CUMBERLAND — On Sunday morning, Margaret McDevitt peeked into the bedroom of her slumbering teenage son and noticed something resting around his neck.
It was part of the net cut down in celebration from Greely High's victory Saturday night in the Class A South boys' basketball final.
This weekend, Matt McDevitt may have another chance to cut down the nets when undefeated Greely takes on Messalonskee for the state championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
It promises to be quite a weekend in the McDevitt household. On Friday night, Matt's father, Mike, will coach the St. Joseph's College women's basketball team in a Division III NCAA tournament game at Tufts.
St. Joseph's earned its automatic NCAA berth with an 81-70 overtime victory in Standish against Emmanuel College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship game Saturday. The victory raised McDevitt's 25-year career record to 500-190 and marked his 11th conference title. He quickly hustled over to Cross Insurance Arena to watch Matt, still battling the effects of a bad cold, help Greely beat Falmouth, 47-26.
"He's the first McDevitt to win a regional championship (in basketball)," said Mike McDevitt, an Ellsworth High grad who became a 1,000-point scorer at St. Joseph's. "It was a pretty cool day."
Matt, a 17-year-old senior, is the youngest of the hoops-happy McDevitt clan. His mother played at Portland High before going to St. Joseph's and surpassing 1,000 rebounds in her college career. Matt's sister, Megan, 26, was a two-year starting guard at St. Joseph's who later served as a graduate assistant with her father. She now teaches math at Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland. Matt's brother, Michael, is a rugged 6-foot-8 junior forward at Franklin Pierce University.
"We dragged (Matt) to all his sister's and brother's games," Mike McDevitt said. "And of course with me working (at St. Joseph's), there was a pretty good chance he was in a gym every day of winter, whether he wanted to or not."
Oh, he wanted to. Margaret, who served as a youth coach, said Michael was more of a baseball player early on and didn't truly fall for basketball until middle school. Matt was hooked from the get-go.
"He was always in the gym," she said. "He always had a ball. He just loved the environment."
The night before Matt's first recreation basketball camp run by former Greely High coach Ken Marks, Margaret said, her still-in-kindergarten son couldn't wait to get going.
"I remember Matthew wore his sneakers to bed," she said. "He was so excited."
Matt also is on the Greely golf team and played baseball his freshman year before travel basketball took precedence.
He's been a basketball starter since his sophomore year, when he averaged 16.2 points for a 10-10 team that reached the quarterfinals. The Rangers went 16-4 last winter and earned the top regional seed but lost in the semifinals to Brunswick.
"That woke us up," Matt McDevitt said. "That was a good learning experience. Even though you're the No. 1 seed, you're not untouchable."
A 6-foot-7 captain, McDevitt has a lightness and rhythm to his step. This season he's averaging 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
If there were a statistical category for spoken words, he would be among the state's leaders, if not far ahead of the rest.
"He doesn't shut his mouth," said fellow senior captain Jordan Bagshaw. "He just says whatever is on his mind."
McDevitt doesn't confine his comments to teammates. He chats up opponents, referees, folks at the scorer's table.
"It's his personality," said Greely Coach Travis Seaver. "He talks all the time. Even when he's on the bench, he's talking to guys on the floor. In practice, in drills, he's a talker. He's just a fun kid to be around."
Seaver played for two Greely state championship teams, in 1997 and 1998. This is the Rangers' first trip back since then.
Mike McDevitt has been able to watch all of Greely's tournament games and 14 of 18 in the regular season. If the son has a question, the father is ready with advice.
"He's been around basketball a long time," Matt said. "He's got a lot of great things to say to help me keep getting better."
Greely's road to the championship game hasn't been without twists and turns. In the regular season, the Rangers needed three overtimes to beat Yarmouth and one to beat Falmouth. After a lopsided quarterfinal victory over Kennebunk, they overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to turn aside York 59-54, taking the lead for good on a McDevitt 3-pointer.
If Saturday's game is close and late, expect the ball to be in the capable hands of the coach's kid.
"It's always great to take the shot, but if I'm not feeling it we have a lot of great options," McDevitt said.
"We're going to do whatever we need to do to win. We're not a team that has to rely on one person."