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DIVISION 2 SEMIFINAL | WELLESLEY 38, LINCOLN-SUDBURY 32

Sport:   Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

DIVISION 2 SEMIFINAL | WELLESLEY 38, LINCOLN-SUDBURY 32
Wellesley holds on, L-S falls off

By Chris Estrada, Globe Correspondent  |  March 12, 2008

There will be a new Division 2 state champion in girls' basketball.

Both Wellesley and reigning champion Lincoln-Sudbury endured long periods of cold shooting in last night's EMass final at TD Banknorth Garden, but Wellesley warmed up just enough in the end to pull out a 38-32 victory. The Raiders must wait and see who their opponent will be in Saturday's state championship game at the DCU Center in Worcester, as Central champ Millbury takes on West winner Palmer tonight in Amherst.

"We just lucked out, we fought 'em off really," said Wellesley coach Kristin Cieri, whose squad staved off a Lincoln-Sudbury comeback in the final minute. "We played great defense. I think the kids executed their game plans. We ran into foul trouble that we never expect, because we never expect to go with one big girl, we've got three of them . . . But the kids adjusted very well."

The Raiders jumped to a 10-2 lead through one quarter, holding the Warriors without a field goal. A basket by Sarah Wetmore (game-high 13 points) with 7:02 left in the second quarter broke the L-S drought, and soon after, Wellesley went scoreless for the rest of the quarter following a free throw by Mary Louise Dixon that made it 15-5.

The Warriors used two free throws from Wetmore and an Ali Murray jumper with 1:37 left to cut the deficit to 15-9 by halftime.

Business picked up for the Warriors in the third quarter as they went on a 7-0 tear to open the half. Two more free throws from Wetmore put L-S ahead, 16-15, but a rebound and score from Lindsay Sydness put Wellesley back in front with 5:00 left in the quarter. A jumper from Sarah Grant and a layup by Eleni Dixson gave the Raiders a 25-21 lead heading to the final period.

A Dixon 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Blake Dietrick helped give Wellesley a 34-27 lead, but L-S stayed close. The edge was cut to 35-32 when the Warriors' Bridget Mahoney hit a trey with 22 seconds left. But free throws from Dixon and Jesse Miller, plus another by Dietrick after a L-S turnover with less than five seconds left, allowed Wellesley to finish the job.

"I'm ecstatic," said a smiling Dietrick (team-high 10 points). "It's so great. It's the biggest win, the biggest game of my life."

L-S coach Liza Feldman was proud of her team's accomplishments as reigning state champions, and of her team's run in the second half.

"I knew it was going to be a low-scoring game," she said. "Maybe psychologically, it's difficult to have such a low-scoring quarter and first half, but we came out ready after the half and Wellesley came back at us again.

"We came out [in the second half] and made a run, and I think it showed a lot of mental toughness on our part."

Division 1 semifinal | Andover 61, New Bedford 34

Sport:   Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

ANDOVER 61, NEW BEDFORD 34: Garden party for Andover

By Maggie Cassidy, Globe Correspondent | March 12, 2008

After 32 minutes of dominating New Bedford in the Division 1 EMass championship last night, the Andover girls' basketball team ran to center court, laid down on their stomachs, and kissed the hardwood at TD Banknorth Garden.

After losing in the Division 1 North semifinals three years in a row, the Golden Warriors (23-2) had just capped off a 61-34 win over New Bedford (19-6), handedly winning the trophy.

"It's amazing. All day we've been talking about, we want to go kiss the floor, we want to win so we can kiss the floor," said Andover senior Lauren Hughes. "I mean, it's the Garden. I'm never going to get another chance to play here again."

She said that playing on the biggest basketball stage in the area didn't add any pressure.

"I think it actually made us better because we really wanted to win the state final so bad," she said. "And I think getting stuck at that point [the sectional semifinals] all those years really helped us get past it."

The Golden Warriors stomped New Bedford's offense and used sharp shooting to take home the trophy. Four players - Natalie Gomez-Martinez, Ilana Cohen, Lauren Renfro, and Meghan Thomann, who led her team with 17 points - combined for nine 3-pointers, while Hughes led the team with nine rebounds.

Eight players scored for the Golden Warriors, who also were solid from the line at 10 of 12, and managed 21 field goals from all over the court.

"I think our offense also had an effect [in addition to our defense], because every time they'd score, we'd come back with a three and sort of bring down their momentum," said Renfro, who finished with three 3-pointers and 15 points. "But our zone worked really well, we just moved around a lot."

Andover commanded the game from the start, holding New Bedford to 10 points in the first quarter and just 4 in the second. By the half, the Golden Warriors had a 32-14 edge.

The Whalers hung with Andover during the third quarter, matching its 15 points, but the Golden Warriors kicked off the final frame with an 11-4 run that put the game out of reach at 59-34. With 1:49 to play and a comfortable 25-point lead, Andover let its stellar seniors take a seat and brought in its bench; New Bedford followed soon after.

It was the first time many of the veteran players on Andover's talented squad took a seat, and Gomez-Martinez, the team's lone freshman, who finished with 8 points, said their presence on the court is what drives the Golden Warriors to success.

"It's so much fun playing with the older kids," she said. "I've learned so much more this season. Even from the players, I get special tips just to look up and find your shot, and it helps me to see what they tell me.

