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 The First 100 Years of Greely Basketball

Welcome to the second century of Greely basketball. In Greely High School: A Brief History of Its People, Its Times and Its Buildings we found a mention of Greely's first team. The research was done by Christopher Hyde and presented to a Greely Alumni Association banquet in 1991.

"Greely students were playing basketball in Union Hall by 1911 when it was still the church vestry," he told the audience. "Prior to that time, since the first game in 1904, they had played outdoors."

We don't know if the first game was played in the spring or fall of 1904. Since seasons usually begin before Christmas we are assuming that was the case in 1904. Based on that assumption, this is the one-hundredth season of basketball at Greely.

According to Mr. Hyde, the game had moved inside by 1911. He wrote, "Try to imagine playing a night game by kerosene lanterns with wise shields around them. There was an added hazard in the winter of the two wood-burning stoves, one at each end of the court. These also had wire protectors, but to be fouled out must have been a painful experience. In spite of these conditions, or maybe because of them, the school fielded three championship teams in as many years, ending with the Cumberland County Conference Trophy in 1929." According to the town history compiled and edited by Phyllis Sturdivant Sweetser, Greely retired that trophy by winning the title three years in a row.

In 1937, at the height of the depression, a Franklin Delano Roosevelt inspired federal program helped our basketball program. The Public Works Administration funded half the cost of Gyger Gymnasium, which opened on June 9, 1939. It was named for Superintendent of Schools, John T. Gyger who died just one week before its dedication.

We chose 1961 to begin the "Modern Era" of Greely Basketball. In 1961, The State Principals' Association began using Heal Points to determine which teams would go to the tournament.

The Rangers won the State Championship in 1963. It looks like a bit of a surprise on paper as the Rangers posted a 9-7 regular season record although they did manage to finish third in Heal Points. They cruised through the tournament beating Richmond 41-22 and Leavitt 51-38. The final against Cinderella Wells (seeded 8th) was a thriller. Harvey Moynihan came off the bench to score 18 points in the 54-53 win. Terry Jewett and Moynihan scored to give the Rangers a 54-49 lead with thirty seconds to go. Wells got the last two hoops but it was too little too late.

In the state championship game at Lewiston, the Rangers took on an outstanding Milo team that was favored in newspaper coverage of the day. Trailing 40-34 with less than six minutes remaining, Greely scored eleven of the game's final thirteen points to win 45-42. Co-Captain Gordon Mason keyed the comeback with five free throws.

By 1964, some Triple C teams were boycotting the Gyger Gym. SAD 51 was formed. A new high school and gymnasium were built in 1966.

The Rangers made the jump to Class B in 1974 and did so seamlessly in terms of athletic success. Greely went to its first "B" tournament seeded #2 and lost in the semi-finals to a great Camden Rockport team which went on to win the state championship.

The first girls' tournament was played in 1975. At this time the boys' tournament was being played at Edward Little High School. The tournament was in Augusta by 1978, the next time the Rangers qualified.

Bob Leighton left the program after the 1979 season and was replaced by Gerry Wiles. He continued Greely's record of success for the next eight seasons. He also hired Ken Marks as his assistant. Ken took over as head coach in the fall of 1987.

The rest is history being written. Greely won more Class B games and state championships than other Maine school in the 1990's. From 1995-1998, Greely went on a remarkable run compiling a record of 76-9 and winning three state titles. The 1997 team was statistically the best ever compiling an unblemished 22-0 record (156.733 Heal Points) and winning the state title by fourteen points over Bucksport.


