Boys basketball: Class D titles have change into household custom for Forest Hills

Forest Hills senior Mason Desjardins, seems to make a transfer to the ring previous Seacoast Christian defender Sonny Johnson throughout a Class D South semifinal recreation Wednesday on the Augusta Civic Heart. Wealthy Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Profitable has change into a convention with the Forest Hills boys basketball program. A practice that for years now, in some circumstances, has been handed on from brother to brother.

Since 2012, the Tigers have made six appearances out of 10 attainable Class D finals (there was no event in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic). They’ve received 4 state championships.

And on Monday, Forest Hills (18-3) will make its seventh look in a Class D closing — it’s fourth straight — preventing for its fifth title, when it takes on Southern Aroostook (21-0) at 7:45 p.m. on the Cross Insurance coverage Heart in Bangor.

Among the many beginning 5 for the Tigers will likely be Cooper Daigle and Mason Desjardins.

Each are hoping to proceed the profitable custom established by their older brothers.

Desjardins, a senior guard, is the Tigers’ main scorer. A self-described “finesse participant,” Desjardins is at his finest from past the arc, displaying one of many smoothest pictures within the Class D event. Mason Desjardins is following within the footsteps of his brother Parker Desjardins, who amassed greater than 2,000 factors throughout his profession with the Tigers (2016-2021), solely the nineteenth participant in state historical past to hit the mark. He was additionally a member of two state title groups (2019, 2020). A sophomore guard for the Thomas Faculty males’s basketball group in Waterville, Parker Desjardins led the Terriers in scoring this season (13.4 factors per recreation).

“I believe it’s going to be a terrific recreation, (Southern) Aroostook is a good group,” Desjardins stated. “They obtained the higher of us final yr. We’re going to do our greatest this upcoming week to arrange mentally and bodily and hopefully it goes our method this time.”

“Simply to see all of the work they put in repay, it’s simply good to see,” Parker Desjardins stated. “And Coach (Anthony) Amero, it reveals how good of a coach he’s, to take that group, different teams during the last 10 years, again to states with him, it’s good to see.”

Mason Desjardins has lengthy held his personal on the courtroom for Forest Hills as effectively, surpassing the 1,000-point mark final season. The pair have loved success collectively on the courtroom, as each had been members of the 2020 Class D title group.

“Among the best issues about (sibling success) it’s the competitors, they provide help to get higher,” Mason Desjardins stated. “They at all times come into our practices and assist us change into higher gamers.”

Cooper Daigle’s household ties are a bit extra of an excessive case for Forest Hills. A tough-charging junior ahead, Cooper is the youngest in a set of 4 brothers — together with Tanner, Dawson and Jackman Daigle — which have tasted success with the Tigers. If Forest Hills beats Southern Aroostook, Cooper would tie the household lead with two Gold Balls, becoming a member of Tanner (2013, 2015) and Jackman (2019, 2020). Dawson was a member of the 2015 title group.

“It’s form of like a novel written, mainly,” Tanner Daigle stated. “The celebrities aligned, we simply occur to be that set of brothers that share a reputation that occurred to work out like that from the oldest on down. You’ll be able to’t write a greater e-book than it.”

With that many titles, debates can get fascinating between the brothers on who had the higher profession.

“It’s for certain a giant matter on the dinner desk with the household,” Cooper Daigle stated. “We get into some arguments generally, however it’s at all times enjoyable.”

Forest Hills sophomore guard Blaine Nadeau, left, and junior ahead Cooper Daigle go for a rebound throughout the Class D South championship recreation Feb. 25 on the Augusta Civic Heart. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“It’s the traditional case of brothers will likely be brothers,” Tanner Daigle stated. “Clearly, me being the oldest one, I’d say that I had the very best profession, my group was the very best one to step on that courtroom. Then Dawson has his second the place, ‘Hey, you guys wouldn’t have received with out my two free throws.’ Jackman is available in and goes on a group that goes 44-0 and wins two states back-to-back. Now Cooper is on the rise for (probably) profitable two, hopefully a 3rd subsequent yr, in the event that they win this yr. All of us have our personal little bits and items that we throw at one another and we compete to see who was the very best athlete total. We speak stats and whatnot. It’s undoubtedly a brothers be brothers form of deal.”

The fixed amongst all these groups is Amero, who has been with this system for over a quarter-century. Amero credit the households inside the Forest Hills program for being devoted through the years.

“For me, it’s greater than I ever might have dreamed of once we began this 26 years in the past, that’s for certain,” Amero stated. “For the children, a part of the explanation it’s been so profitable is the dedication of the dad and mom, the grandparents, the guardians, aunts and uncles. We’ve obtained to play summer season ball. We’re two-plus hours to Augusta and that’s typically the place we go in that space to play video games. Which means individuals go away work early… I believe that’s why you see numerous the standard household names (on the group), as a result of they purchase into it and assist others after they come into it and I give numerous the credit score to the individuals at dwelling that help these children. There’s no method we do what we do with out them.”

Enjoyable household feuds will likely be put apart Monday. Southern Aroostook is the defending state champion, beating Forest Hills 81-62 within the Class D closing final season. Cooper Daigle stated the Tigers must put collectively their finest effort to beat the Warriors.

“I undoubtedly assume it’s going to be an excellent matchup, Southern Aroostook is an excellent group,” Cooper Daigle stated. “However we’ll see what occurs.”

The alums are doing their half as effectively. Tanner Daigle stated that he and his brothers— all sporting tiger-striped fits — will likely be cheering on Cooper from the stands in Bangor. With the faculty season over, Parker Desjardins has made a number of journeys to Jackman from Waterville (90 miles and practically two hours away), bringing alongside teammate Sawyer Deprey, to assist scrimmage in opposition to the present Forest Hills squad, a convention that has gone on inside the program for years.

“Mason and I do know one another’s recreation so effectively, I attempt to play him like different groups will,” Parker Desjardins stated. “Get some good runs (going) so he’s ready for these good groups (within the playoffs).”

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