"It's going to be hard losing this group of seniors because there's so many of them," she said. "I can't wait for next year but I don't want this one to end because it's so much fun."

Duffy's a point guard who handles well

Sport:   Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Duffy's a point guard who handles well

By Jackie MacMullan, Globe Columnist  |  March 12, 2008

Christine Duffy has been running the Archbishop Williams basketball team since she was a freshman point guard, so she was suitably qualified to declare something wasn't quite right with her club.

With six minutes to go in yesterday's Division 3 EMass final at TD Banknorth Garden, the Bishops were trailing a persistent Pentucket team whose resolve was growing as the minutes ticked away.

"I don't think we had our heads in the game, for whatever reason," reported Duffy, the diminutive senior who modeled her game after former University of Connecticut star Sue Bird.

Although Duffy was mildly concerned, it wasn't until Pentucket junior center Kirsten Daamen followed up a missed jumper by Erin McNamara to propel her team to its first advantage of the day, 45-43, that Duffy began feeling something entirely different.

Genuine annoyance.

Here's what was bugging Duffy. Archbishop Williams never has won back-to-back state championships in girls' basketball, and the feisty senior, who stands 5 feet 5 inches on her very best day (and, most likely, on her tiptoes) already had determined her team would be the first to pull that off. The Bishops won it all last season against Granby, and if they planned on repeating, they needed to knock Pentucket back on its heels, and quickly.

"When I looked up at the scoreboard and saw we were actually behind, I said, 'OK, enough,' " said Duffy.

And that is when the experience kicked in. That is when a kid who grew up loving a game that favors "all the trees" under the basket called upon the skills she perfected in pick-up games against boys who were stronger and bigger and, of course, much, much taller.

"You learn regular layups aren't going to work," Duffy said. "You learn to develop some other moves."

Immediately after Daamen's basket, Duffy signaled for the ball, motored up the court, executed a textbook give-and-go, then scooped in an off-balance layup that looked every bit of Sue Bird - and a little Rajon Rondo for good measure.

It was a graphic reminder that Archbishop Williams had the poise, the talent, and, yes, the point guard to make it look like they had it all along.

Although Pentucket hung around until the final buzzer, Duffy's game-changing hoop punctured the Sachems' dreams of an upset. And, when Daamen (16 points, 5 blocks) crashed to the parquet with a left leg injury with 1:54 to play and her team trailing by 6, it was over. Archbishop Williams moved on, a 59-53 winner.

That means Duffy (who scored 12 points) and fellow senior star Casey Capello will have a chance to make history after all. It means this crafty point guard with the no-look passes and fastbreak feeds that span half the court will have another opportunity to distribute her wares.

"They're at a different level," lauded gracious Pentucket coach John McNamara. "When they were down 2, I looked at them and you couldn't tell whether they were up 10 or down 2.

"Duffy runs the show. She's something else."

Duffy set the tone on the opening tip. First, she laid a perfect pass on the hands of her center, Valerie Driscoll, who floated it in underneath. This was a major improvement from when Driscoll started playing with her team's floor general.

"The first couple of times in practice, I got the ball banged off my head," Driscoll confessed. "Duff just told me, 'Keep your eye on the ball.' "

Good advice. Duffy heeded it herself after Driscoll's bucket when she turned up court, put her head down, and feigned a retreat to the defensive end. Then, in an instant, she wheeled around, stripped McNamara clean, and laid it in for 2.

You may have noted Pentucket's coach also shares the last name McNamara. As he watched his daughter get hoodwinked by Duffy, he feared the worst.

"I thought, 'Oh no, this could be a meltdown,' " he said. "Erin is only a sophomore. But I give her a lot of credit. She came back."

And so did Pentucket. The name of their game has been and always will be defense. The Sachems close out 3-point shooters. They double in the post, they deny lanes, and they box out.

That often rattles the opposition. But not a veteran team such as the Bishops, who appeared to be as calm as if they were playing in a preseason scrimmage, even as Pentucket, particularly Ashley Viselli, matched them basket for basket.

"Our kids are loose, and they're confident," said Archbishop Williams coach Jim Bancroft. "I can't think of any time all season that they had that deer-in-the-headlights look."

What a difference a year makes. Driscoll, whose spirited battle in the post against Daamen was an intriguing subplot, said her first time to the Garden in 2007 was far more nerve-racking.

"Last year I was freaked out," Driscoll confessed. "I was saying, 'Oh, this is the Garden. This is where the Celtics play.' This time it wasn't like that. It was, 'Oh, this is where we won last year.' "

Same venue, same result. The Bishops advanced, and Pentucket went home heartbroken.

The Sachems got all but 2 of their points from the trio of Daamen, McNamara (15 points), and Viselli (game-high 20). Daamen is a junior, and Viselli and McNamara are sophomores. They will be back.

Christine Duffy won't. She's still undecided on her college choice, but that is the furthest thing from her mind at the moment. "I'm just having a blast with this team," she said.

The point guard said she never felt yesterday's game was in doubt, even when the scoreboard suggested something different. Her coach was not surprised to hear it.

"She has so much confidence," Bancroft said. "Every year we've given her a little more responsibility. To be honest, a lot of times we just sit on the bench and let her call the game."

Good strategy.

Jackie MacMullan is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at macmullan@globe.com.

