Boston High School: Garet Beal

New England Gatorade POY winners

March, 21, 2013
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Rockland senior Tyler Gibson was named this year's Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Massachusetts. Here are the winners from the five other New England states:

RHODE ISLAND: BONZIE COLSON, ST. ANDREW'S
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound junior forward averaged 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 1.2 assists per game this past season, leading the Saints (24-9) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class AA tournament championship game. A First Team All-NEPSAC Class AA selection, Colson averaged 14.7 points and 15.0 rebounds per game in the NEPSAC Class AA tournament as the eighth-seeded Saints reached the final, where they lost to Cushing Academy by one point on a 40-foot buzzer-beater.

Colson has maintained a B average in the classroom. A member of the St. Andrew’s School chorus, he has volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and referee.

“Selfless, efficient, composed, simple -— that describes Bonzie Colson,” said Jesse Bopp, head coach of Vermont Academy. “He is at the core of their success. He scores around the basket, rebounds, makes free throws and guards. He is as efficient of a player as we played against all year.”

Colson will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

CONNECTICUT: KURT STEIDL, RIDGEFIELD

The 6-foot-6, 185-pound senior shooting guard averaged 24.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, four assists, and four steals while shooting 82 percent from the free throw line this past season, leading the Tigers (18-6) to the Class LL quarterfinals. A 2013 Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-Star selection, Steidl scored 31 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in a 63-57 win over New Britain in the second round of the state tournament.

Steidl has maintained a 3.68 GPA in the classroom. A devoted parishioner in his church community, he has volunteered locally assisting the elderly and on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield.

“Kurt Steidl was absolutely one of the best kids we faced this year,” said Tom Hunt, head coach at Woodland Regional High. “He averaged a double-double per game while playing in a very tough conference. Every time I saw him, he was terrific.”

Steidl has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Vermont this fall.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: ERIC GENDRON, MERRIMACK
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound junior guard averaged 19.7 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks this past season, leading the Tomahawks (13-6) to the Division I state tournament. New Hampshire’s Mr. Basketball in 2013, Gendron scored 14 points to help hand eventual Division I state champion Trinity High its only loss of the season in a 60-56 regular-season win.

Gendron has maintained a 3.86 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of the Leo Club and as a basketball coach with the Merrimack Youth Association.

“Eric Gendron has been such a huge part of all the success we had this season,” said Merrimack High head coach Tim Goodridge. “He has become a true leader on and off the court and he also happens to be one of the nicest kids I have ever coached.”

Gendron will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

MAINE: GARET BEAL, JONESPORT-BEALS
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound senior wing averaged 33.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game this past season, leading the Royals (18-1) to a berth in the Class D state tournament. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Beal shot 60 percent from the field, 48 percent from 3-point range and 79 percent from the free throw line. Also awarded Mr. Basketball as named by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches, he carried Jonesport-Beals to the 2012 Class D state championship as a junior, averaging 22.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 3.6 assists and 1.6 blocks.

Beal has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and serves as a member of his school’s student council. In addition to donating his time on behalf of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered as a positive mentor to elementary school students and as part of both community fundraisers and cleanup efforts.

“As an opposing coach, our game plan always focused on how to handle Garet before and after he received the ball,” said Glenn Billings, head coach of rival Deer Isle-Stonington High. “Garet has the ability to pull up and hit the open jumper if you play off him, drive by you if you play up tight and pass to a open player if you double him. He sees the floor and reads the defender as well as any one we have played against, and his willingness to use all of his teammates is what has made him so tough to defend. He is also an excellent defender, taking away the other team’s best offensive threat in many games. I believe he is one of the best high school basketball players we have seen in our state.”

Beal has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Maine this fall.

VERMONT: MATT ST. AMOUR, MISSIQUOI VALLEY UNION
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior guard averaged 30.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game this past season, leading the Thunderbirds (13-9) to the Division I quarterfinals. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, St. Amour was also named the Burlington Free Press and Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year as a junior. He finished his prep career with 2,064 points, third in state history.

St. Amour has maintained a 4.13 GPA in the classroom. Also a soccer standout, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs, blood-donation drives and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

“St. Amour plays within himself and really understands the game,” said Peter Quinn, head coach at Vergennes High. “He’s a tremendous shooter who knows how to put the ball in the basket.”

St. Amour remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

New England Roundup: Maine

March, 6, 2013
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Like any old building, it has its flaws. It's cold and drafty sometimes, and way too hot other times. Everyone's relieved when the roof doesn't leak during games, or when a week of basketball tournament games goes on as scheduled without any old parts breaking down.

MaineBut the Bangor Auditorium, which hosted its last high school basketball tournament game on March 1, has history on its side.

The basketball part of the arena, of course, is old-fashioned. There are Maine high school tournaments at the Augusta Civic Center and the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland. In Augusta, the concession stands are behind one of the baskets, creating a depth perception problem that knocks some teams right out of the tournament. In Portland, the seats are so far away that watching a game from the front row is like trying to watch your neighbor across the street.

