After a two-year hiatus, girls’ summer basketball tournament action returns to Boothbay Harbor. On July 29 and 30, Boothbay Region hosts five other high school basketball squads in a tournament at Porter Memorial Gymnasium. Second-year coach Bruce Orne reported Cheverus, Brunswick, Kennebunk, Lincoln Academy and Camden Hills have committed to the weekend tournament.
Due to the pandemic, the annual girls’ basketball tournament in 2020 and 2021, known as the “Lobster Jam,” was cancelled. Orne is hoping this summer to bring back the popular summer tournament in a scaled-back version. “We hoped for an eight-team tournament, but it’s been hard due to the pandemic. Our goal is slowly building it back up to where it once was,” he said.
On July 29, the six teams will be placed into two pools. Teams will play their fellow pool members once plus a wildcard game with an opponent from the opposite group.. On July 30, teams will be seeded, and play a knockout tournament on Saturday. “It’s a tough field with a couple of state champions in there. So it will definitely be a challenge for us,” Orne said.
Prior to the summer tournament, Orne will begin summer basketball with several practices and games versus other Midcoast high school teams. So far, Orne has seven girls committed to playing the summer season. “We’re hoping for 10. Once school ends we will start with a team meeting followed by a few practices, and by then, I’m hoping more girls will play,” he said.
Orne is entering his second year as Boothbay’s varsity girls’ coach. Boothbay Region posted a 6-8 record last winter. Orne is a Boothbay Region 2012 graduate. He played two years of varsity basketball and previously coached boys’ junior varsity basketball. Orne wasn’t sure what to expect as a first-year varsity coach. “I was impressed how they hung in there and worked hard. They never hung their heads when things got tough, and I was pleased with how coachable they were,” he said.