    

 1961-2008 Coaching Records Summary


Regular Record Tournament Record Overall Record
Coach Years W L % W L % W L %
Bob Leighton 1961 – 1979 220 110 67% 13 10 57% 233 120 66%
Gerry Wiles 1980 – 1987 97 45 68% 9 7 56% 106 52 67%
Ken Marks 1988 – 2010 289 124 70% 27 17 61% 316 140 69%
Total 50 Seasons 606 279 68% 49 34 59% 655 312 68%

    

 Yearly Records
1961 – 1979 STATISTICS Coach Bob Leighton (233W – 121L)


Regular Overall
Greely Opponent
Year Class W L W L Round Seed
Score Seed Team Score
1961 M 12 5 12 6 Qtr * Greely 40 * Waldoboro 43
1962 M 12 3 14 4 Qtr #2 Greely 60 #6 Rockport 45
            Semi #2 Greely 62 #3 Elliot 45
            Final #2 Greely 44 #1 Pennell (Gray) 66
1963 M 9 7 13 7 Qtr #3 Greely 41 #6 Richmond 22
            Semi #3 Greely 51 #2 Leavitt 38
            Region #3 Greely 54 #8 Wells 53
            State #3 Greely 45 #1 Milo 42
1964 M 5 10 5 10 DNQ            
1965 M 5 11 5 11 DNQ            
1966 M 6 12 6 12 DNQ            
1967 M 11 7 11 8 Semi #4 Greely 45 #5 Old Orchard Beach 59
1968 M 10 7 10 7 DNQ            
1969 M 14 4 15 5 Qtr #2 Greely 90 #7 Boothbay Harbor 70
            Semi #2 Greely 65 #3 Freeport 71
1970 M 10 8 11 9 Qtr #4 Greely 58 #5 Yarmouth 57
            Semi #4 Greely 57 #1 Mt. Abram 60
1971 C 11 7 11 8 Qtr #3 Greely 36 #6 Gray-New Gloucester 39
1972 C 7 11 7 11 DNQ            
1973 C 15 3 17 4 Qtr #1 Greely 70 #8 Gray-New Gloucester 35
            Semi #1 Greely 39 #4 Jay 31
            Region #1 Greely 46 #2 Yarmouth 50
1974 B 17 1 18 2 Qtr #3 Greely 62 #6 Traip 43
            Semi #3 Greely 51 #2 Camden-Rockport 65
1975 B 18 0 18 1 Qtr #2 Greely 72 #7 Winthrop 78
1976 B 12 6 12 6 DNQ #9          
1977 B 12 6 12 6 DNQ #10          
1978 B 18 0 19 1 Qtr #1 Greely 84 #8 Livermore Falls 71
            Semi #1 Greely 62 #4 Medomak 63
1979 B 16 2 17 3 Qtr #3 Greely 66 #6 Gorham 53
            Semi #3 Greely 51 #2 Medomak 52
                   


1980 – 1987 STATISTICS Coach Gerry Wiles (106W – 52L)


Regular Overall
Greely Opponent
Year Class W L W L Round Seed
Score Seed Team Score
1980 B 14 2 16 3 Prelim #5 Greely 90 #12 Winthrop 56
            Qtr #5 Greely 55 #4 Fryeburg 49
            Semi #5 Greely 60 #1 Medomak 62
1981 B 14 2 16 3 Qtr #3 Greely 60 #6 Gray-New Gloucester 52
            Semi #3 Greely 61 #10 Fryeburg 47
            Region OT #3 Greely 91 #1 York 85
            State #3 Greely 67 #1 Orono 79
1982 B 10 8 11 9 Qtr #7 Greely 48 #2 Marshwood 39
            Semi #7 Greely 40 #3 Lake Region 51
1983 B 4 14 4 14 DNQ #18          
1984 B 13 7 14 8 Qtr #7 Greely 59 #2 Messalonskee 67
            Semi #7 Greely 55 #3 Cape Elizabeth 61
1985 B 17 1 17 2 Qtr #1 Greely   #8 Marshwood
1986 B 12 6 13 7 Qtr #2 Greely 72 #7 Marshwood 54
            Semi #2 Greely 59 #3 Gorham 72
1987 B 13 5 14 6 Qtr #1 Greely
#8 York  
            Semi #1 Greely   #4 Rumford
                   


