. In the small school tournament Washburn defeated Madawaska 39 – 23 and defeated A.C.I. 32 – 21. Coach Foster
1947 – Washburn was 4 – 4 in the Aroostook League Limestone defeated Washburn in the Aroostook Small School tournament held at the Cunningham gym 20-18. In the semi-final game Washburn defeated Oakfield 44 – 26 with Thompson scoring 16 and Porter 10. Thompson and Porter were selected to the All – Tourney first team, Blackstone was selected to the second team. Thompson of Washburn led the league in scoring but no record was available for the team. Blackstone was named to the All Aroostook League second team
1948 – In the Aroostook League Washburn was 0-8 and 9 – 14 for the entire season. In the tournament held in Presque Isle for medium and small school they won the tournament by defeating Hodgdon 36 - 35, Madawaska 29 - 25and Easton teams. Defeated Easton High quintet 37-33, to win the Aroostook County small and medium school championship. Everett Chamberlain led Washburn in scoring with 20 points and Isaac Brewer added 11. First team All Tourney selections were First Team; Everett Chamberlain, Gerard McNeil; second team Isaac Brewer and Gary Umphrey. They went on to the Eastern Maine Class M Tournament held in Brewer where they defeated Shead 45 to 37, Chamberlain scored 13 points and MacNeil 11. They lost to Pemetic 66 to 40 in the semi final, Sewall led the scoring with 10 and Brewer and Chamberlain each had eight. Members of this year’s team were: Gerard MacNeil, Harold Corey, Everett Chamberlain, Isaac Brewer, Gary Umphrey; Dwight Sewell, Bryce McEwen, Philip Rundstrom , Lloyd Blackstone, Merlyn Perkins, and Coach Walter Pauli.
1949 – Mapleton defeated Washburn in the County Small School Tournament 41 – 31, Brewer led Washburn with 9 points. In the Aroostook League Washburn was 2 – 6, Brewer and McNeill were named to the All Aroostook 2nd team. Brewer was third in the league in scoring with 83, Umphrey added 77 and Doody 67.
1950 – Washburn finished Aroostook League play with at 1 -9 record and were upset 40 to 39 in the Aroostook Class M tournament, Doody led Washburn with 9 points. They did play in the Class M tournament where they were defeated by Dover Foxcroft 61-33.
1951 – Washburn finished 6 - 4 in the Aroostook League and did participate in the S & M Aroostook League Tournament. In their first game they defeated Oakfield 54 – 40 and lost to Island Falls in the semi-final 40-20. Umphrey was selected to the All Tourney second team. In the Eastern Maine Class M Tournament Washburn defeated Dover Foxcroft 49-41 and then lost to Bar Harbor 44- 32.
1952 –Finished third in the Aroostook League with a 6 – 4 record. In the County M & S Tournament Washburn defeated Ricker 49 – 36, Houston and Bull led Washburn with 14 and 11 points respectively. Bull was voted to the All Tourney first team and Deeves was an honorable mention. In the Eastern Maine Tournament the smaller Golden Bucks of Bucksport overcame Washburn’s size advantage to pick up a 54 – 47 win. This was a tight ball game all the way into the fourth period. At the end of the third quarter Bucksport was up 39-37 but outscored the Beavers 15 to 10 in the final stanza. For Washburn Deeves scored 15 points, and Houston added 14, Washburn was 15 for 17 from the charity stripe.
1953 – Finished third in the Aroostook League with a record of 7 – 3. At the M & S Tournament held at the Cunningham gym Washburn thumped Limestone 68 – 29. Washburn was ranked fourth going into the EM Tournament and opened up against Madison and started out slowly and trailed 11-6 at the end of the first quarter. They got the offense rolling in the second quarter and took a 22-20 lead at half time. Washburn broke the game open in the 3rd quarter out scoring Madison 15-6 to take a 37-26 lead, they continued to roll in the final quarter coming away with 60-38 win. Sterling Houston had a huge game scoring 24 points and controlling both backboards. Keith Humphrey had 18 points and Plissey 8 for the Beavers who were 12 for 16 from the foul line.
Pemetic defeated Washburn in the semi-finals 57 to 51. Stearling Houston was named to the BDN All tournament team.