At the Bangor Auditorium, everything is enclosed. There is little space behind the baskets or out of bounds, so the sound bounces off the walls loud enough that it can be impossible to hear the person talking next you.

“To this day, I wonder how anyone can play in that atmosphere,” Lawrence coach Mike McGee told the Bangor Daily News. “It’s amazing to look straight up and see the crowd. Your mouth is dry, all you want to do is drink water, and it makes you wonder how all those great athletes were able to perform in that setting.

“Since we’ve gone to the [Augusta] Civic Center coaching hasn’t been the same for me,” McGee added. “The fans are so on top of you in Bangor. You hear a giant roar when you score and now it’s just silence by comparison. They can hear me all over the Civic Center, and back when we played in Bangor we had to use play cards because the players could never hear me.”

Several newspapers and television stations have done tributes to the Auditorium over the past couple weeks. As the BDN wrote, “The Bangor Auditorium is filled with the echos of the basketball heroes it created, from Mike Thurston making a halfcourt shot as time expired to win the 1969 Class LL state championship for Caribou to Joe Campbell’s buzzer-beating basket that rallied Bangor past Deering of Portland for the 2001 Class A crown.”

Campbell's shot is one of the most famous in state history. He came from the other side of the basket to get a rebound and reverse layup just before the buzzer (Many still insist Bangor got a few extra seconds on the play because the clock operator was slow to re-start the clock.). Within a couple seconds, the floor was covered with Bangor fans. During this year's Eastern A boys tournament, Hampden freshman Nick Gilpin hit a 30-footer to beat Lawrence at the buzzer – a shot that made SportsCenter's list of Top 10 plays for the night. A group of adults formed a wall to make sure the Hampden fans didn't rush the court. No one thought to do anything like that in Bangor.

Maine has long had a problem keeping its high school graduates in the state or even in the area. That's especially true when you get north of the Portland area. Many big schools have seen their enrollment drop over the last 20 or 30 years. Presque Isle used to be in Class A and is now a normal-sized Class B school. Waterville has around 1,500 students in the late 1970s, and now has well under half that.

But even with the economy faltering and the small towns getting smaller, they still had the Bangor Auditorium.

"So many people, when they say 'That's the worst place to play,' they're not from northern Maine or eastern Maine,” Lindsey Welch, who played at Nokomis and now coaches at Winslow, told the Morning Sentinel. “They don't know. I would get so defensive about the place. It's like family."

MR., MISS MAINE BASKETBALL SEMIFINALISTS NAMED
The 10 semifinalists for the Mr. and Miss Basketball Awards were announced recently, with the winners to be announced on Friday, March 8.

On the boys' side, the semifinalists are Garet Beal of Jonesport-Beals, Spencer Carey of Lawrence, Anthony DiMauro of Boothbay, Charlie Fay of Falmouth, Quin Leary of Edward Little, Garrett Libby of Old Town, John Murray of Medomak Valley, Aaron Todd of York, Mitch Worcester of Washburn, and Evan Worster of Forest Hills.

Beal is one of the favorites, even though his Jonesport-Beals team was stunned by Easton in the Eastern D tournament.

On the girls' side, the semifinalists are Leavitt's Kristen Anderson, York's Emily Campbell, Dexter's Lauren Crane, Presque Isle's Chandler Guerrette, Lake Region's Sydney Hancock, Camden Hills' Jordan Knowlton, Cony's Josie Lee, Gorham's Kristin Ross, Waynflete's Martha Veroneau, and Orono's Jillian Woodward.

Only three of those players are taking part in state championship games this weekend. Guerrette and Hancock will face off as Presque Isle takes on Lake Region in a rematch of last year's Class B state final, won by Presque Isle in a squeaker. In the Class C final, Veroneau and Waynflete will play Calais for the Gold Ball.

The biggest omission on the girls' side was probably Richmond's Jamie Plummer, who led the Bobcats to the regional title for the third consecutive year.

TWO PLUS TWO ON THE SIDELINES FOR EASTERN A GIRLS FINAL
The Eastern A girls' basketball final between No. 2 Bangor and No. 9 Cony was notable not just for Cony's run from the last seed, but also because both coaches – Bangor's Katie Herbine and Cony's Karen Magnusson – are pregnant.

Herbine – who is so animated on the sidelines she makes Jonathan Papelbon look subdued – is nearly six months along, while Magnusson is a little over four months into her pregnancy. Both were standout players at their current schools as high school athletes.

The game was anticlimactic. Bangor had a height advantage and outrebounded Cony, 54-29, in a 57-43 victory.

New England Roundup: Maine

December, 17, 2012
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For most teams, the Maine high school basketball season began Dec. 7. Here’s a look at how the classes shape up

MaineClass A Boys: The West looks like a three-team race between Portland, Deering, and Bonny Eagle, with South Portland ready should there be an opening. Junior Justin Zukowski is Portland’s top all-around player, and he has help in Nick Volger and Jayvon Pitts-Young. Deering tries to beat you inside, with six-six Labson Abwoch, and six-four Thiwat Thiwat, both of whom are from the Sudan and moved to the United States at an early age.

