Windham on the Rise

High school basketball notebook:

THE WINDHAM BOYS are another team on the rise. The Eagles won their eighth straight game Wednesday, beating Bonny Eagle, 57-45, and are 9-3 in Class AA North.

The Eagles were 7-11 and didn’t make the playoffs last season. Second-year coach Chad Pulkkinen expected his team to be improved but in the preseason noted junior guards Nick Curtis and Mike Gilman would have to handle both expanded expectations and increased attention. As sophomores, Curtis led the SMAA in assists and averaged 16.8 points while Gilman scored 18.6 ppg.

“It’s really fun to watch them evolve. They both have matured so much,” Pulkkinen said.

“Nick has become a stronger leader and more composed. And Mike is maybe our most improved player. He’s giving us so much more on the defensive end. He’s really becoming an all-around basketball player.”

Junior guard/forward Hunter Coffin is playing the role of defensive stopper and is a third scoring option. Senior captain Chris Brown provides a smart, calming court presence.

Sophomore Dierhow Bol, the 6-6 younger brother of South Portland senior Ruay Bol, adds excitement with blocks and dunks, and “is literally getting better every single day,” Pulkkinen said.

Windham, sixth in the Class AA North standings, plays four of its next five games against the top four teams in AA: North No. 1 Edward Little (12-0) on Tuesday, with North No. 2 Portland (10-1), South No. 2 South Portland (8-2) and South No. 1 Thornton Academy (12-0) to follow.

“We’re ready for the challenge and ready to see where we’re at,” Pulkkinen said. “It will be exciting to see if we really are a contender.”

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