Robbins reflects on making first all-star team

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Robbins reflects on making first all-star team
The Courier-Gazette

By Joseph Cyr
(Created: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:13 AM EDT)     

    APPLETON — The Courier-Gazette has been selecting girls basketball all stars since 1979. And for one local woman, making the all-star team that first year remains a fond memory.

    Doreen (Thorndike) Robbins was a first-team all star in 1979, the first year the newspaper started honoring local athletes for their accomplishments in basketball. (See accompanying story for a full list of all stars from the past 30 years.)

     “Oh my goodness, I never realized that. It’s been just a little while ago,” Robbins said when told she was a member of the very first all-star team.

    A senior member of the Medomak Valley girls basketball team in 1979, Robbins said receiving the award back in high school meant a great deal to her.

    “Sports meant a lot to me,” she said. “So anything having to do with all stars was special. It is definitely a great thing and means a lot to the players.”

    Robbins said her main influence in playing sports was her father.

    “He went outside and practiced with me everyday in the mud,” she said. “I didn’t care what the weather was, we were outside. I don’t see kids doing that as much anymore.”

After her playing days were done, Robbins got into coaching in the early 1990s, starting with fifth- and sixth-grade boys and girls basketball teams. She moved on to coach middle school at Appleton Village School, but gave coaching up to watch her children play sports in high school and college.

She returned to the coaching ranks four years ago at Appleton and this past season was the junior varsity girls basketball coach for Belfast Area High School.

    Her coach in high school was Dennis Worcester, who now runs the clock and announces games for MVHS. Robbins saw Worcester at Medomak Valley this season, when she took her Belfast junior varsity squad to Waldoboro to play her alma mater.

Robbins said the competition today is the same as it was back in her playing days with one exception.

“We played a lot of zone [defense] back then,” she said. “I was not a big fan, since I preferred to play man-to-man. I like that intensity.”

Three decades of CG all-stars

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Three decades of CG all-stars

(Created: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:13 AM EDT)     

    For the past 30 years, The Courier-Gazette has compiled a list of what its sport department feels are the most deserving players in the Midcoast at the end of each sports season and honored them as Courier-Gazette All Stars.

    A whopping 548 all star awards have been doled out during the past three decades. As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the girls basketball all-stars, The Courier-Gazette has decided to reprint the all-star selections from the past 30 winter sports seasons.

    While the selection process was done differently at times during the past three decades, the one thing that remains constant is the rigorous amount of time spent by the CG sports department in pronouncing a worthy candidate. Students from Rockland District, Camden Hills (Rockport) Regional, Georges Valley (Thomaston), Medomak Valley, North Haven, Vinalhaven and Islesboro high schools, as well as Lincoln Academy (Newcastle) and Glen Cove Christian Academy are among the schools to have CG All Stars through the years.

    From 1987 to 1995, the CG All Stars were split into separate teams for the annual Courier Gazette All-Star Games. Additionally, in 1997, there was not an honorable-mention team chosen.

    The following is a look back chronologically at The Courier-Gazette All-Stars for the past 29 seasons. The 30th edition all stars are listed in a separate story.

    1978/1979 — First Team: Kristi King of GVHS; Doreen Thorndike of MVHS; Leni Curtis and Lita Curtis of CRHS; and Cindi Lindsey of RDHS.

    Second Team: Allison Brooks and Mary Piveronas of MVHS, Tina Waterman of North Haven; Nancy Aylward of CRHS; and Susan Warren of Vinalhaven

    Honorable Mention: Heidi Vannah, Kathy Butler and Marie Crabtree of CRHS; Kathy Roth of Vinalhaven; Tracey Lewis of RDHS; and Becky Heintz and Miriam Lusk of GCCA.

    1979/1980 — First Team: Tracie Littlefield, Susie Warren and Sheri Crouse of VH; Lita Curtis of CRHS; and Beth Birmingham of RDHS.

Second Team: Sandy Alexander, Elaine Bogard and Ellen Newman of MVHS; Tracey Lewis of RDHS; and Leni Curtis of CRHS.

    Honorable Mention: Robin Gray, Lisa Monaghan and Jeannie Sala of GVHS; Angela Adams of North Haven; Heidi Vannah of CRHS; Kathy Roth of Vinalhaven; Margaret Morrill of RDHS; and Elizabeth McGrady of MVHS.

    1980/1981 — First Team: Elaine Bogard and Sandy Alexander of MVHS; Tracie Littlefield and Sheri Crouse of Vinalhaven; and Beth Birmingham of RDHS.

    Second Team: Kris Davidson and Susie Warren of Vinalhaven; Margaret Morrill of RDHS; Jeanne Sala of GVHS; and Gail Hawkes of GVHS.

    Honorable Mention: Barbie Jameson of GVHS; Liz Keene of MVHS; Melissa Foltz of North Haven; and Julie Drinkwater and Darcy Butler of CRHS.

    1981/1982 — First Team: Barbie Jameson, Robin Woodman and Sonia Verge of GVHS; Cathy Heintz of MVHS; Margaret Morrill of RDHS; and Kris Davidson of Vinalhaven.

    Second Team: Lynn Knapp and Kelly Carr of RDHS; Vicki Miller of GVHS; Gail Hawkes of MVHS; Lisa Foley of CRHS; and Melissa Foltz of North Haven.

    Honorable Mention: Annette Pease and Andrea Levansaler of MVHS; Betsy Annis of CRHS; Debbie Campbell of RDHS; and Stephanie Mullen of Vinalhaven.