Hampden was upset by Deering in the state final, and even though the Broncos return only two starters, they were still the pick for first place in Eastern A’s preseason coaches poll. Edward Little, Lawrence, and Bangor, all programs with strong traditions, could each challenge Hampden. Lawrence relies on forward Spencer Carey and guard Xavier Lewis, a transfer from Bangor.

Class A Girls: Western A has at least four strong teams in McAuley, Scarborough, Cheverus, and Deering. Oddly enough, none of them play each other until January. Point guard Allie Clement leads two-time defending state champion McAuley. Add in three six-footers and a talented guard in sophomore Olivia Dalphonse (a transfer from Bonny Eagle), and this team should go far in the tournament again.

In the East, Edward Little, Mt. Ararat, and Mt. Blue should fight it out for the top spot. Edward Little’s top scorer is guard Ashlee Arnold, and the Red Eddies have some motivation after blowing an 11-point halftime lead and losing to Cony in last winter’s regional final. Mt. Blue has balanced scoring, and guard Gabby Foy is a player who can run up a lot of points in a short time. Brewer was the big surprise in the early going, beating Mt. Blue on a three-pointer at the buzzer, then knocking off Lewiston the same way three nights later. Bangor has the height and athleticism to play with anyone, while Oxford Hills, Skowhegan, and Lawrence could be sleepers in a deep league.

Class B boys: Falmouth and York are two of the tallest and best teams in the West. York has five players six-four or taller; Falmouth has three at least six-five. Falmouth didn’t return any starters this season, but began the year with three lopsided wins. To go with York’s height, the Wildcats have senior guard Adam Bailey, who hit 11 three-pointers in York’s first four games this season.

Expectations are very high at Oceanside, which finished 12-8 last season but returns four starters and is loaded with height. The Portland Press Herald even said that, “Anything short of winning Eastern Class B would be a disappointment.” Winslow is expected to be a playoff team, but Oceanside beat the Black Raiders, 80-53, on opening night. Medomak Valley, Camden Hills, and possibly Caribou and Presque Isle will also look to get hot at the right time.

Class B girls: Defending regional champ Lake Region is probably the favorite again. Tiana-Jo Carter averaged 15 points and 17 rebounds per game last winter, and the Portland Press Herald reports she has already received full scholarship offers to Division I schools. The Lakers are so deep at guard that freshman CeCe Hancock stepped in and had 11 points and nine assists in an early-season win over Waynflete. York, Gorham, Spruce Mountain, and Wells could all make a run at Lake Region. Leavitt might not have all the pieces to go all the way, but the Hornets have one of the most entertaining players in the state in senior Kristen Anderson, who will play at the University of New Hampshire next season. Anderson can shoot from 30-35 feet out, and often does.

In Eastern B, Presque Isle is the decided favorite. The Wildcats finally got past Nokomis last winter and squeaked past Lake Region to win the state title. Presque Isle’s first three games this season were wins by scores of 39, 63, and 38 points, and that’s a good indication of how their regular season will go. The Wildcats are never very tall, but they throw lots of quick guards at you and can shoot from long range. Nokomis, which won’t face Presque Isle during the regular season, may have the best chance to defeat the Wildcats in the playoffs. The Warriors have three fine guards in Lindsay Whitney and twins Kylie and Kelsie Richards, and a good low-post option in Anna MacKenzie.

Class C boys: Dirigo has won four consecutive Western C titles, and until someone gets past the Cougars, they have to be considered the favorites again. Even after graduating seven seniors from last winter’s state champions, Dirigo was still picked first in the Mountain Valley Conference coaches poll. Boothbay is probably Dirigo’s toughest competition in the MVC, and Waynflete, which competes in the Western Maine Conference, could be a dark horse.

Houlton went 8-10 last winter, but may just be the No. 1 team in Eastern C. Kyle Bouchard, who can play pretty much any position, leads the Shiretowners. Among Houlton’s early wins this season was a seven-point victory on the road against a good Class B Presque Isle team. Penquis Valley and Lee Academy — which is currently on probation from the Maine Principals’ Association for recruiting violations — are also threats for the regional crown.

Class C girls: The Mountain Valley Conference is deeper, but the Western Maine Conference has the best player (Margaret Veroneau) and maybe the best team (Waynflete). The Flyers have a top-notch coach in Brandon Salway, and bring back all five starters. They’re good enough that they almost beat Class B Lake Region, losing by five on the road. Madison, Lisbon, and Monmouth are also contenders. Mt. Abram should have been in that mix, but the Roadrunners had some players decide not to return, and apparently don’t have everything they need to play with the top teams.

Calais, led by guard Madison McVicar and center Paige Gillespie, is the favorite in the East. Orono, Dexter, and Narraguagas are also in the hunt.

Class D boys: Forest Hills is known for a lot of things, like being closer to the Canadian border than any other high school in Maine, and having kindergarten through 12 all in one building. The Tigers also have a great basketball team. Senior Evan Worster already has over 1,000 points, and everyone returns from a team that went to the Class D state championship game this winter. The Tigers will get tested this season, as Valley, Greenville, and possibly Hyde all have the potential to cut down the nets after the Western D final in late February.

