By Matt Pascarella
Windham’s unified basketball team was ready for their home opener against South Portland on Tuesday, March 23, and showed the Red Riots they had what it takes on the court.
Although the Eagles lost 57-44, it was a very impressive game with Windham connecting on several three-pointers including a buzzer beater at the end of the first half by Windham senior Austin Rice.
Senior AJ Mains got Windham on the board early in the first
half and continued to put the ball in the hoop as the game continued. Rice
scored several baskets as did freshman TJ McAllister.
Windham senior Austin Rice prepares
for a three-point shot nearing halftime
during a unified basketball game against
South Portland on Tuesday, March 23
at Windham High School. Windham
fell to South Portland, 57-44.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
Windham was quick to grab rebounds and passed the ball well. At the half, South Portland led 34-19.
Windham’s intensity remained strong at the start of the second half as the Eagles made shot after shot and tried to catch up to South Portland.
Rice scored. McAllister scored. Mains scored. These guys were on fire. Rice put the ball in for two points, then backed up and sank a three-pointer. Mains scored back-to-back and helped close the gap between the teams.
At the final buzzer, Windham had put in a stellar effort, but the Red Riots remained just out of reach.
Mains said he had fun in the game and that his favorite part was shooting baskets. Rice said sinking that three-point buzzer beater was an awesome feeling.
Overall, Windham’s unified basketball team did well with their shooting said Windham coach Anne Blake.
She said overall Windham played well as a team because there were no substitutions, which made it harder, but all of the players contributed and did a fantastic job against South Portland.
This is the seventh season for unified basketball in Maine, although last year was limited and eventually scrubbed because of COVID-19 transmission concerns. <