    1982/1983 — First Team: Kris Davidson of Vinalhaven; Vicki Miller of GVHS; Andrea Levansaler and Lilia Foster of MVHS; and Lynn Knapp of RDHS.

    Second Team: Betsy Annis of CRHS; Angela Adams and Sonia Verge of GVHS; Debbie Campbell of RDHS; and Stephanie Mullen of Vinalhaven

     Honorable Mention: Kelly Carr and Kim Carr of RDHS; Sherri Peterson of Vinalhaven; Karyn King of GVHS; Cathy Heintz of MVHS; and June Stone of CRHS.

    1983/1984 — First Team: Cathy Heintz and Lelia Foster of MVHS; Betsy Annis of CRHS; Sonia Verge of GVHS; and Kim Carr of RDHS.

    Second Team: Kelly Carr and Kelly Nelsen of RDHS; Kris Karr of CRHS; Cindy Grant of North Haven; Andrea Levansaler of MV; and Stephanie Mullen of Vinalhaven.

    Honorable Mention: Stephanie Sala of GVHS; Joanna Fisk, Kris Hardy and Tena Mitchell of CRHS; Karen Brown of North Haven; and Katrina Millett and Kelly Goodwin of MVHS.

    1984/1985 — First Team: Betsy Annis and Julia Stone of CRHS; Jenny Faria and Kelly Goodwin of MVHS; Bridget Mullen of Vinalhaven; and Stephanie Sala of GVHS.

    Second Team: Tina Alley of Vinalhaven; Kim Campbell and Hillary Moore of MVHS; Kim Carr and Kristi Hardy of CRHS; and Erika Hurtubise of RDHS.

    1985/1986 — First Team: Tina Alley of Vinalhaven; Kim Carr and Julie Stone of CRHS; Kim Campbell of MVHS; and Jennifer Cheney of RDHS.

    Second Team: Tenley Libby and Angie Stover of MVHS; Elaine Carmichael of GVHS; Denise Philbrook of Vinalhaven; and Tena Mitchell of CRHS.

    Honorable Mention: Amy Marx and Io Cyrus of CRHS; Erika Hurtubise, Beth Montgomery, Kelly Grant and Sue Call of RDHS; Mary Ann Robinson and Missy Mills of GVHS; Cecile Ulbrich of MVHS; and Stephanie Woodcock of Vinalhaven.

    1986/1987 — North All-Stars: Sue Call, Beth Montgomery, Jennifer Cheney, Aleisa Caven and Erika Hurtubise of RDHS; Io Cyrus, Mary Sexton and Amy Marx of CRHS; and Rachel Brown of North Haven.

    South All-Stars: Mary Ann Robinson, Chris Strong and Rachel Daggett of GVHS; Stephanie Woodcock and Kris Davidson of Vinalhaven; and Kim Campbell, Lynn Simmons, Tenley Libby, Cecile Stover and Angie Stover of MVHS.

    1987/1988 — North All-Stars: Kim Davidson of Vinalhaven; Bhinda Keidel, Amy Marx and Mary Sexton of CRHS; and Beth Montgomery of RDHS.

    North All-Star Reserves: Lori Barrows, Aleisa Caven, Wendy Gamage and Shawn Oliver of RDHS; Leslie Dyer of Vinalhaven; Linda Pendleton of Islesboro; and Nicole Staples of North Haven.

    South All-Stars: Michelle Russell of LA; Ann Betts, Tammy Stinson and Chris Strong of GVHS; and Angie Stover of MVHS.

    South All-Star Reserves: Susan Autio, Michelle Brasier and Kathy Temple of LA; Rachel Daggett and Caryn Farley of GVHS; and Angie Gleason and Tiffany Weston of MVHS.

    1988/1989 — North All-Stars: Teel Anderson, Beth Montgomery and Shawn Oliver of RDHS; and Nikki Hanley and Bhinda Keidel of CRHS.

North All-Star Reserves: Tammy Barrows and Missy Shorey of RDHS; Haven Hopkins and Rachel Phillip of Vinalhaven; and Jodi Young of CRHS.

    South All-Stars: Ann Betts, Chris Strong and Kathy Temple of GVHS; Angie Gleason of MVHS; and Michelle Brasier of LA.

    South All-Star Reserves: Caryn Farley and Stacie Rytky of GVHS; Kerry Foster of LA; Nicole Staples of North Haven; and Willy Ulbrich of MVHS.

    1989/1990 — North All-Stars: Teel Anderson, Missy Shorey and Tammy Barrows of RDHS; and Nikki Hanley and Jodi Young of CRHS.

    North All-Star Reserves: Rachel Brown of North Haven; Haven Hopkins and Rachel Phillip of Vinalhaven; and Angela Pease and Sandy Smith of RDHS.

    South All-Stars: Ann Betts and Chris Strong of GVHS; Michelle Brasier and Kerry Foster of LA; and Angie Gleason of MVHS.

    South All-Star Reserves: Amy Brunner of LA; Chris Henitz of MVHS; Rachel Leach of Islesboro; and Christine Rackliff and Denise Rytky of GVHS.

    1990/1991 — North All-Stars: Teel Anderson, Tammy Barrows, Shelby McRae, Missy Shorey and Sandy Smith of RDHS.