When Jonesport-Beals won the state title last season, it did so with a total high school enrollment of 58 students. It helped immeasurably that one of those was six-foot-five Garet Beal, the state’s Gatorade Player of the year. Beal will play at the University of Maine next season, and already has back-to-back 40-point games this season. The second of those was in overtime against Deer Isle-Stonington, a team that could challenge the Royals again this winter. Woodland could also give Jonesport-Beals a scare.

Class D girls: It looks like Rangeley and Richmond will battle once again for the Western D title. Rangeley, a school with about 80 students, has three six-footers in sophomore Taylor Esty, freshman Blayke Morin, and transfer student Emma Gunic. Richmond has its own six-footer in Jamie Plummer, the daughter of Colby College baseball coach Dale Plummer. Rangeley won the first meeting this season, 56-54 in overtime.

In the East, Washburn won the state title last winter with no seniors and three juniors. The Beavers did lose their coach when Mike Carlos was not rehired after winning two consecutive state titles. There were widespread rumors of parents being unhappy with Carlos, who is now coaching at East Grand. When Carlos was not rehired, superintendent Ed Buckley released a statement to the Bangor Daily News which included the line, “we do not measure the success of our athletic teams by the number of contests they win but whether it is a positive experience for all our students.” Diana Belskis Trams is now coaching the Washburn girls. Van Buren could give Washburn a run in the East. The Crusaders’ star is junior guard Parise Rossignol, who verbally committed to the University of Maine as a sophomore.

New England Roundup: Maine

March, 26, 2012
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Hampden Academy senior Christian McCue was named Mr. Maine Basketball recently at the Maine McDonald’s all-star banquet. The 6-foot-2 McCue moved the point guard this season and led the Broncos to a 20-2 record and a berth in the Class A state championship game.

Maine

He recently answered some questions about his season and career:

Q: Who got you started playing basketball and when?

A: "My dad is the one who got me started. He put the ball in my hands when I was 5 years old. I remember it was my birthday and he told me I finally was old enough to start practicing, and he began taking me to the local middle school gym to shoot and do drills with my older brothers."

Q: Who have been your most important influences in the game?

A: "My most important influences have definitely been my two older brothers, Jesse and Daniel McCue. My oldest brother Jesse is the best shooter I have ever seen, and honestly I have been working my entire life to shoot like him. My middle brother Daniel is an amazing point guard with the highest basketball IQ you can imagine. The two of them have spent countless hours with me over the last 10-plus years teaching me everything I know about the game. Jesse played at Palm Beach Atlantic University where he still holds the all-time school record for 3’s made in a game, season, and career.

"Daniel is graduating from MIT this year where he helped lead the team to its first D III Final Four appearance ever, and best school record in history. I think I got the best of both worlds and became a combination of two of them after receiving both their expertise. I also think my father has been a huge influence on me. He has always pushed me extremely hard, sometimes harder than I would have liked. But he never hesitated to rebound for me no matter how late at night, or how many times a week."

Q: What do you most enjoy about basketball?

A: The thing I enjoy most about basketball is that it’s the perfect combination of team and individual moments. There are times when it is completely mano a mano, like when you are guarding someone man to man, or trying to score, and there is a lot of individual pride on the line. But there is also a beautiful team aspect, whether it is a fastbreak with a couple quick passes, or you taking a charge on help-side when your teammate gets beat. The camaraderie of the game of basketball, on the court and in the locker room, is amazing, but it also gives you an opportunity to showcase your individual talent.

Q: What parts of your game have you worked on the most in the past couple of years and where do you need to improve?

A: "Over the last two years I have really tried to develop my ability to take it to the basket. I have stood on the three point line and shot threes my whole life, but one-dimensional players are easy to guard, and that became apparent to me early in my varsity career after a couple games of being face guarded. So over the last two years I have made a very conscious effort to try and attack when I am playing pickup basketball, or with my friends, and have spent a lot of time playing by myself taking it to the basket.

"I still need to improve on this ability, and also the ability of knowing when to pass and when to shoot it myself. I stepped into the roll of point guard this year for Hampden Academy, and sometimes I would get into the paint and be in between dishing it to a teammate and taking it all the way myself. I just need to keep working on the feel for that part of my game."

Q: Were you surprised you were named Mr. Maine Basketball? What are your thoughts on winning?

A: "I wouldn’t say I was surprised as much as relieved. I thought if they called my name at the McDonald’s banquet I would have earned it, but I was also worried because the other finalists, Cam Sennick and Cole Libby, are great players, with impressive résumés. Winning the award has always been a secret dream of mine, and is something I will always be profoundly proud of.

"It means a lot to me because I feel like I have brought honor to my family, the ones who have always supported me. Winning the award was also a moment of vindication for me, because there have always been a lot of coaches and people who have doubted my ability. Sometimes this made me doubt myself too, but winning an award like this makes it feel like it has all been worth it."

