For Bangor Christian High School’s exceptional senior point guard Dean Grass, it was a bittersweet evening on Monday.
His eighth-seeded Patriots lost to top seed Woodland 53-45 in their Class B North quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor but, with just over a minute remaining, he hit a jumper to reach the 1,000-point plateau for his career.
He said he wished they could have won the game but he was appreciative of the standing ovation he received from the Bangor Christian fans.
“That made me feel really good during the timeout,” said the 5-foot-8 Grass, who finished with a game-high 24 points to end his career with 1,001 points.
Leading up to the game, he said a lot of people asked him how many points he needed to reach 1,000.
“It was in the back of my mind. I knew how many I needed to try to reach the goal,” he said. “But I was focused on winning.”
The speedy Grass went 8-for-18 from the floor and 7-for-8 from the foul line. Even though he took 18 shots, he rarely forced a shot trying to reach the milestone. He finished with a game-high four assists and he also had three steals and three rebounds.
“He wasn’t out chucking the ball up like someone who knew how many points they needed to reach 1,000,” said Bangor Christian coach Kevin Reed. “He plays within the flow of our offense. When he gets the basketball, he looks to go (to the basket). When he doesn’t have anything, he pulls it out and runs the set.
“To be honest, for us to be successful, he had to get a lot of shot attempts,” added Reed. “I commend him for being extremely aggressive offensively. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been where we were.”
Reed feels that Grass could have been a productive player in any class.
“If I’m building a team whether it be Class A, B, C or D, that kid is going to be on it in some way, shape or form,” said Reed, a three-time All-America East guard at the University of Maine and the school’s third all-time leading scorer with 1,601 points.
“He’s a great player and, as good a player as he is, he’s an even better kid,” said Reed.
“He’s one of the best players in Class D,” said Woodland senior center and tri-captain Justin Worden. “He can get up and down the court at will. He can shoot, he defends, he’s very good. I have a lot of respect for him.”
The Patriots finished 6-14 but their record is misleading. They lost six games by three points or less and played 10 games against Class C schools. They beat Deer Isle-Stonington 76-65 in a preliminary round game.
“I’m proud of my team and the way we finished the year strong. We peaked at the end of the year,” said Grass, who isn’t sure where he’s going to college next fall.