Boston High School: Kayla Burchill

New England Roundup: Maine

March, 25, 2011
3/25/11
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The Maine high school basketball season concluded with the McDonald’s Senior All-Star games at Husson University. Prior to the games, Mr. and Miss Maine Basketball winners were announced. Tyler McFarland of Camden Hills was named Mr. Basketball while Kayla Burchill of Deering High was named Miss Basketball.

MaineMcFarland, a 6-foot-6 forward, led the Windjammers to an unbeaten season and a state Class B title. He averaged 24.6 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. Burchill, a 6-1 forward who will play at the University of Vermont next season, averaged 22.6 points and 9.4 rebounds a game while leading Deering to a 19-2 record and top seeding in Western Maine Class A.

McFarland Q & A
Q: How do you feel about being named Mr. Maine Basketball? Were you surprised?

A: "It’s rewarding to be recognized as Mr. Basketball this season. There were many deserving players of this award throughout the state this year including the other two finalists; Graham Safford of Hampden Academy and Bowen Leary of Edward Little High. I felt that either three of us could have been named Mr. Basketball. I spent the majority of the banquet (in which the announcement was made) cracking jokes to my friends Graham Safford, Ray Bessette, and Josh Walker. I wasn’t concerned about who was going to win the award, because all of us players were enjoying a good meal, so I wasn’t necessarily surprised, but nervous about what I was going to say to the 400 people in attendance. It was gratifying to win the award, but if Graham or Bo were to be named Mr. Basketball it would have been equally as rewarding to see another great player/good kid to be presented with the award."

Q: What was the highlight of the season for you?

A: "Winning the state championship was easily the most memorable moment the year."

Q: What goals had you set for yourself and the team?

A: "Personally my focus was to lead an undefeated season this year, and we did that at 23-0. We overcame some adversity early in the year to accomplish that, which made this team stronger as well as more confident come playoff time."

Q: Who have been the greatest influences in your basketball career?

A: "Chronologically, I’ll begin with my Dad as he has pushed me to compete and play the game year round starting at a very young age. He recognized my passion for the game and provided me with opportunities to compete and play the game, whether he was coaching or driving me and my friends to AAU practice.

"Dan Gabriele is the father of the starting 2 guard on our High school team this year. Very much like my father he coached my friends from Camden and I since the age of 11. Dan piled the travel team known as “The Rock” into his black mini-van dozens of times to travel hours at a time in any direction where we could meet good competition. Jeff Hart took me under his wing in 2007 as my high school basketball coach. Coach Hart has molded me as a basketball player instilling confidence, awareness, and selflessness on the court. He has taught me that sacrifice is at times as rewarding as individual accomplishment. Looking back at myself as a freshman there are so many traits that I have attained through competing in the basketball program at Camden Hills (from then until now) that are very important to who I am as a player/person today. Carl Parker is my AAU coach of two year now and has influenced my mindset towards the game of basketball as well as life in general. Simply playing for Coach Parker has led me to become competitive to another dimension. I seek to play against the best and hope for the opportunity on any occasion which has been part of my decision to attend prep school in order to allow myself the opportunity to play at the highest level possible in the future. Coach Parker wants to see me reach my full potential with the game as much as anyone. His belief and confidence in me as a player has caused me to strive for more out of this game."

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New England Roundup: Maine

January, 27, 2011
1/27/11
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Scarborough High School graduate and defenseman Jake Rutt will play hockey at the University of Maine next season on full scholarship. Rutt, who played at St. Dominic his freshman and sophomore years, is currently playing for the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in Hooksett, N.H. to gain a year of experience before college. He recently consented to an interview.

Q: What have you gained from your year with the Monarchs?

MaineA: "This is my second year, and first PG year with the Monarchs, and I am very glad I did it. I've learned a lot not just about the sport but also outside the hockey rink. I have an apartment with three others on the team and learned life away from home. For next year, I feel like I will be able to jump right into Maine's lineup and be an impact player. The PG year gave me time to develop including strength, speed and my decision making on and off the ice."

Q: Did the Maine coaches think you needed another year of work? Did you?

A: "When I first committed, they told me I needed a year to develop and I understood as much as I wanted to go up to Orono and play instantly. I needed to be patient and Coach Sean Tremblay and Coach Matt Dennehy (of the Monarchs) worked on my areas of improvement to make me a more solid player."

Q: Are you taking any classes in the area, or is it strictly hockey?

A: "I will be taking a class this summer but during the season I did not. It is mostly hockey and it’s a great lifestyle. If you treat it like a job then that’s when you find you will improve the most. I also have a job near the rink at a pizza place called the Pizza Man. I am a delivery boy. So between delivering and hockey, that mostly fills up my week."

Q: What area do you think you needed to improve in the most?

A: "There's always something I can improve on because no one's game is perfect but if i had to choose one area it would probably be my decision making and this will take time. Studying other defensemen with the same attributes as me will help. The extra year with the Monarchs has helped tremendously."

Q: Why did you decide to attend Maine? Were there many other offers?

A: "I didn't hesitate when Maine offered me. Playing youth hockey in Maine, the Black Bears were always a topic of discussion around the local youth rinks and it was a dream of mine to play for my home state. At the time of my commitment, a lot of D1 schools were asking about me through Coach Tremblay, including a handful in Hockey East, but I had my mind set on Maine."

