East Grand boys return to the court after one-year hiatus

2 years ago

DANFORTH, Maine — After not fielding a team last season, the East Grand boys basketball team is hoping to make a big comeback in Class D North this year.

A field of nine athletes, including a pair of eighth-graders, make up this year’s East Grand squad, giving the Vikings a solid foundation for what is hoped will be continued growth in the years to come.

Matt Day is serving as both the head coach of both the boys and girls varsity teams this season. He previously served as the boys basketball coach for GHCA for two seasons (2018/19-2019/20) and helped guide the Eagles to the Cross Insurance Center.

Steve Gray, a former coach for East Grand, is assisting with the program this year.

“We are very young and don’t have a lot of experience,” coach Day said. “Our senior hasn’t played at the varsity level and we have two eighth-graders who will be playing.”

Members of the East Grand boys squad are senior Gabe O’Brien; juniors Jordan Mayhew and Jathaniel Lindsey; freshmen Lucas Potter, Nathan Frye, Cameron Davis and Derek Golding; and eighth-graders Noah Gilman and Amos Lindsey.

“I am hoping to keep building [the program] as the year goes on,” coach Day said. “I am also hopeful we will get some leadership from our older players, while learning to play fundamental basketball.”

The Vikings may be few in number but they have good size, which often bodes well for a small squad. 

The starting five players to begin the season will likely be Mayhew, O’Brien, Golding, Davis and Jathaniel Lindsey.

Mayhew stands 6-foot, 3-inches and is targeted to be an athletic post player. O’Brien is also 6-3 and brings a strong physical presence, which could translate into numerous rebounding opportunities.

Golding is an aggressive player who will serve as the team’s primary ball handler at the point guard position, while Davis brings speed and quickness to the floor as another guard.

Jathaniel Lindsey also has good size at 6-2 and will serve as a forward, bringing yet more size to the Vikings post game. He is also proven adept at slashing to the basket, the coach said.

The younger players will be called upon to provide key minutes off the bench, with every athlete having an opportunity to play on any given night.

“These guys don’t have much experience at the varsity level and even playing, so it will be exciting to see them mature and develop fundamentally as we go along through the year,” coach Day said.

Because of COVID-19, a number of players have been absent from practice, which has made it difficult to build chemistry this preseason.

The Vikings also face a number of tough opponents from both Class C and Class D North, including Katahdin, Southern Aroostook,  Lee Academy, Hodgdon, Wisdom, Madawaska, Ashland, Shead and Van Buren.