Q: What teams have you played for outside of school and how did this impact your development?

A: "I have played for various AAU teams and various coaches. Throughout high school I played for both MBR and ME Hoops, two great programs. AAU has been really great because it gives you a chance to not only keep playing in the off-season and to keep getting better, but also to see what else is out there. Being from Maine especially, going to the bigger tournaments in Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, etc. was always an eye-opening experience. Seeing the best of the best always motivates you to improve your game, and expand it past what you previously knew."

Q: Which of your skills on the court do you take the most pride in?

A: "The skill I take most pride in is definitely my shooting ability. I have always regarded shooting as an art, and taken in extremely serious. I know I have racked up 100’s of thousands of repetitions, all in attempt to perfect that art. One of my worst fears is to have somebody see me shoot an ugly jump shot. I am well aware that I can’t take it to the hoop and dunk on someone, so I have always felt shooting a deep jumper is my chance to wow someone on the court."

Q: What other sports and activities do you enjoy?

A: "I enjoy pretty much all sports; I used to play soccer and baseball but stopped after middle school. When not playing basketball I enjoy spending time with my friends, and we usually kill time playing ping pong and video games. I also like music, and can play the saxophone."

Q: Do you think Hampden overachieved this season? If so, why?

A: "I think we had a spectacular run this year, but I wouldn’t say we overachieved. I am very close friends with the guys on the team, and have played with them for a really long time. Ever since we were in middle school we envisioned playing in a state championship. The core group of guys on the team played and practiced a lot together in the off season, and would have settled for nothing less than what we achieved this year."

Q: What lessons away from the court or field have you learned from playing sports?

A: "I think I have learned a few critical lessons from basketball. First, is how to deal with pressure. I remember this year when we played at Mt. Blue during the regular season, the gym was absolutely packed. Mt. Blue was the other top team in the conference, and it was probably the biggest game of the season to that point. It had been a hard fought battle, but we were down by two with no time left when a kid on the other team got a technical foul.

"I was sent to the line, and remember a tremendous roar coming from the stands, as I was forced to just take a deep breath and knock them down. I ended up hitting both to send it in to OT, and we ended up winning. Pressure like that will be hard to replicate in my regular life, and I think experiences like that have prepared me to handle tough situations when they arise."

Q: Where do you plan to attend college and do you hope to play basketball?

A: "I am not positive where I will end up next year, but I will definitely be playing basketball. If everything works out right, I will most likely end up in Cambridge playing for the MIT Engineers."

BEAL WINS GATORADE AWARD
Garet Beal of Jonesport-Beals High School is the Maine Gatorade boys' basketball Player of the Year.

The junior forward led the Royals (19-2) to the Class D state championship this past winter. The 6-foot-5 Beal averaged 22.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 3.6 assists per game. He shot 61.5 percent from the field and 81.2 percent from the line.

Beal is the first player from Jonesport-Beals High to win the Gatorade Player of the Year.

HOCKEY TITLES DECIDED
Thornton Academy won its second straight Class A championship while Greely won in Class B in games played recently at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Thornton defeated St. Dominic 5-1 behind three goals and an assist from senior captain C.J. Maksut. Adam Carrigan added a goal and two assist for the Trojans who finished three season at 20-1-1. Included in their wins were three victories over St. Dom’s.Greely downed Messalonskee 6-2 to win its first Class B title since 2009. The Rangers scored three goals in a 62-second span in the first period. Peter Stauber and Ted Hart each scored twice for Greely which finished at 15-4-2. Ben Hackett added a goal and two assists while Pete Hurley scored a goal.

Travis St. Pierre and Sam Dexter scored for Messalonskee which finished at 18-4 and made its first trip to a state title game.

MAKSUT WINS TRAVIS ROY
Thornton Academy senior C.J. Maksut won the 17th annual Travis Roy Award given annually to the top Class A hockey player in the state. The award is named for the former Yarmouth and North Yarmouth Academy star who was paralyzed 11 seconds into his first collegiate shift at Boston University.

Maksut scored 32 goals and 27 assists this season to lead the Trojans to their second straight Class A championship. For his career he finished with 90 goals and 64 assists, setting a school record of 154 points.

Dunn wins Conn. Gatorade Player of the Year

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
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In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Kris Dunn of New London High School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Dunn is the second Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from New London High School.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound senior guard averaged 31.4 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks per game this past season, leading the Whalers (23-3) to the Class LL semifinals. A 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game selection and a 2012 Jordan Brand Classic game invitee, Dunn is the No. 24 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.

Dunn has maintained a 3.23 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as an elementary school mentor and tutor and as a youth sports coach.

“Kris Dunn has been a pleasure to coach during his four years as a varsity starter,” said New London Head Coach Craig Parker. “He works extremely hard in the classroom and his passion for basketball is unsurpassed by anyone I’ve known in my 25 years of coaching.”

Dunn has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at Providence College this fall.

