As GSA boys roll, Taylor Schildroth is the talk of Downeast Maine

first_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Bio Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]center_img Latest Posts BLUE HILL — Taylor Schildroth walks toward a reporter with a grin on his face. He’s used to this by now.Yes, Schildroth is willing do another interview. He’s done quite a few of them in recent weeks, and the process is nothing new to him. When you dominate high school basketball as much as he has this season, the attention is going to come.As Schildroth goes to the corner of George Stevens Academy’s gymnasium, his head coach, Dwayne Carter, smirks at him and shakes his head. He’s not about to resist an opportunity to poke fun at his leading scorer.“I’m tired of reading about you,” Carter says. “Give somebody else the spotlight for a change.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textAlthough he’s far from the only star on the GSA boys’ basketball team, Schildroth is the one everyone seems to be talking about. As the undefeated and top-ranked Eagles continue to roll, Schildroth is setting records and bringing gymnasiums from his hometown of Blue Hill to rural Piscataquis County to their feet.“It’s been different, but I’m getting a bit more used to it,” Schildroth said. “Between social media, the media and people at school, it can be hard to ignore sometimes.”Schildroth has already produced several notable games this season, including a 25-point performance while sick with the flu against Ellsworth. He also had 18 in the first half in the Eagles’ 66-33 road win against Bucksport on Friday.The biggest of them all was his 61-point game against Lee Academy on Jan. 6. That game marked the most points scored by any boys’ player in Maine in at least 30 years — nobody in the state has scored more since the Maine Principals’ Association adopted the 3-pointer.“It honestly just happened so fast,” Schildroth said. “I felt good — like I could get into a rhythm — after I made the first shot. Once I made a few more from 3, it just took off from there.”Schildroth hasn’t stopped hearing about it since. It’s been a topic of conversation at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and other places all over Hancock County. Part of him wants to move past it — the Eagles have played two games since then and still have seven left before the playoffs start.Right now, at least, the talk isn’t as fervent as it was. He isn’t getting hundreds of texts, tweets and Facebook messages every day like he was two weeks ago. Still, now that word has spread to other communities, GSA games have become must-see action in such a basketball-crazy area.Even in Bucksport, the one town in Hancock County where high school football surpasses basketball in overall popularity, people are taking notice. Bucksport’s Ralph Jewett Gymnasium is one of the larger ones in Hancock County, and empty seats were hard to spot as GSA faced the Golden Bucks on Friday.“Everyone’s here to see this kid,” said Bucksport Sports photographer Rick McHale. “People here have been talking about him all week.”Schildroth got off to a hot start, making two baskets inside of a minute and finishing the first half with 18 points. Yet it was 6-foot-6 center Max Mattson who stole the show in the second half with two thunderous slam dunks in GSA’s 66-33 win.Between Schildroth, Mattson, Jarrod Chase, Beckett Slayton and the team’s deep bench, Carter is quick to emphasize that GSA is far from a one-man team. The Eagles have the perfect array of athleticism, size, shooting and defensive capability and have developed a habit of overpowering opponents on a nightly basis. The only team to come within 22 points of GSA thus far has been Ellsworth, which was the only team to beat GSA last year.Schildroth, in Carter’s eyes, is still a bit different from others he’s coached over the years. Few players 6-foot or shorter possess the athletic ability to get to the rim like he can. He’s dunked in practice on multiple occasions and came within an inch or two of doing so in the first half against Bucksport before laying it in at the last second. He’s crafty, too, and can shoot and pass from anywhere on the floor.“I’ve had some good and great players, but I haven’t had ones that have done what Taylor has done,” Carter said. “He can take control of a game and is just so well-rounded. When he’s on, it’s something else.”To make his point, Carter looks up at a banner that overlooks the school’s gym. The banner lists several GSA boys’ and girls’ players to have reached the 1,000-point mark. It will soon add another name in recognition of 6-foot forward Morgan Dauk, who reached the milestone for the girls’ team against Narraguagus last month.Schildroth, who currently has 927 points, will most likely join that list within a few games. Every previous GSA player to have reached that milestone has done so during his or senior year. Schildroth, on the other hand, is still a junior.“It’s going to be interesting to see where he can be a year from now because he’s just so good already,” Carter said. “To think he has the rest of this year and another year ahead of him to keep developing at the high school level, that’s going to be special.”Eventually, Schildroth wants to play in college. He’s received offers from a few schools already but has said he wants more time before making a final decision. Schildroth also plays soccer in the fall and baseball in the spring, but basketball is the sport he loves most.As GSA’s unbeaten run continues, all of that will have to wait. Schildroth and the rest of the Eagles are focused on finishing an undefeated season.“I feel really good about where we’re at and what I’m doing right now,” Schildroth said. “It’s cool to get recognition, but you also have to block it out and not let it get to your head. I want to win another championship.” MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img

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