After researching the best we could longtime Bangor Basketball Historian and Expert Paul Graffam, father of Bangor High’s outstanding point guard, Ben Graffam, from 1973-75 and myself believe that 6’5″ Junior transfer Matt Fleming broke a 75 year old Bangor high school scoring record for the most points in a game when he had 45 points Monday afternoon in defeating Windham 66-64 on the road.
Bobby Graffam (no relation to Paul) scored 42 points in 1943 and no other Bangor High player that Paul and I know of has scored 40 points for the Rams in a game since then until this past Monday. The closest was in 1956 when 6’6″ Bangor Forward Karl Daigle scored 39 points in a tournament game the first year the Bangor Auditorium opened for the 1955-56 season.
Fleming not only had 45 points he had a double double adding 17 rebounds. He also held Windham’s big scorer guard Mike Gilman to just 8 points all in the fourth quarter. He also made 7 three pointers.
Fleming’s brother Andrew who plays for the University of Maine men’s team has already had a offer from UMaine as a junior.
Their father, Brian, was an outstanding player at Hampden Academy when I was coaching at Orono in the 60’s, so both boys come by their outstanding basketball skills naturally.
I have seen Matt play as a sophomore last year when he was at Oxford’s Hill High School and all the Bangor home games this year and to me he is the best high school player in Maine that I have seen so far this season. He is the complete player, a big time scorer, excellent defender, a player that makes his teammates better as he plays the game from the shoulders up combined with his athletic ability (which many times many athletic players do not do) with a very high basketball IQ which gives him the ability to make very intelligent basketball decisions as a complete all around team player.
With another year to go and maybe even a year of prep school ball he could become the best D-1 prospect in Maine since Nick Mayo was after the 2014-15 season. He still has time to grow some more and could end up at 6’7″ or 6’8″ with all of the-face-the-basket skills with excellent ball handling, passing, and perimeter 3 point shooting skills plush is back-to-the-basket post up skills on the block. He is very good at finding the open teammate when he is double downed on to be double teamed before and after he receives the ball in the post.
Bangor has moved into 2nd place in the North AA Heal Points with their win over Windham and they play at Portland on Saturday,January, 27th for a make up game with the first place undefeated Bulldogs at the Portland Expo which should pack the home house of the Maine Red Claws in a building that has great basketball atmosphere and basketball history. In fact. The Expo is the last of the old tournament sites that was built mainly for basketball.
So this game will have a lot to do to determine who is the top contender for the AA North Tourney in February. This game will feature a top match up of the state’s unanimous top player going into this season Portland’s outstanding point guard Terion Moss and Bangor’s Matt Fleming the two top players in the state in any class.
Bangor is currently 6-4 while Portland is currently unbeaten at 10-0. The Rams have really come on as they have no seniors and they have really started to jell as they get to used to playing with Fleming. In the Windham game after Damien Vance Bangor’s outstanding junior point guard fouled out as did starter Noah Missbrenner and Bangor had to play without them both for the 4th quarter. Coach Carl Parker quickly moved Fleming back to the point guard position and he performed like he had been playing there all year.
Bangor now has a 8 day break between games as the Rams next game is next Tuesday, January 23rd when they host Class A Nokomis, followed by a Thursday, January 25th Game at Lewiston and then follow up that with their third game of a busy week with that big Portland Game Saturday, January 27th at 1:30pm.
Watching Matt Fleming play, the biggest thing that impressed me the most was how he interacted with his teammates so positively, he has great positive body language regardless how the game is going for his team or himself and he is just an outstanding team leader, leading by doing it in a very positive example.
You wouldn’t know if Bangor was 20 up, 20 down or it was a one point game, he is always encouraging his teammates, always motivating them and setting the kind of player example that showed me that as good a player as he is, he is an even better human being.
From what I have seen so far Matt Fleming could become one of Bangor High School’s All time Greats which there have been many over the years in Bangor’s storied boys basketball history.