1954 – Washburn defeated Mapleton in County tournament play 78 to 44 and qualified for the EM Tournament. Dick Donovan led the way for the Beavers with 29 points, Carroll Plissey 14, Bill Hay 13, and Dick Farley added 12 in what proved to be a balanced attack. Washburn entered the tournament with a 15 – 2 record and an Aroostook League record of 7 – 3 good for second place.
In the quarter final game Washburn met Hallowell stopping them 58-44 playing impressive basketball. The Beavers broke out early with a quick lead and kept adding it to take a 31-19 lead at the half. They continued to pour it on leading by 15 and the end of the third. Keith Tarbox led the onslaught with 16 points, Nick Farley added 13, Dick Donovan 12, Cal Plissey 10 and Bill Hay 7.
Washburn played Lubec in the semi-finals a much taller team than the Beavers. Washburn used its quickness and finesse to out maneuver the downeasters. Bill Hay provided a spark in the third quarter hitting on a bucket and two foul shots that turned the tide in favor of the Beavers. Again the scoring was well balanced with Plissey scoring 15 points, Farley 14, Donovan 13 and Hay with ten. Washburn was 17 for 25 from the foul line and 19 for 64 from the floor.
In the Eastern Maine M Final Washburn ran up against a good Greenville team led by Wayne Champeon who later went on to have an excellent career at the University of Maine. The Beavers got rolling early and took a 13 to 10 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter the game went back and forth with Greenville taking a 28-26 lead at the half. Washburn played its best ball of the game in the third period outscoring Greenville 19-11 and had a 45-39 lead at the end of three. Champeon (22) and Larrabee (23) took control in the fourth quarter to give the Lakers a 59 – 56 win and the EM Championship. Dick Donovan led Washburn with 27 points, Carroll Plissey had 18. The Beavers were 10 for 19 from the foul line and 23 for 62 from the floor. Dick Donovan was named to the BDN All Tournament team. The Washburn was coached by Cliff Burkett.
1955 – League record of 4 – 6. This years team was comprised of Keith Tarbox, Larry and Fred Plissey, Fred Clayton and Bob Donovan. They qualified for the EM Tournament by defeating Ricker Classical 58 – 45 in the opening round of the County Sectional, Keith Tarbox had 19 points, they then defeated A.C.I. 50 – 49 to win the Aroostook County M Tournament, Dick Donovan led the Beavers with 17 points. Washburn opened up the tourney versus Calais who was a very fluid passing team and had a great deal of success drawing fouls and as they went to the foul line 32 times hitting on 19 attempts, Washburn was 6 for 14. Calais led 44 – 34 at the end of the third period and went on to pick up a 59-42 win. For Washburn Foster had 11 points, Donovan 10 and Donovan 9.
1956 – Finished with a league record of 5 – 5. Washburn was one of the favorites to win the Class M County sectional. In the semi-final round of the County Tournament they defeated Mapleton 65-64 and lost to A.C.I. in the final 63 – 57. Spinney and Donovan led the way for the Beavers.
1957 – The Beavers were 12- 6 under coach Cliff Burkett, 6 – 4 in the Aroostook League. In the County tournament they defeated Limestone in the opening round game 62 - 53and and Ashland in the Final 54 – 49. In the opening round of the Class “M” tournament the Beavers met the Lee Academy Pandas. Both teams blew leads in this game and Lee almost saw their 11 point lead in the fourth quarter disappear but they hung on to win 61 to 57. Langley and Wilder kept the Beaver hopes alive in the fourth. Wilder spearheaded the Washburn attack with 21 points, George Seward had 14 and Bob Langley 13. The Beavers were 11 for 27 from the charity stripe. Wes Wilder named to the All Tournament team. Burt Donovan was name to the All Aroostook 2nd Team.
1958: Finished fourth in the Aroostook League with a 5 – 5 record. In 1958 Bob Langley was named to the All- County team.
1959: Aroostook League record of 0 – 10. Bob Clayton had a fantastic season in 1959 scoring 445 points in over-all play, scored 204 in Aroostook League competition. For the season he averaged 21.4 points per game.
1960: As the result of having the second best record in M During the season they earned a first round bye in the County M Tournament. Washburn lost to Newport 71-55 in the quarter finals. 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.