Dunn joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Players of the Year Andre Drummond (2010-11, St. Thomas More), Brandon Sherrod (2009-10, Stratford), Greg DeSantis (2008-09, Notre Dame Catholic), Allan Chaney (2007-08, New London), and Matthew Bryan-Amaning (2006–07, South Kent) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Below are the winners from the other New England states:

RHODE ISLAND: JARELL LAWSON, CENTRAL

The 6-foot-4 senior guard and forward led the Knights to a 19-4 record and the Open State Tournament championship this past season. Lawson averaged 19.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game. A unanimous First Team All-Division I selection, Lawson was a Rhode Island Basketball Coaches Association All-Star. He recorded 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in the state-title win over Hope High.

Lawson has maintained a B average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and a youth basketball coach.

“Jarell Lawson can play any position on the floor,” said Jim Champion, head coach at South Kingstown High. “He helped bring the ball up, was a constant threat from the 3-point line and could drive or pull up for a jumper. He also could post down low and score inside. He was very well-rounded.”

Lawson remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: TYLER GENDRON, MERRIMACK

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound senior forward led the Tomahawks to a 19-6 record and the Division I state title this past season. Gendron averaged 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks per game. Also the state’s 2012 Mr. Basketball as named by the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization, he scored 10 points with nine rebounds in the state title-clinching win over Manchester Central.

Gendron has maintained a 4.03 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of the youth-empowerment Leo Club, as a math tutor and youth basketball coach.

“Tyler Gendron is an excellent player and has been a contributing varsity player since he was a sophomore,” said Jeff Gustavson, head coach at Londonderry High. “He has the versatility to make plays on the perimeter and in the post. When we played him he made some very tough shots to help his team win. We had to give him credit for making those shots when his team was down and they needed him.”

Gendron remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

MAINE: GARET BEAL, JONESPORT-BEALS

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior wing led the Royals to a 19-2 record and the Class D state championship this past season. Beal recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 75-62, title-clinching victory against Forest Hills High, capturing First Team All-Tournament honors for the second consecutive season. The returning Third Team All-State selection as named by the Bangor Daily News averaged 22.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 3.6 assists and 1.6 blocks. He shot 61.5 percent from the field, 46.7 percent from 3-point range and 81.2 percent from free throw line.

Beal has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and serves as a member of his school’s student council. In addition to donating his time on behalf of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered as a positive mentor to elementary school students and as part of both community fundraisers and cleanup efforts.

“Garet is a dream to coach,” said Jonesport-Beals High Head Coach Gordon Faulkingham. “He’s a coach on the floor, the first to practice and the last to leave. He’s too unselfish at times and a great teammate.”

Beal will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

VERMONT: MATT ST. AMOUR, MISSIQUOI VALLEY UNION

The 6-foot-3 junior guard averaged 26.6 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game this past season, leading the Thunderbirds (11-10) to the Division I state tournament. The two-time Lake Division Player of the Year, St. Amour is a member of the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen and already holds the school career record for points, with 1,388.

St. Amour has maintained 4.13 GPA in the classroom. Also a soccer standout, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs and has raised funds to benefit the American Cancer Society.

“He plays under control and can finish on either side of the basket, and he’s also got great range,” said Peter Quinn, head coach at Vergennes High. “You have to defend him as soon as he gets one or two dribbles over half-court.”

St. Amour will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

New England Roundup: Maine

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
4:11
PM ET
Eight Gold Balls were awarded over the weekend to boys' and girls' state basketball champion in four classes.

Boys Class A
MaineDEERING 59, HAMPDEN 50: The Western Maine champs pulled away with a 17-2 run early in the second half to win their first state title since 2006. Jon Amabile led the Stags with 27 points while Thiwat Thiwat added 15 points and Labson Abwoch 10 points and a thunderous dunk in the second quarter. Hampden’s Christian McCue scored a game-high 28 points. Deering finishes at 19-3 while Hampden closes at 20-2.

Boys Class B
YARMOUTH 65, GARDINER 53
: Josh Britten hit his first five shots en route to 29 points in leading the Clippers to their first state title since 1968. Chris Knaub added 14 points for Yarmouth (18-4) while Aaron Toman paced Gardiner (19-3) with 26 points. Yarmouth also won state soccer and football titles during the fall.

Boys Class C
DIRIGO 74, LEE 67:
After finishing runner-up in the state title game the past three seasons, the Cougars finally broke through with their first title in 29 years. The game was a rematch of last year and Dirigo pulled away by making all seven of its shots in the fourth quarter. Cody St. Germain led the Cougars (21-1) with 26 points and seven rebounds while Ben Holmes scored 18 points. Boubacar Diallo paced Lee (19-3) with 19 points and 13 rebounds while Jasil Elder added 16 points.

Boys Class D
JONESPORT-BEALS 83, FOREST HILLS 45:
The Royals had too much size and depth for the undermanned Tigers who carry just eight players. The winners forced 26 turnovers in all and pulled away to an early lead. Matt Alley led Jonesport-Beals (19-2) with 26 points, including the 1,000th of his career, while Garet Beal scored 16. Evan Worster paced Forest Hills (18-4) with 16 points. The title was the first for the Royals since 1993 and their 10th overall.