1988 – 2008 STATISTICS Coach Ken Marks (285W – 131L)


Regular Overall
Greely Opponent
Year Class W L W L Round Seed
Score Seed Team Score
1988 A 8 10 8 11 Prelim #9 Greely 49 #8 Cheverus 91
1989 A 10 8 10 8 DNQ #12          
1990 B 5 13 5 13 DNQ #14          
1991 B 7 11 7 11 DNQ #11          
1992 B 14 2 16 3 Qtr #1 Greely 85 #8 Wells 45
            Semi #1 Greely 64 #4 Cape Elizabeth 50
            Region #1 Greely 49 #3 York 55
1993 B 15 3 16 4 Qtr #4 Greely 59 #5 Oak Hill 62
1994 B 15 3 16 4 Qtr #3 Greely 70 #6 Lincoln Academy 52
            Semi #3 Greely 63 #2 Mountain Valley 64
1995 B 16 2 20 2 Qtr #1 Greely 76 #8 Lake Region 65
            Semi #1 Greely 70 #4 York 57
            Region OT #1 Greely 58 #2 Gorham 54
            State #1 Greely 69   Mount Desert Island 55
1996 B 14 4 14 5 Qtr #1 Greely 60 #8 Wells 64
1997 B 18 0 22 0 Qtr #1 Greely 71 #8 Lake Region 55
            Semi #1 Greely 74 #4 Wells 49
            Region #1 Greely 68 #2 Marshwood 46
            State #1 Greely 62   Bucksport 48
1998 B 17 1 21 1 Qtr #1 Greely 66 #8 Wells 57
            Semi #1 Greely 62 #5 Cape Elizabeth 49
            Region #1 Greely 54 #2 Lake Region 41
            State #1 Greely 70   Camden-Rockport 69
1999 B 10 8 10 9 Qtr #3 Greely 57 #6 Erskine Academy 60
2000 B 10 8 10 9 Prelim #8 Greely 44 #9 Lake Region 63
2001 B 13 5 15 6 Prelim #5 Greely
#13 Gray-New Gloucester 53
            Qtr OT #5 Greely
#4 Mountain Valley 61
            Semi #5 Greely   #1 Gorham 75
2002 B 15 3 17 4 Prelim #1NW** Greely 80 #8NW Oak Hill 68
            Qtr #1NW** Greely 62 #4SW Wiscasset 48
            Semi #1NW** Greely 45 #2SW Gorham 57
2003 B 13 5 15 6 Qtr #3 Greely 50 #6 Cape Elizabeth 37
            Semi #3 Greely 62 #2 Falmouth 45
            Region #3 Greely 45 #4 Mountain Valley 61
2004 B 7 11 7 12 Prelim #10 Greely 35 #7 York 39
2005 B 11 7 12 8 Qtr #6 Greely 50 #3 Mountain Valley 44
            Semi #6 Greely 43 #2 Gorham 65
2006 B 13 5 13 6 Qtr #5 Greely 49 #4 York 58
2007 B 17 1 19 2 Qtr #1 Greely 67 #8 Yarmouth 53
            Semi #1 Greely 63 #4 Falmouth 40
            Region #1 Greely 32 #2 Mountain Valley 39
2008 B 12 6 13 7 Qtr #4 Greely 50 #5 Falmouth 49
            Semi #4 Greely 39 #1 Cape Elizabeth 48
* In 1961, Heal Points were used only in classes "LL" and "L". Class "M" used the regional play-off format.
** In 2002, Western Maine Class B was split into Northwest and Southwest Divisons. In the preliminary round, the top team in each division played the eighth place team in the other division. In the quarter final round, the top team remaining in the Northwest played the lowest seed remaining in the Southwest. In the semi-final round, the top seeded Northwest team played the lowest seed remaining in the Southwest again. Had traditional standings been used, Greely would have been seeded third and Gorham second. The MSSPA dropped this experiment after one year.

    

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