Back in 1966, I was a young man who worked in the woods. I came home on a Friday evening in early June after a week (Monday through Friday) at a lumber camp. After supper, my brother asked me to go down to Brown School and play some basketball with him. I was very tired but I said yes.
We walked down the 8th Street hill and went to the outdoor basketball court at Brown School playground. No one was using the court, so Reggie suggested we play a half-court one-on-one game. He said the first one to score 100 points would be the winner. Each basket was worth 2 points. The game started when he got the ball at mid-court after he won a coin flip. If he got a basket or I got a rebound, I would have to dribble out beyond the foul line and attack from there. Usually, I would just take long shots that, back then, were still only worth two points. He could either do that or drive to the hoop.
After nearly two hours of intense competition, I finally prevailed by a score of 100 to 96. However, I must mention two factors that had a major influence on the outcome of the game. The first one was that when he was in the act of shooting, I fouled him on numerous occasions. If there had been a referee, I would have fouled out long before I got to the 100 points. The second factor was that he was only in the eighth. grade. I was bigger and stronger. It was now 9 p.m. and getting dark. As we were walking home, he told me that he hated the feeling of losing. I told him that was the reason why he was so competitive. I also told him that he would probably go on to become a good basketball player at Berlin HIgh.
Well, my prediction turned out to be only partially accurate because he became much more than a good basketball player. During the next four years, he scored 1,433 points and set the Berlin High School career scoring record that would last for the next 40 years. They're both gone now but he'll always remain in my heart!
(Ron Marquis lives in Gorham.)