In last winter's opening round state tournament contest, junior Aaron Calixte scored 13 of his game high 31 points in the fourth quarter helping the fourth-seeded Stoughton High boys' basketball team pull off a late game comeback against #13 Duxbury, 69-63, before an overflow crowd at the Stoughton High gymnasium.
Barring a last-minute change of mind, it turns out that was Calixte's last home game at Stoughton High.
Calixte, set to start his senior year at SHS in September, will instead attend Lee Academy in Maine in 2012-2013, Stoughton High boys' basketball head coach John Gallivan told Stoughton Patch.
Even without the benefit of a four-year career in Stoughton, Calixte, a guard, will go down as one of the best players to ever suit up for the SHS boys' basketball team.
With King Philip graduate Jake Layman going to Maryland in the fall, it is possible for a top Hockomock League basketball talent to go to a top collegiate basketball school. But, Calixte's transfer to Lee Academy will potentially further his chances to be recruited by a Division 1 program at the college level.
Calixte informed Gallivan of his decision late last week, telling his coach that he had been accepted to Lee Academy, a private school in rural Maine.
"He's a great kid. We wish him all the best," Gallivan said. "He did a lot for Stoughton High."
Calixte, Stoughton's leading scorer and passer (19 points and 6 assists per game), was an integral part of the 2011-2012 Division 2 South Sectional Champion SHS boys' basketball team. After avoiding an upset against Duxbury, the team made a magical run to the TD Garden, winning three more tournament games, including the D2 South final against Hopkinton at UMass Boston, before losing to Brighton at the Garden in the D2 state semifinals.
He was the team MVP for the 2011-2012 season, a Hockomock League All-Star and received post-season recognition from the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and ESPN Boston, among others.
Last season as a junior, Calixte eclipsed the 1,000 career point plateau, becoming the first junior in school history to do so, and only the 13th player, boy or girl, to reach the career milestone.
But in addition to his scoring, Calixte was simply an all-around gifted player - he was a particularly great passer and ball-handler.
"It was clear to most people that he was the heart and soul of the team," Gallivan said. "Not many guys can be the one to handle the ball and the bulk of the scoring at the same time. He did."
In three years on the team, Calixte was a three-year starter and two-year captain for the Black Knights. He would have likely broken the school's all-time scoring record, if he had returned for his senior season, Gallivan said.
A multi-sport athlete, Calixte also played wide receiver, quarterback and defensive back on the Black Knights football team and was part of the spring track and field team.
"There's a bunch of people at Stoughton High that think the world of him," Gallivan said, adding that's not just because he is a great basketball player.
With Calixte going to Maine, and with the loss of four of the team's forwards due to graduation - Antonio Ferreira, Steffan Jackson, Raymond Bowdre and Donald Salidan - there will be a new look Stoughton team next season.
Marcus Middleton, who duly receives accolades for his defensive play, is also a scoring threat, and will lead a cast of projected returnees in 2012-2013, including Joe Bunce-Grenon, Mike Gallagher, Aaron Mack, Matthew Mack, Mauro Oliveira, Stanley Sajous, Andrew Valle and Joey Wilder.
"There will be life after Aaron," Gallivan said.
Gallvian said "It will be our job to figure out a way" to win without him.