Boys Final Top 10
1. Deering
2. Hampden
3. Bonny Eagle
4. Mt. Blue
5. Cheverus
6. Edward Little
7. Yarmouth
8. Falmouth
9. Portland
10. Gardiner

Girls Class A
MCAULEY 54, CONY 41:
The Lions pulled away in the third quarter to successfully defend their title. McAuley’s 6-foot-2 forwards, Olivia Smith and Alexa Coulombe, proved too much for the smaller Rams. Smith finished with a game-high 15 points while Allie Clement added 11. For Cony (21-1-), Melanie Guzman scored 14 points and Mia Diplock 10. McAuley finished at 22-0 in winning its fourth state championship.

Girls Class B
PRESQUE ISLE 49, LAKE REGION 47:
Chandler Guerrette’s steal in the closing seconds sealed the win for the Wildcats. Guerrette finished with a team-high 11 points fro Presque Isle (22-0) while Karlee Bernier scored 10. Tianna-Jo Carter paced Lake Region (19-3) with 19 points while Abby Craffy scored 13. The Wildcats last won a state title in 2006 when they also beat Lake Region.

Girls Class C
CENTRAL 40, HALL-DALE 39:
The Red Devils rallied from 13 points down in the third quarter and caught the Bulldogs when Max McHugh hit a pair of free throws with 11.4 seconds left. Freshman Brianna Skolfield led the winners with 17 points and eight rebounds while Wendy Goldman paced Hall-Dale with 17 points. Hall-Dale, which won the title last year, finished at 18-4, while Central (19-3), located in East Corinth, last won a title in 1983.

Girls Class D
WASHBURN 60, RICHMOND 35: Freshman Mackenzie Worcester scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Beavers to their second straight state title. The game was a rematch of last year’s game and followed the same pattern with Washburn pressuring Richmond and pulling away in the fourth quarter. Olivia Doody added 12 points for Washburn (21-1) while Jamie Plummer led Richmond (19-2) while 14 points and 20 rebounds.

Girls Final Top 10

1. McAuley
2. Cony
3. Scarborough
4. Marshwood
5. Presque Isle
6. Lake Region
7. Nokomis
8. Edward Little
9. Leavitt
10. Thornton

Mr., Miss Basketball Finalists

Finalists for Mr., and Miss Maine basketball were named last week. The three finalists for Mr. Basketball are Mt. Blue’s Cam Sennick, Hampden’s Christian McCue and Bonny Eagle’s Cole Libby. Miss Basketball finalists are McAuley’s Alexa Coulombe, Cony’s Mia Diplock and Windham’s Meghan Gribbin.

The winners will be announced at the Maine McDonald's High School Senior All-Star Awards Banquet on Friday evening at Husson University.

New England Roundup: Maine

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
3:20
PM ET
State championship matchups are set for this weekend for boys' and girls' basketball teams in four classes.

Here’s a rundown of the games:

Class A Boys
HAMPDEN (20-1) vs. DEERING (16-3)

MaineRegional finals: Both teams were tested in regional finals and won on last second shots. Hampden’s Brian Fickett scored on an inbounds play with two seconds left to give the Broncos a 56-54 win against Mt. Blue. Christian led Hampden with 14 points. Deering beat Bonny Eagle 45-42 in the Western final on Pat Green’s 3-pointer at the buzzer. Green paced the Rams with 17 points.

Matchup: Both teams have good overall size and experience. In addition to McCue, the Broncos are led by 6-foot-7 center Fred Knight, 6-6 forward Logan Poirier and Pat Gilpin. Besides Green, the Rams are led by 6-6 Labson Abwoch, 6-4 Thiwat Thiwat and guard Jon Amabile.

History: Deering last won a state title in 2006 when it beat Hampden, Hampden won in 2005 by beating Deering in the state final.

Class B Boys
GARDINER (19-2) vs. YARMOUTH (17-4)

Regional finals: Both teams upset unbeaten top seeds in the finals. Gardiner beat Mt, Desert Island 70-58 behind 23 points from Jake Palmer and 16 from Aaron Toman. Yarmouth knocked off Falmouth 56-50 behind 26 points from Chris Knaub and 12 from Josh Britten.

Matchup: The teams are similar in size and style of play. Gardiner relies on team defense and rebouding. Toman is the tallest player at 6-4 while Palmer has taken off in the playoffs, scoring 33 and 23 in his last two games. The Tigers have good rebounders in Alonzo Connor and Matt Hall. Yarmouth looks to Britten, its 1,000 point scorer, to carry the offense, but showed others, like Knaub, can contribute. Sam Torres is also a key team member.

History: This is Gardiner’s first-ever trip to the state championship while Yarmouth last played for a state tile (Class C) in 1973 and last won in 1968.

Class C Boys
DIRIGO (20-1) vs. Lee (19-2)

Regional finals: Dirigo cruised to a 69-38 win against third-seeded Boothbay. during the three-game tournament, the Cougars outscored their opponents by a average scored of 76-35. Lee got 25 points from Boubacar Diallo to knock off upset-minded Houlton 58-47.

