AUGUSTA — Messalonskee basketball fans, coaches and players must have been wondering when their turn would come.

Just within the past five years athletes at the Oakland school have won state titles in lacrosse, baseball, softball and hockey. The girls basketball team brought home the school’s first Gold Ball in that sport Saturday with a resounding victory over Brunswick that capped an unbeaten season.

Like success in most athletic endeavors, Messalonskee’s didn’t occur overnight. Senior standout Sophie Holmes recalled how her older brothers, Orlando and Jordan, helped her along the way.

“They’ve pushed me personally to be better and always try to achieve more,” Holmes said. “They’ve motivators, always in your corner no matter what. We’re a very strong basketball family.”

Senior Lydia Dexter and junior Ally Turner also had older brothers who starred at Messalonskee and inspired them. But not every player on the team has an older brother or sister to show them the way. Help came from several directions.

“I inherited a very healthy program,” said coach Keith Derosby, now in his sixth season. “Our rec department is solid, our travel coaches are good. The coaches who came before me were highly recognized coaches. John Donato and Brenda Beckwith were two of the three coaches that came before me.”

Just as John Stockton and Karl Malone never got past Michael Jordan, the Eagles of the past always seemed to have a stumbling block in their path, a Cony, Mt. Blue or Lawrence, or in the case of their state title appearance in 2009, Deering.

Athletic director Tom Hill recalled how the recreation department was reorganized when he arrived to coach the boys basketball team several years ago. To that point, the several towns that feed the school operated on an independent basis.

“We have an awful good youth program,” Hill said. “Eric Seekins, the rec director in Oakland, does a nice job of setting everything up. We ended up combining third, fourth, fifth, sixth (grades) from all the towns so they got used to playing together coming up through.”

Hill called Derosby tireless. “He’s involved in everything. He’s at all the youth stuff, he’s running summer camps, summer programs, clinics.”

Holmes recalled how Derosby helped her along the way as well.

“He’s been there my whole life,” she said. “He knew what I was capable of. He taped my right arm behind my back one time at rec camp and said ‘you can only use your left hand.’ He’s really been there for me on and off the court.”

The players themselves deserve much of the credit for the team’s success. Many played basketball year round, on their own or under supervision. Holmes recalled how her AAU coaches, Mark Leclerc and later Robert Pilsbury, guided her along the way.

The Eagles will lose Holmes, Dexter and center McKenna Brodeur when they graduate in a few months but the program won’t die there. In Saturday’s game, many of the younger players made telling contributions, including freshman Gabrielle Wener and sophomores Alyssa Genness and Kaitlin Seekins. And Turner and Makayla Wilson are both juniors and returning starters.

“Our JV team was almost all freshmen, with two sophomores on there,” Derosby said. “And they had a fantastic season. I think we’re in good shape.”

Each of the players on the varsity team has adopted a youth team that coach on Saturdays, said Derosby who echoed Hill in emphasizing the importance of the contributing towns coming under one umbrella.

“It gets everybody on the same page,” he said.

Although the program is in good shape, each team is different, a fact not lost on Derosby.

“You can’t make them fit your personality,” he said. “They have to be their own kids. They smile a lot, they have fun but they get down to work.”

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