    North All-Star Reserves: Melanie Cooper of North Haven; Tanya Keller and Becca Rubenstein of RDHS; and Amanda Philbrook and Dottie Wentworth of Vinalhaven.

    South All-Stars: Rachel Gnade and Christine Rackliff of GVHS; Julie Littlefield of MVHS; and Stacey Yandell and Jill Young of CRHS.

    South All-Star Reserves: Neala Curtis and Stephanie Miller of GVHS; Janet Littlefield and Michele Moody of MVHS; and Clancy Morton of LA.

    1991/1992 — North All-Stars: Teel Anderson, Becca Rubenstein and Tanya Keller of RDHS; and Robbie Peckham and Jill Young of CRHS.

North All-Star Reserves: Daphne Marriner and Shelby McRae of RDHS; Amanda Philbrook and Dottie Wentworth of Vinalhaven; and Jessica Rogers of CRHS.

    South All-Stars: Julie Littlefield and Heather Stanley of MVHS; Stephanie Miller and Christine Rackliff of GVHS; and Amber Quinn of North Haven.

    South All-Star Reserves: Molly Bishop and Julie Kelsey of LA; Michelle Collins of GVHS; Jennie Grant of MVHS; and Morgan Siswick of Islesboro.

    1992/1993 — North All-Stars: Sarah Foster and Tori Hall of RDHS; Angie Holmes and Jill Young of CRHS; and Amber Quinn of North Haven.

    North All-Star Reserves: Kali Fish, Paula Reed, Hannah Smith and Susan Ware of RDHS; Robin Peckham and Jessica Rogers of CRHS; and Morgan Siswick of Islesboro.

    South All-Stars: Molly Bishop of LA; Melanie Genevicz and Amanda Philbrook of Vinalhaven; and Janet Littlefield of MVHS.

    South All-Star Reserves: Beth Libby and Laurie Preston of MVHS; Kandi Robinson and Jaimee Watts of GVHS; Andrea York of LA; and Farrah Swears of Vinalhaven.

    1993/1994 — North All-Stars: Laura Foster, Tori Hall, Paula Reed and Susan Ware of RDHS; and Amanda Roberts of CRHS.

    North All-Star Reserves: Jenny Bosica and Laura Mazurek of RDHS; Beth Littlefield and Darrah Roberts of CRHS; and Hannah Pingree of North Haven

    South All-Stars: Molly Bishop and Janet Littlefield of MVHS; Mia Lombardo of GVHS; Farrah Swears of Vinalhaven; and Andrea York of LA.

    South All-Star Reserves: Rebecca Drury of Vinalhaven; Mandy Hatch of Islesboro; Cricket Miller of GVHS; and Kate Lessnar and Jill Testa of LA.

    1994/1995 — North All-Stars: Spring Bergen and Jody Kennison of RDHS; Rebecca Drury of Vinalhaven; and Amanda Roberts and Darrah Roberts of CRHS.

    North All-Star Reserves: Jen Bosica, Laura Mazurek, Jamie Oliver and Susan Ware of RDHS; Terri Berg of CRHS; and Mandy Hatch of Islesboro.

     South All-Stars: Alice Bishop of MVHS; Kate Lessnar and Andrea York of LA; Mia Lombardo of GVHS; and Cecily Pingree of North Haven.

    South All-Star Reserves: Meagan Bowdoin of LA; Laurie Preston of MVHS; and Becca Elliot, Amy LaFrance and Summer Stuart of GVHS.

    1995/1996 — First Team: Alice Bishop of MVHS; Stacy Brown and Darrah Roberts of CRHS; Jody Kenniston of RDHS; and Mia Lombardo of GVHS.

    Second Team: Lindsay Carter of Vinalhaven; Anne Dowling of RDHS; Amy LaFrance of GVHS; Cecily Pingree of North Haven; and Isla Schmidt of Islesboro.

    Third Team: Emily Gushee of RDHS; Teri Berg of CRHS; Rebecca Drury of Vinalhaven; Gretchen Knutson of GVHS; and Amber Williamson of MVHS.

    Honorable Mention: Cassie Cooper of NH; Quinn Joki, Holly Leach and Becca Miller of MVHS; Sarah Mazurek, Heidi Peters, Nellie Waterman and Tracy Wuori of RDHS; and Sarah Parker of MVHS.

    1996/1997 — First Team: Alice Bishop and Amber Williamson of MVHS; Emily Gushee of RDHS; Gretchen Knutson of GVHS; and Sami Hibbard of CRHS.

    Second Team: Lindsay Carter and Samantha Carter of VH; Megan Cressler and Sarah Parker of CRHS; and Cecily Pingree of NH.

    Third Team: Cassie Cooper of NH; and Andrea Dalton, Quinn Joki, Holly Leach and Becca Miller of MVHS.

    1997/1998 — First Team: Lindsay Carter of VH; Megan Cressler of CRHS; Emily Gushee of RDHS; Gretchen Knutson of GVHS; and Amber Williamson of MVHS.

Second Team: Samantha Carter of VH; Stacie Campbell of GV; Freedom Hamlin of RDHS; and Eliza Margo and Anna Sommo of CRHS.

Third Team: Stacy Brown and Rebecca Neville of CRHS; Rachel Ervin of RDHS; and Quinn Joki and Raquel Ross of MVHS.

Honorable Mention: Sarah Dailey of CRHS; Jamie Wiggin of RDHS; Jenn Jones of GVHS; and Tracy Stanley of MVHS.

