Hodgdon's Walker Oliver floats to the rim during a Saturday night basketball game with Katahdin. The Hawks fell 51-48. Credit: Joseph Cyr / Houlton Pioneer Times

Walker Oliver used an old-school approach to establish a modern state record during his most recent basketball game for the Hodgdon Hawks.

In a sport now often dominated by the 3-point shot, the 6-foot-2 junior scored 64 points during a recent 95-46 victory over Washburn but made just two baskets from beyond the arc while setting the unofficial state schoolboy standard for points in a game since the 3-point line was implemented in 1987.

Oliver’s total surpassed the 61 points scored by Taylor Schildroth of George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill against Lee Academy on Jan. 6, 2017.

While Schildroth made 12 3-pointers in 21 attempts during his record-breaking performance, Oliver shot 26 of 29 on 2-point tries and made just two of his five 3-point attempts.

“I take a good amount of threes usually, but in that particular game my opportunities were all two-pointers so I took what I could get,” Oliver said.

The son of head coach Matthew Oliver — a 1987 Hodgdon graduate who scored 2,000 points for the Hawks during his high school basketball days — Walker also made 6 of 7 free-throw tries and added seven rebounds, five steals and three assists as the Hawks improved their record to 8-4 heading into Tuesday night’s game at Fort Fairfield.

Oliver scored 32 points during the first quarter alone as Hodgdon used full court defensive pressure to build a 37-8 lead.

“I was just in the right place at the right time, honestly,” said Oliver, who is averaging 26.9 points per game this season. “My teammates got some steals, I got some steals and I got some good, easy baskets.”

Oliver added to his total with 11 points during the second quarter, nine points in the third period and 12 points in the fourth quarter while playing about two-thirds of the contest.

“We took the press off relatively early in the game and picked them up at the 3-point line after that,” coach Matthew Oliver said.

“It wasn’t anything at all that we set out to do, that’s for sure. It happened within the flow of the game, and it was obviously efficient. There were a few breakaway layups that were uncontested, but a lot of his baskets were dribble-drive moves that were contested in the paint.”

While no official statewide regular-season records are maintained for Maine high school basketball, an unofficial listing maintained by the Maine High School Basketball archives website ranks Oliver’s performance as the seventh-highest single-game total in state schoolboy history.

William Perkins of Morse High School set the standard, according to the site, when he made 37 field goals and eight free throws for 82 points against Rockland on Jan. 8, 1921.

Perkins is followed by Joe Fernald of Milbridge (76 points against Jonesboro during the 1956-57 season), Mark McBreairty of Allagash (76 points against Wisdom on Dec. 6, 1974), Leroy Duguay of Columbia Falls (75 points vs. Cherryfield Academy on Jan. 24, 1955), Steve Pound of Stearns of Millinocket (68 points vs. Caribou during the 1967-68 season), Thomas Heald of Cherryfield Academy (66 against Jonesboro on Feb. 6, 1957), and now Oliver.

Anita Belanger of Mattawamkeag has the top seven single-game point totals in state schoolgirl basketball history, according to the website, topped by her 81-point performance against Medway in February 1955.

Schildroth’s previous 3-point era high of 61 points was followed by the 57 points scored by T.J. Caouette of Winthrop (vs. Telstar during the 1995-96 season) and Jake Rioux of Van Buren (vs. Madawaska on Jan. 3, 2014).

Parise Rossignol of Van Buren owns the top schoolgirl single-game point total during the 3-point era, according to the website, with 49 against Fort Kent on Jan. 3, 2013. Cindy Blodgett of Lawrence High School in Fairfield scored 47 against Cony of Augusta during the 1994 Eastern Maine Class A championship game.

Oliver’s performance against Washburn — his previous career high was 45 points at Katahdin of Stacyville on Dec. 13 — is the latest milestone achieved during his comeback from a back injury that slowed his progress last winter.

“Last year he had cracks in two of his vertebrates,” Matthew Oliver said. “He only missed one game because of it but he was very limited. He was probably playing at far less than 100 percent. He couldn’t really get off the ground last year, I’m not sure he really jumped too many times.”

Walker Oliver shut himself down from basketball activities for three months after last season and said he is “mostly healed” now.

“I was hoping I would have a good season this year because last season I really couldn’t do much,” he said. “I was hoping to have a good comeback season, and so far, so good.”

Oliver played 20 minutes, 31 seconds, or 64.1 percent, of his team’s 32-minute game against Class D Washburn.

“It’s varsity competition and our main players need to have enough quality minutes to maintain their sharpness, their overall conditioning, and their game-type experiences. Everyone played a lot that game,” Matthew Oliver said.

“In any game I try to get my starters at least 20 minutes of playing time because they work hard year round and we’re continuously trying to prepare for our other competition. Two-and-a-half quarters of playing time is very reasonable in most games to play your key personnel.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...