Young coach Bourassa brings intensity to Bonny Eagle boys basketball team

STANDISH – Behind every good team is a good team is a good coach.
Or at least that’s the way it usually works.
Squads that really stand out are ones who take on the character of its coach. Play the way he (or she) played.
Which certainly seems to be the case with Bonny Eagle boys basketballers.
The Scots play hard, compete fiercely, and carry themselves with just a hint of attitude.
They play way their coach Phil Bourassa did not so long ago at Biddeford.
Heck, if you fit the boyish looking Bourassa in a BE uni, he might even pass for a high school point guard.
Or a quarterback, which he was when he captured the Fitzpatrick Trophy as a Tiger back in 2003.
“I’m a little bit intense,” said Bourassa, who by day is a phys ed teacher at Bonny Eagle Middle School. “They play hard. But they are their own kids. Their own team. I’m just kind of the guiding light, if you will.”
Bourassa has been guiding the Scots for just two years, now, having been handed the keys to a struggling 6-12 team.
Year One of the Bourassa Era saw BE come to within one win of the Class A Western Maine championship.
Year Two, saw the Scots roll to three lopsided wins, before suffering their first loss, Tuesday, against Portland.
Among those wins was a 56-38 humbling of a strong Thornton Academy team (who in turn edged previously unbeaten South Portland, 43-41, Tuesday), in which they blanked the Golden Trojans, 15-0 in the first quarter, and eventually led 23-1.
“We knew we had to play defense and box out,” said Bourassa, who went on to star at Plymouth State, where he finished up in 2008. “They (the Trojans) are a very good team and a very well coached team. So we knew we had to bring our ‘A’ game.
“Our defense fed our offense. Our offense still has a long way to go. But our defense is what we hang our hat on. That’s what (feeds) our fast breaks and gives us our excitement.”
The real excitement seems to be what qualifies as a restoration of a basketball culture at Bonny Eagle that had been established by previous coaches like Bob Brown and Rick Simonds, both of them Maine legends.
Football had overtaken hoops as the kingpin sport around the school, as four state titles in a five-year span is bound to do.
However, a spirited roundball rebound seems to be around the corner.
“We’ve been intense since I’ve been around, for sure,” said Bourassa. “We have kids that have bought in. Kids that practice hard and play hard. They take care of business in the classroom. The expectations should be high and that’s where we want them.”