    1998/1999 — First team: Stacie Campbell of GVHS; Samantha Carter of Vinalhaven; Megan Cressler and Sarah Dailey of CRHS; and Amber Williamson of MVHS.

    Second team: Rachel Ervin and Tracy Jack of RDHS; Anna Sommo and Lauren Withee of CRHS; and Tracy Stanley of MVHS.

    Third team: Megan Bedford, Eliza Margo and Rebecca Neville of CRHS; and Freedom Hamlin and Katie Wiggin of RDHS.

    Honorable Mention: Deedra Beverage of CRHS; Lindsay Brown of North Haven; Stephanie Hiller of GVHS; Sarah Hopkins of Vinalhaven; and Jamie Wiggin of RDHS.

    1999/2000 — First team: Megan Cressler, Anna Sommo and Lauren Withey of CRHS; Stacy Marcotte of RDHS; and Sam Carter of Vinalhaven.

    Second team: Nicole Barlow of GVHS; Deedra Beverage and Rebecca Neville of CRHS; Tracy Jack of RDHS; Lindsay Brown of North Haven.

    Third team: Charlotte Croce, Toni-Lynn Robbins and Karinna Russo of CRHS; Stephanie Hiller of GVHS; and Beth Pinkham of MVHS.

    Honorable mention: Erica Rice of MVHS; Ali Bickford of Vinalhaven; Jody Fournier of RDHS; and Elizabeth Lovell and Liza Waterman of North Haven.

    2000/2001 — First team: Laura Briggs of MVHS; Caitlyn Grant of RDHS; Elizabeth Lovell of North Haven; Heather Stambaugh of GVHS; and Lauren Withey of CHRHS.

    Second team: Lindsay Brown of North Haven; Charlotte Croce and Toni-Lynn Robbins of CHRHS; Stacy Marcotte of RDHS; and Nicole Staples of GVHS.

    Third team: Ali Bickford of Vinalhaven; Megan Dailey of CHRHS; Lindsey Grant of RDHS; Amanda Lantagne of North Haven; and Becky Mountainland of MVHS.

    Honorable mention: Rachel Campbell of GVHS; Jacquline Curtis of North Haven; Chelsea Osgood of Vinalhaven; Beth Pinkham of MVHS; and Karina Russo of CHRS.

    2001/2002 — First team: Andrea Blanchard and Charlotte Croce of CHRHS; Laura Briggs of MVHS; Amanda Lantagne of North Haven; and Annie Pennell of RDHS.

    Second team: Caitlyn Grant and Kirby Gushee of RDHS; Elizabeth Lovell of North Haven; Chelsea Osgood of Vinalhaven; Lauren Withey of CHRHS.

    Third team: Jacquline Curtis of North Haven; Megan Dailey of CHRHS; Beth Pinkham and Jessica Simmons of MVHS; and Britta Sturks of GVHS.

    Honorable mention: Rachel Campbell and Heather Stambaugh of GVHS; Lindsey Grant and Stacy Marcotte of RDHS; and Brianna Osgood of Vinalhaven.

    2002/2003 — First team: Laura Briggs of MVHS; Charlotte Croce of CHRHS; Caitlyn Grant and Annie Pennell of RDHS; and Elizabeth Lovell of North Haven.

    Second team: Rachel Campbell of GVHS; Marianne Croce and Stephanie McIntyre of CHRHS; Caitlyn Hynes of RDHS; and Brianna Osgood of Vinalhaven.

    Third team: Jacquline Curtis of North Haven; Claire Neville and Samantha Wiley of CHRHS; Beth Pinkham of MVHS; and Britta Sturks of GVHS.

    Honorable mention: Joan Danisson of North Haven; Kasey Felt of RDHS; Heather Fogg of MVHS; Kim Walker of Vinalhaven; and Heather Watts of GVHS.

    2003/2004 —First team: Samantha Wiley and Claire Neville of CHRHS; Caitlyn Grant and Caitlin Hynes of RDHS; and Rachel Campbell of GVHS.

    Second team: Alysn Ludwig of MVHS; Britta Sturks of GVHS; Brianna Osgood of Vinalhaven; and Kayla Gushee and Marianne Croce of CHRHS.

    Third team: Heather Fogg and Nikki Brown of MVHS; Chelsea Osgood of Vinalhaven; Laura Barrett of North Haven; and Kasey Felt of RDHS.

    2004/2005 — First team: Caitlin Hynes and Lindsay Barnes of RDHS; Samantha Wiley of CHRHS; Alysn Ludwig of MVHS; and Brianna Osgood of Vinalhaven.

    Second team: Heather Watts GVHS; Marianne Croce and Kristin Richards of CHRHS; Nikki Brown of MVHS; and Kasey Felt of RDHS.

    The third-team all stars are Ashley Geel of GVHS; Dana Clark and Allie Todd of RDHS; Kim Smith of Vinalhaven; and Alex Orne of North Haven.

    2005/2006 —First team: Caitlin Hynes and Lindsay Barnes of RDHS; Allie Parent and Kristin Richards of CHRHS; and Ashley Geel of GVHS.

    Second team: Sam Ferra of GVHS; Allie Todd and Dana Clark of RDHS; and Carly Holgerson and Kayla Gushee of CHRHS.