Matchup: This is a rematch of last year’s state final, won by Lee, 65-55. Because it’s a private school, many of Lee’s players from last year moved on but they do have some valuable additions including Boubacar and D.J. Johnson. The Cougars, led by Cody St. Germain, Ben Holmes and Josh Turbide, return most of their team with a new coach Travis Magnusson in charge. They run and pressure the ball which should make for an entertaining game.

History: Last year’s state final win was the first-ever by Lee. Dirigo has appeared in each of the last three state games without a win. They last won a state championship in 1983.

Class D Boys
FOREST HILLS (18-3) vs. JONESPORT-BEALS (18-2)

Regional finals: Forest Hills pulled off one of the most dramatic comebacks in the history of the Western Maine tournament when it rallied from 19 points down late in the third quarter to defeat top-seeded Hyde 61-60. Junior Evan Worster led the Tigers with 33 points and set a tournament scoring record with 106 points in three games. Jonesport-Beals shot 62 percent from the field in stopping Deer Isle-Stonington 75-62. Garet Beal led the Royals with 20 points while Cole Beal scored 14.

Matchup: Jonesport-Beals has the history and experience on its side, not to mention size with a couple of 6-5 forwards in Garet Beal and Justin Alley. The Tigers have only eight players on their team — the school enrollment is 54 — and start three freshmen.

History: This is Forest Hills’ first-ever appearance in a state final while Jonesport-Beals is gunning for championship No. 10.

Class A Girls
CONY (21-0) vs. MCAULEY (21-0)
Regional finals: Cony got past No. 2 seeded Edward Little 46-41 behind 17 points from Mia Diplock who scored two key baskets down the stretch. McAuley coasted to a 61-43 win against second-seeded Scarborough. Allie Clement led the Lions with 19 points and seven assists while Olivia Smith added 15 and tournament MVP Alexa Coulombe scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and had seven steals.

Matchup: The Lions are the defending state champs and enjoy a decided height advantage with Coulombe and Smith, both 6-2, in the lineup. Cony relies on the guard play of Diplock and junior Josie Lee and a host of three-point shooters. Both teams like an uptempo game.

History: Cony is making its sixth appearance in a state final since 2002 while McAuley is making its fifth. The Rams defeated McAuley for the title in 2007.

Class B Girls
PRESQUE ISLE (21-0) vs. LAKE REGION
Regional finals: After losing in the final the past two years to Nokomis, Presque Isle finally broke through and downed the Warriors 52-40 behind 13 points from Chandler Guerette and 11 from Hannah Graham. Lake Region defeated Greely 46-30 behind 22 points from Sydney Hancock and 14 rebounds from Tianna-Jo Cater.

Matchup: Presque Isle averaged 70 points a game during the regular season and would like to push the pace while a slower pace would favor Lake Region.

History: The teams last played for a state championship in 2006 when Presque Isle defeated lake Region 48-36. Lake Region last won a title in 1975.

Class C Girls
HALL-DALE (18-3) vs., CENTRAL (18-3)
Regional finals: Top-seeded Hall-Dale knocked off No. 7 Waynflete behind 16 points and some big plays down the stretch from Carylanne Wolfington. Central beat Stearns 42-41 in overtime behind 21 points from freshman Brianna Skolfield and nine from Sam Brownell.

Matchup: Hall-Dale is the defending state champion but a different team with the graduation of center Taylor Massey. Wolfington is a Miss Basketball finalist and a versatile player who can score inside and out. Central relies on defense and will likely assign Max McHugh to guard Wolfington.

History: Hall-Dale won its first state title since 1986 last season while Central last won in 1982.

Class D Girls
RICHMOND (20-1) vs. WASHBURN (20-1)

Regional finals: Richmond junior Jamie Plummer scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to led the Bobcats past Rangeley 46-33. Freshman Mackenzie Worcester scored 20 points and Carsyn Koch added 19 as the beavers flew past Hodgdon 68-44.

Matchup: The game is a rematch of last year’s state final won by Washburn 43-40. The Beavers will press, run and try to quicken the pace of the game while the Bobcats would like to slow things down and get the ball inside to Plummer and six-footer Alyssa Pearson.

History: This will be Richmond’s seventh appearance in a state final but the Bobcats have yet to win one. Washburn won its fourth championship last year.

TOURNAMENT RECORDS
Waynflete junior Martha Veroneau and Forest Hills junior Evan Worster each set tournament records last week at the Augusta Civic Center. Veroneau, a 5-7 guard, scored 47 points against Boothbay to break the single-game Class C tournament record of 45 set by Boothbay’s Katie Sibley. Veroneau also connected on nine 3-pointers to break her own tournament record of seven in a single game.

Worster scored 51 points in a quarterfinal win against A.R. Gould to set a single game Class D record of 45 set by A.R. Gould’s Ian Nono. Worster, a 6-3 forward also set a new tournament scoring record of 106 points, breaking Buckfield’s Paul Bessey’s mark of 96.

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