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New England Roundup: Maine

December, 30, 2010
12/30/10
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Little has changed among the top five boys' basketball teams in the state, with the exception of a one-point loss by Hampden to Lawrence. Here's a look at the Top 10 teams in Vacationland.
Maine
  1. Cheverus (4-0): The top-ranked Stags continued to roll with a 49-28 win against Portland. In a previous game, Kennebunk tried to slow things down against Cheverus and nearly pulled an upset before losing 31-25. The Stags are averaging 57 points a game while giving up a paltry 29.
  2. Edward Little (4-0): The Red Eddies rolled to a pair of victories against Oxford Hills (67-45) and Brewer (65-47), getting 28 points from Bo Leary in the latter game. Next up for EL is Messalonskee with a Jan. 4 date looming at Hampden.
  3. Camden Hills (6-0): The Windjammers cruised past Oak Hill 92-41 to run their record to 6-0, but they’ve shown some vulnerability this season, one in which point guard Keegan Pieri has yet to play due to suspension. They squeaked past Medomak Valley 84-82 and held off Gardiner 62-54.
  4. Thornton (4-0): The Golden Trojans remained unbeaten with wins against Gorham and Bonny Eagle. Next up are road games at Sanford and Deering before a home showdown Jan 11 against Cheverus.
  5. Hampden (4-1): The Broncos were upset 50-49 at Lawrence when Spencer Carey hit a 3-point shot with three seconds left to play. They remain one of the state’s top teams, however, and will try to confirm that against Edward Little at home on Jan. 4.
  6. Bangor
  7. Mountain Valley
  8. Ellsworth
  9. Scarborough
  10. Greely
COULOMBE IS CENTER OF ATTENTION
Alexa Coulombe is a 6-foot-2 junior center playing for Catherine McAuley High School in Portland who has already verbally committed to play basketball for Boston College. As a sophomore she averaged 10 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots a game with a high of 16 in one contest. She took time for an interview at a recent holiday tournament:

Q: Why do you attend McAuley?

A: "My parents wanted me to get out of the public school system and go private."

Q: Why did you choose Boston College?

A: "I’ve wanted to go there since I can remember. It’s close enough to my home, it’s not really far away. A girl on my AAU team went there before I did and I really like the coaches. Everything clicked really well."

Q: Why such and early decision?

A: "I did a lot of work this summer and I thought about it a lot and what school would work for me. I figured out, why wait? It was kind of a no-brainer for me."

Q: Did you consider the University of Maine?

A: "I was basically looking more south. I knew I wanted to get out."

Q: When did you start playing basketball?

A: "In third grade. Because I was always tall (my parents) said why don’t you go try it. I did, and I liked it."

Q: Do you feel more comfortable on the perimeter or in the post?

A: "Originally I was a post player, but I had to work a lot (on my perimeter game) on my AAU team. I was in the 3 spot. I had to transition completely out of post play. I had to have a guard mentality. (My AAU coach Kara Leary) really helped me with that."

Q: Where do you need to improve?

A: "I need to become stronger. I need to be a better guard, a better shooter. I work out all the time but I’m not a really big person."

Q: What are your other interests?

A: "I don’t play any other sports. I’m into basketball all the time. I’m in a lot of clubs and I’m an ambassador for the kids coming into (McAuley)."

Q: What are you long-term plans?

A: "I don’t really know. I think I’m just going to take it as it comes."

GIRLS' TOP 10
  1. McAuley (4-0): Catherine McAuley High of Portland remained the state’s top girls basketball team following a 45-42 win over Cheverus. Despite having two Division I bound players in Becca Knight (Maine) and Alexa Coulombe (Boston College), the Lions have yet to completely jell. They lost by four to Deering at the Capital City Hoop Classic in Augusta, but don’t play the Rams in regular-season games until the end of the season.
  2. Deering (5-0): The Rams stayed unbeaten with a 51-45 win against south Portland in which University of Vermont bound senior Kayla Burchill scored 32 points, including seven 3-pointers. The Rams don’t play against McAuley until Feb. 3 but did knock them off in a Christmas tournament 53-48 this week.
  3. Morse (6-0): The Shipbuilders are cruising with recent wins against Cony and Lawrence. Nikoline Ostergaard, the team’s point guard and an exchange student from Denmark, is drawing interest from U.S. colleges.
  4. York (5-0): The defending class B state champions look like the team to beat again this season. The Wildcats knocked off previously unbeaten Greely 54-28 last week and there don’t appear to be many challenges on the horizon.
  5. Cheverus (4-1): The Stags led McAuley last week for most of the game before falling by three points and remain one of the teams to beat in Western Maine Class A. They host a solid Windham team next week.
  6. Hampden
  7. Leavitt
  8. Skowhegan
  9. Medomak
  10. Gorham
BOYS' HOCKEY TOP 10
No. 1 Lewiston remained unbeaten with a 5-2 overtime win last week against rival St. Dominic. Between the neighboring schools have more than 40 New England high school hockey championships. The Blue Devils showed a little early season vulnerability, though, when they were tied, 2-2, by Biddeford.
  1. Lewiston
  2. St. Dom’s
  3. Biddeford
  4. Falmouth
  5. Brewer
  6. Thornton
  7. Greely
  8. Bangor
  9. Houlton/Hodgdon
  10. Edward Little

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