    Third team: Megan Bradstreet of MVHS; Sam Buchanan of GVHS; Megan Davidson and Chelsea Webster of Vinalhaven; and Ashley Hodder of North Haven.

    2006/2007 — First team: Baillie Boggs and Dana Clark of RDHS; Allie Parent and Kayla Gushee of CHRHS; and Ashley Geel of GVHS

    Second team: Anna Lufkin of MVHS; Samantha Buchanan of GVHS; Kristin Tedford and Kayla Carleton of CHRHS; and Danielle Hansen of RDHS.

    Third team: Stephanie Lee of MVHS; Kate Fetterman of CHRHS; Meghan Schooley of GVHS; Claire Carter of Vinalhaven; and Sarah Newman of North Haven.

30th edition of basketball all-stars unveiled

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

30th edition of basketball all-stars unveiled
The Courier-Gazette
 

By Joseph Cyr
(Created: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:48 AM EDT)     

    Saluting local high school athletes is a longtime tradition at The Courier-Gazette and not something the newspaper takes lightly.

For 30 seasons, The Courier-Gazette has had the privilege of honoring local schoolgirl basketball players by naming them to the newspaper’s all-star team. There have been hundreds student athletes honored over the years. (See accompanying story for a look back at all 30 years of all-stars.) And while the process has evolved, one thing has remained constant, saluting the best players in the Midcoast is an honor for the newspaper.

    What a wonderful winter sports season it was on the hardwood for Midcoast girls basketball teams this season. Georges Valley earned its first trip to the Augusta Civic Center in four years, while Vinalhaven advanced all the way to the regional championship game for the second time in school history.

    It also was a year in which two coaches said goodbye, as Georges Valley coach Rusty Worcester and Vinalhaven coach Torry Pratt both stepped down at the end of the season.

    The first-team all stars are: Ashley Geel of GVHS; Clarie Carter of Vinalhaven; and Allie Parent, Kristen Tedford and Kate Fetterman of CHRHS.

    The second-team all stars are: Dana Clark and Aly Nolan of RDHS; Kayla Wood and Emily Cocks of GVHS; and Amelia Davidson of Vinalhaven.

    The third-team all stars are: Ali Cornforth and Miranda Conary of MVHS; Nicole Poland of GVHS; Chelsea LaBree of CHRHS; and Kayla Conway of Vinalhaven.

    Senior leadership is plentiful as the 13 of the 15 honorees played in their final season for their respective teams.

    The seniors are Geel, Parent, Tedford, Fetterman, Carter, Clark, Nolan, Wood, Cornforth, Conary, LaBree, Poland and Conway. Davidson is a sophomore and Cocks is a freshman.

Players may be nominated by their coaches — Karen Bickmore of Rockland, Jay Carlsen of Camden Hills, Randy Hooper of Medomak Valley, Rusty Worcester of Georges Valley, Roman Cooper of North Haven and Torry Pratt of Vinalhaven.

The Courier-Gazette's sports staff of sports editor Joseph Cyr and sports reporter Mark Haskell review the nominations and make the final determination as to which athletes are chosen and which team they will make.

A student-athlete cannot achieve all-star status if she were ineligible for her team during the regular or postseason for academic reasons or violating drug/alcohol policies. If injured, the athlete must have played in at least half of her team's games to be considered.

    Often more players are nominated than are selected.

Vinalhaven had a sensational season in coach Pratt’s final year. The Vikings finished 13-5 in the regular season and were 15-6 overall. Vinalhaven was the No. 3 seed in the Western Class D tourney and beat No. 6 Portland Christian 61-28 in the quarterfinals and edged No. 2 Valley 59-49 in the semifinals, before falling to top-ranked Buckfield 51-37 in the regional championship.

Camden Hills had yet another strong campaign, as the Windjammers finished 13-5 in the regular season and 14-6 overall. Camden Hills was the fifth seed in Eastern Class B and beat No. 12 Caribou 60-47 in a preliminary playoff contest, before falling to No. 4 Erskine Academy 53-49 in the quarterfinals.

Georges Valley finished ninth in Western Class C with an 11-7 regular season record and was 12-8 overall. The Buccaneers traveled to Bethel to face No. 8 Telstar and emerged with a 53-51 victory over the Rebels. With the win, GVHS earned the right to play at the Augusta Civic Center for the first time in four years (2003-04 was the last team). In the quarterfinals, the Bucs fell 51-36 to top-ranked Madison, the eventual Western Class C champion.

Rockland had a tumultuous season that saw its best player — Baillie Boggs — suffer a season-ending knee injury in the fifth game of the season. The Tigers struggled to a 6-12 regular season record and 6-13 overall. Rockland managed to sneak into the playoffs as the No. 15 seed and, in a preliminary playoff game, the Tigers fell to No. 2 John Bapst 63-30.

North Haven had an up-and-down season, finishing with a 5-8 regular season record (5-9 overall). The Hawks were the eighth seed in their region and hosted ninth-ranked Seacoast Christian in a preliminary playoff contest. The game was played on Vinalhaven, because the Hawks’ home gym is not regulation size. North Haven fell 40-26 to the Guardians.

Medomak Valley showed flashes of excellence during the season, but those flashes failed to translate into victories as the Panthers finished with a 6-12 record. Medomak Valley was the 16th seed in Eastern Class B and missed the playoffs.

The following is an alphabetical listing of the all stars broken down by first, second and third teams.

