Central boys basketball coach Riley Donovan didn’t seem all that surprised after junior guard Simon Allen buried 10 3-pointers and totaled a career-high 42 points during Tuesday’s 77-53 victory over Bangor Christian in Corinth.
“Really it’s just Simon being himself,” Donovan said. “He’s had games when he’s scored 27 and 30, it’s just kind of what he does. He’s not a kid that will make a big deal out of it, he just takes it all in stride.”
Allen’s 10 3-pointers eclipsed the Central boys’ record of nine set last season by Alex Hewitt.
“It’s funny,” Donovan said, “because last year after Alex hit nine in one game I told him that’s a record that will stand for years to come, and now here we are a year later.”
Allen’s offensive outburst came without a single free throw, though fouling the sharpshooter likely would have just served to increase his point total. He is a former Elks Club regional free-throw shooting champion.
This time, Allen was content to do most of his work 19 feet and 9 inches or more away from the basket.
“The first couple 3-pointers went in and I just kept shooting and they just kept going in, so it felt pretty good,” said the 6-foot-1 Allen, the third oldest of John and Sue Ann Allen’s nine children.
“I appreciate my teammates for trying to get me the ball when I was open and I just knocked down the shots.”
Perhaps another reason Allen’s long-range exploits shouldn’t come as a surprise is his family’s basketball tradition.
Both John and Sue Ann Allen played guard for Central during the early 1990s. John was part of the Red Devils’ 17-1 boys team in 1992 and Sue Ann went on to be a 1,000-point scorer at Husson University under coach Kissy Walker between 1994 and 1997 and was inducted into its sports hall of fame in 2009.
Simon’s oldest sister, Sydney, scored 1,000 points for Central and is now a junior captain for Walker at Husson. On Jan. 24, 2020, she established that program’s 3-point record with eight during a 74-45 victory at SUNY Canton.
Another older sister, Abi, also starred at Central and is a first-year player at the University of Maine at Augusta. Sister Izzy is a freshman on the current Central girls basketball team and posted 22 points and nine assists during a recent win over Greenville.
Simon Allen, 16, has been on the Central varsity since his freshman season and last winter started every game for the Red Devils.
“There were games when he didn’t sit last year,” Donovan said. “We played [George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill] last year and it went to triple overtime and he played the entire game.”
Allen sat out nearly the whole fourth quarter against Bangor Christian after helping the Red Devils build an insurmountable lead.
“He played great defense and he was aggressive but he didn’t force shots. Every shot he took was a good shot and in the flow,” Donovan said.
“Bangor Christian played a zone so we just tried to get him into the gaps.”
Allen’s big game was fueled by a fast start in the first quarter.
“I got off to a quick start and felt good from there. My teammates got me the ball and coach Donovan and [assistant] coach [Andrew] Speed also were very supportive,” he said.
Allen, a tri-captain along with Bryce Burns and Garret VanDine, thrived despite not having the support of a home crowd due COVID-19 indoor gathering limits.
“It’s pretty hard to get hyped before a game without any fans but I tried my best to do it and my team helped to hype me, too, and I appreciate that,” said Allen, who also plays soccer and baseball at Central.
Like Maine’s other high school basketball players, the Red Devils were forced to revise their goals after the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of the state tournament.
“The goal is to just try to get better and try to get all of our teammates better for next year, and then stay positive and have fun,” Allen said. “This is just like a fun year.”