A week into the season, and Forest Hills has its offense humming. The Tigers are 4-0 and have yet to score fewer than 85 points in a game. With a roster of eight players, none taller than 5-foot-11, the Tigers are running and gunning, and it’s working.

“We’re getting much better up and down the floor,” Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero said. “We can motor. We do a lot of conditioning. Our strength is our speed and shooting ability.”

The Tigers opened the season with a sweep of Vinalhaven, winning 87-38 last Friday and 87-41 Saturday. On Wednesday afternoon, Forest Hills beat North Haven, 87-45, at the Augusta Civic Center. In the three games, Forest Hills made 26 3-pointers, shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc. For all field goals, the Tigers shot 48 percent in those three wins.

While the three has been important to the Tigers’ early success, it’s not their entire game. Forest Hills has done a nice job attacking the basket, too, and averaged 16 free throws per game in the three wins.

“We’re playing a lot more wide-open than I have in the past,” Amero said.

Freshman guard Parker Desjardins scored at least 20 points in each of Forest Hills’ first four wins. Seniors Kenn Vito-Cruz and Carson Veilleux, as well as sophomore Hunter Cuddy, also have become scoring threats. Brandon Gilboe, a 5-foot-11 junior forward, is becoming an inside offensive option for the Tigers. Against North Haven, Gilboe scored 19 points, with 12 in the first quarter.

Now, the schedule will test the Tigers. In the next seven games, Forest Hills plays defending Class D South champion Greenville, rival Valley twice, and Class C Buckfield twice.

“We’re in the toughest part of our schedule now,” Amero said. “Our next seven games will tell us everything we need to know about ourselves.”

Thursday’s game against Pine Tree Academy was Forest Hills’ first game in its refurbished gym. A flood in the school last June destroyed the court. The Tigers now have a new floor, along with a new scoreboard and lighting.

“It’s a lot brighter,” Amero said.

• • •

After winning just four games last season, Lawrence is 2-0. The Bulldogs have a difficult early season test Friday when they host Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North favorite Hampden, also 2-0.

In each of Lawrence’s two wins, over Cony and Messalonskee, Lawrence has played tight defense while sharing the ball offensively. Eight players scored in the first half of Wednesday’s 52-47 win at Messalonskee, and that helped Lawrence open a nine-point halftime lead. Coach Jason Pellerin said he liked the overall willingness to make plays, and said he’s seen a commitment to what he called “Bulldog basketball.”

Pellerin said he expects to continue using a deep bench.

“We’re getting a really consistent effort, no matter who we put in,” Pellerin said.

• • •

Tuesday’s storm has prevented a few area teams from getting into the flow of regular games. Since playing on opening night last Friday, some teams have played the waiting game.

With Tuesday’s scheduled game at Belfast postponed, Winslow will go eight days between games. The Black Raiders opened the season with a win over Mount View last Friday, and are scheduled to play again at Orono on Saturday in a non-conference game. Nokomis and Skowhegan originally rescheduled Tuesday’s game for Wednesday, but when school at Nokomis was canceled Wednesday, the game was postponed again, this time to Saturday at 4 p.m. at Skowhegan. Before that, Skowhegan plays at Erskine on Friday, while Nokomis hosts Mt. Blue.

Temple Academy is one of a few teams yet to play a game. The Bereans are set to open the season against Seacoast Christian in Eliot on Friday.

• • •

Even when it was apparent he was hurt, Noah Bonsant held out hope, as did the rest of the Erskine Academy boys basketball team.

All chances for a midseason return were ruled out Monday, however. Bonsant found out there was more damage to the meniscus in his left knee than he originally thought, and that he will need surgery and will be out for the next four to six months.

“I just had an appointment with a surgeon, and I got news that the tear was actually worse than they thought it was initially,” he said. “It’s pretty disappointing, because I worked pretty hard in the offseason to get ready for my senior year.”

Bonsant told his team Monday afternoon, and coach Tim Bonsant said the news stunned him and his players.

“Today was a total shock,” he said. “We had been hearing maybe four-to-six weeks out, which put us in the middle to end of January with about four games left (and) having him for the playoffs. We would have been a pretty good team to play against.”

The concerns about the second-team all-KVAC center’s availability began when he went down roughly two weeks before the season opener during a preseason game at the Augusta Civic Center. The fear initially was a season-ending ACL tear, but an MRI showed that the ligament was intact, and even though it also revealed a torn meniscus, Bonsant’s lack of pain while bending his knee or walking led him to believe he could be on the court after just a temporary absence.

“I was trying to think positively,” he said. “I knew I was going to miss time, but I wasn’t expecting to miss the whole season.”

Instead, Bonsant will be undergoing surgery after Christmas and the Eagles will try to return to the playoffs without the 6-foot-5 senior’s 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks per game. Erskine will have to play more full-court press without the post presence that was the key piece of their halfcourt matchup zone. The adjustment will be difficult, and Coach Bonsant will need the rest of the starters — Jack Jowett, Braden Soule, Austin Dunn, Caden Turcotte and Gavin Blanchard — to collectively step up to keep the team competitive.

“It’s going to have to be a whole team effort now,” said Coach Bonsant, whose team recovered from the news to beat Cony on Wednesday. “You knew Noah was going to get us 12 to 15 rebounds. That’s a huge void, one person can’t fill that void for us. It’s going to have to be two or three people.”

• • •

Around the state: Two-time defending Class AA champion Portland is 2-0 after a 61-44 win at Windham on Wednesday. Senior guard Terrion Moss, one of the top players in the state, led Portland with 27 points… Fort Fairfield is 3-0 in Class C North, winning by an average of 23 points per game. The Tigers play their next four games on the road… After a few seasons in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, Spruce Mountain is off to a hot start back in the Mountain Valley Conference. The Phoenix are 3-0, with a big game at Richmond, another MVC newcomer, Friday.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM