CARIBOU, Maine — It was a game 50 years ago that would live on, far past the walls of the Bangor Auditorium.
With a basketball hall of famer, one of the greatest shots in the history of the sport, a future U.S. senator in attendance, and a tied score between Westbrook and Caribou high schools with 10 seconds left to spare -- this game had the audience on the edge of their seats.
A last second shot by player Mike Thurston put Caribou on top in a moment that had people from both sides of their court screaming in disbelief and jumping in the air. The game announcer called it the most fantastic basketball game he had ever seen in 20 years.
Caribou hasn't won another state championship since that famous 1969 game, but the team is still alive in the tournament this year and will play in the regional championship game.
In a 2000 interview with NEWS CENTER Maine, Aroostook County legend Thurston said he still had people approach him who wanted to talk about the shot that gave Caribou its first and only state title in boys basketball.
"That's the way Maine people are about high school basketball," Thurston smiled. "They never let a great moment die, and that's the reason this shot has lived on."
Even Westbrook alum Matt Donahue, who played for the Blue Blazes in 1969 and averaged around 30 points a game, said he was happy for his rival that day.
"I was a little upset surely, but how could you not be a little happy for them? I mean it was a great shot!" Donahue admitted. "I knew how much it meant to them and to their community, so when you look at it that way, I guess it was pretty cool."
Sen. Susan Collins was a sophomore at Caribou in 1969, and she never missed a game -- home or away. She was one of hundreds who crowded the floors after the winning point and in 2000 still remembered the celebration.
"It was just unbelievable how the town rallied around that team. I remember when they came home there was a motorcade to lead the boys back to town. There was a huge parade, and it really gave a sense of pride to our small town," Sen. Collins said. "In fact, to this day it is still a source of pride in Caribou."