1961 – Washburn ended the season with an 11 – 6 record, they had some good size and strong scoring in Peary, Bouchy and Hallowell. Washburn won the Aroostook County M Crown (held at Aroostook State Teachers College in Presque Isle) by defeating Sherman 59 – 48 and Ricker 53 – 37. In the title game Hallowell hit for 12, Churchill 11 with Russell and Peary hitting for 9 each. The Beavers went into the quarter finals ranked no. 2 and faced no. 7 Milo. The trio of Pete Webb, Dale Rideout and Jimmy LaRouche were too much for Washburn and led them to a 75 – 63 win. Washburn placed four players in double figures led by Darrell Peary with 16 points, Garrell Bouchey 14, Larry Hallowell added 13 and 9 rebounds and Bill Churchill had 11. The “Beavers” were 17 for 32 from the foul line.
1962 – The Beavers compiled an 11 – 8 record for the season. In the County M Sectional Washburn defeated Sherman 64- 27 and lost to Brownville 63 – 61. The team averaged 71.2ppg and their opponents 68.5. Daryl Peary averaged 22.67ppg, Carl Grant 13.2ppg, Paul Bouchy 10.4ppg and Francis Wilcox 10.1ppg. The girls had a 4 – 2 record and averaged 47.7ppg while their opponents averaged 39.7.
1963 – Washburn was in Class L this year finishing in 11th spot with an 8 – 10 mark.
Front: Coach – Dave McGaffin, Jim Clark, Paul Clayton, Larry Wilcox, David Lavway, Francis Wilcox. Back: Arvard Holts –mgr, Kermit Fuller, Linwood Tuttle,jr., Richard Farley, Carroll Martin, George Boyce and Roger Crouse – mgr. Photo courtesy of PaperTalk magazine
1964 – Finished the season with a record of 8 – 9 -1. In this quarter final game Washburn (ranked 8th) trailed the Mount Desert Mustangs(ranked no. 1) by 11 at half time 42 – 31 but used full court pressure in the third period to take a 1 point lead with 1:18 remaining in the quarter and held the lead until the Mustangs tied the game at 62 with 4:23 to go in the game. The lead continued to change hands until the Mustangs scored on a lay-up with 3 seconds remaining helping them to come away with a 73-70 win. For Washburn, Jim Clark had 14 points and Paul Clayton 13 and Larry Wilcox another 10. Washburn was 20 for 29 from the foul line. Coach: Dave McGaffin
No tournament action for Washburn 1965-1968: In 1965 Washburn had a 4-12 record and finished 17th in Class M. In 1966 they were 2-16 and finished 19th in Class M. In the 1967 season Washburn was 8-10 and finished 14th in the Class M Heal Point ratings.
1966: Started the season 0 -13, as the team ran in to some tough luck, losing their best rebounder and scorer Kermit Fuller to a leg injury. They had seven games that were lost by six points or less. Dave McGaffin was in his third year as Washburn coach.
1967: Tom Cyr took over the coaching reins this year. It was a young team this year with a majority of the team being underclassman. They compiled an 8 – 10 record. They averaged 58ppg and opponents 58.1.
1969: The “Beavers” finished the regular season with a 16-2 record and were ranked no. 3 in the Heal Point ratings. They met Lee Academy in the opening round of the Class M tournament. Washburn had trouble scoring and trailed at the end of the1st quarter 11-9 and were down 10 at half time 29-19. In the third quarter they closed the gap to 49 -42 thanks to three consecutive field goals by Barry Blackstone but that was their last gasp and they went on to lose to Lee Academy 68-51. Blackstone led Washburn in scoring with 16, Campbell added 10 and Cochran 8. Washburn was 11 for 31 from the foul line.
1970: Compiled an 8 – 9 record this year. No Tournament participation this year.
All Tournament Selections
1948: McNeil (Class M)
1953: Stearling Huston
1954: Dick Donovan (Class M)
1957: Wesley Wilder (Class M)
1960: Bob Thibodeau (2nd team Class M)
1987: Jay Levesque, Greg Sponberg (S)
1989: Jay Levesque
1990: Tyler Turner, Matt Baker, Mike Flynn
1991: Matt Baker
1994: Chris Hallett
1997: Trent Cunningham
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, Washburn High Library and the Mark and Emily Turner Library for allowing me to research. .Photos contributed by the Stats Guy.