County’s Class B rivals set to battle at PIHS Thursday
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Kyle Corrigan will get his first exposure to the Caribou-Presque Isle rivalry from a coaching perspective when his Vikings pay a visit to Presque Isle High School Thursday to take on the Wildcats.
The game was supposed to be played Wednesday, but was postponed after both Caribou and Presque Isle schools were released early due to the snowstorm.
Corrigan experienced the rivalry as a player for Caribou from 2004-08, but this will be new territory for the coach who replaced Chris Casavant last summer.
Corrigan will be squaring off against Presque Isle coach Terry Cummings, who coached Corrigan at the University of Maine at Presque Isle earlier this decade.
“He always brought energy to the gym, which translates right down through to the players,” Corrigan said of Cummings.
“I have a great deal of respect for the job Kyle has done with his team,” said Cummings, who said the two have spoken almost every day this winter.
Caribou is currently in second place in the Class B North standings with a 7-3 record. The Wildcats, at 6-3, are currently tied with Foxcroft Academy for eighth place.
“We’re playing pretty well heading into this game,” Corrigan said. “However, there are still many areas we can and need to improve upon to be successful.”
Caribou has reeled off four consecutive victories since Dec. 28, beating Ellsworth on the road and Foxcroft Academy, Fort Kent and Maine Central Institute, all at home.
“I think in order for us to be successful, we have to play defense with a lot of energy and at a high level,” Corrigan said. “Rebounding is also going to be a huge key for us.”
Presque Isle has won three in a row, recording decisive victories over Old Town and John Bapst before coming from behind to defeat Belfast at home Jan. 5.
“To be able to come back like we did was a big confidence booster for us,” Cummings said. “We shot poorly, but I am confident in my guys that they will hit those shots against Caribou.”
Cummings stressed the importance of “making every possession count” on Thursday.
“We are going to have to shoot the ball well, control the glass and make free throws,” he said. “They like to get up and down the floor and put points on the board in a hurry, but we want to keep them to around 50, which is 17 below their season average. We will need to prevent them from having a big run.”
“They can throw a flurry of defenses your way, so you have to be prepared for just about everything,” Corrigan said.
Presque Isle is led by senior Jonah Hudson, who averages just over 20 points per game along with 5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. Junior Caleb Wheaton comes in at 12.2 ppg and is the Wildcats’ biggest outside shooting threat. Seniors Jason Dumais (5.5 ppg, 4.8 rebounds per game), Trace Cyr (5.5 ppg, 6.5 rebounds per game) and Carter Rice (5.9 ppg, 4.8 rebounds per game) round out the starting five.
Caribou counts heavily on junior Parker Deprey, who averages 19 points per game and was just named Big East Conference Player of the Week. Deprey also averages 8.5 rebounds per game. Senior Austin Findlen (12.4 ppg) and junior Isaac Marker (11 ppg, 4.2 rebounds per game) are the other top offensive threats, while junior Alex Bouchard is a talented floor general who averages 5.6 assists per game. Sophomore Sawyer Deprey (9.3 ppg) is the team’s other starter.
“It has been a few years since this game has meant so much in the Heal Points so it should be a great atmosphere,” Cummings said. “I want our guys to enjoy the experience of the Presque Isle-Caribou rivalry.”