First team

    Carter, a 5-foot, 6-inch forward, is a two-time C-G all star. She was the most complete player for the Vikings this past season as she had the perfect combination of fast footwork and shooting prowess. Carter tallied 131 regular-season points (7.3 points per game average) and finished with 157 points, including the postseason.

    In the playoffs, Carter elevated her game as she scored seven points in the quarterfinals; 15 points in the semifinals (a season-high); and four points in the regional championship.

    She averaged 10 rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block for the Vikings during the regular season and scored in double figures in six games.

    As a junior, Carter was the model of consistency for the Vikings as she tallied 116 regular-season points (6.4 average) and finished with 119 total points. She had single-game highs of 15, 13 (twice) and 10 (twice). In the playoffs, Carter netted three points.

    Fetterman, a 5-6 forward, is a two-time C-G all star. In her final season, Fetterman tallied 172 regular-season points (9.6) and 195 points overall. She was among the KVAC leaders in steals with a 3.2 average and had 3.4 assists per game.

    She had single-game highs of 19, 17, 15 and 14. In the postseason, Fetterman tallied 17 points in the preliminary game and six in the quarterfinal.

As a junior, Fetterman had a marvelous season as she led the KVAC in steals and was the Windjammers’ leading rebounder.

    She tallied 138 regular-season points (7.7 average) and finished with 143 total points. Fetterman had single-game highs of 16, 14, 13 (twice) and 12. In the playoffs, Fetterman scored five points in the quarterfinals.

    Geel, a 6-foot, 2-inch center, is a rare four-time C-G all star. She was the focal point for the Buccaneers again this season and the bulk of the offense flowed through her in her fourth varsity season. Geel proved fully capable of dominating a game at both ends of the court.

She led the Midcoast in scoring this season with 279 regular-season points (15.5) and had single-game highs of 27, 26, 22 and 20. She scored in double figures in all 18 regular-season games. Her high of 27 points was the most by any schoolgirl this season and marks the third time in her career that Geel has achieved this honor.

Geel also averaged 13.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals, 6.7 blocks and made 47 of 82 foul shots (57 percent). She had several “triple doubles” during the season, tallying double figures in scoring, rebounds and blocks.

In the postseason, Geel tallied 23 points in the preliminary game and 16 in the quarterfinals to finish her senior season with 318 points.

     In her junior season, Geel was second in the Midcoast in scoring with 232 points (13.7 per game) regular-season points and she had 245 points, including the playoffs. She had single-game highs of 31 (the most by any schoolgirl that season), 25 and 23, and scored in double figures in 11 games.

    She was fourth in the MVC in rebounding with 173 boards (10.2 average). In the Bucs’ one playoff game, Geel led her team with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

    As a sophomore, Geel suffered no slump in her second varsity season, as she poured in 191 regular-season points, fourth best in the Midcoast, and led her team in scoring despite missing four games. She averaged 13.6 points per game and hauled down numerous rebounds, as she was an imposing presence inside the paint. Geel had single-game highs of 22 (twice), 21 and 19 points and scored in double figures in 11-of-14 games.

    As a freshman, Geel's impact was immediate. She was second for her team in scoring with 184 points (10.2 average) and had numerous rebounds each game. Her 28-point effort against Wiscasset was the single-most points scored in a game by a local schoolgirl basketball player that year. She also had highs of 23, 16 and 14.

    In her four varsity seasons, Geel tallied 938 career points.

    Parent, a 5-9 guard, is a three-time C-G all star. Parent is the complete package on the court, combining size, speed and athleticism. Parent was the heart and soul of the Windjammers for the second straight season.

    Parent was second in the Midcoast in scoring (and first in the KVAC) with 252 points (14.0 average) in the regular season and finished with 294 points. She had single-game highs of 25 (twice), 19 and 17 (twice). In the playoffs, she netted 15 points in the preliminaries and 27 in the quarterfinals.

    She shot 69 percent from the free-throw line and 37 percent from the floor. Parent also averaged four rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 3.4 steals. She had two “triple doubles,” which according to her coach was a first for a Windjammer.

    As a junior, Parent led the Midcoast in scoring with 254 points (14.1 per game) during the regular season and finished with 277. She had single-game highs of 24 (twice), 23 and 22. She scored in double figures in 13 games. In the Windjammers lone playoff game, Parent poured in a team-high 23 points.

    Parent had a phenomenal sophomore season for the Windjammers, as she finished with 194 regular-season points and 215 including the playoffs. She had single-game highs of 20, 18 and 15 and scored in double figures in 12-of-18 regular-season games.

    Parent averaged 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.1 steals, while shooting 65 percent from the foul line and an impressive 43 percent from the floor. She also hit six 3-pointers.

    In her final three varsity seasons, Parent tallied 765 points.

    Tedford, a 5-8 forward, is a two-time C-G all-star who often played much larger than her size indicated. Tedford scored the bulk of her points the hard way, battling inside the paint and she scooped up numerous rebounds on a nightly basis.

    Tedford was second on her team in scoring — third in the Midcoast — with 236 regular season points (13.1 average) and finished with 262 points. Tedford also averaged 3.6 rebounds and shot 67 percent from the foul line and 37 percent from the floor.

    As a junior, she was third on her team in scoring, and sixth in the Midcoast, with 175 regular-season points (9.7 average). Including the postseason, Tedford tallied 187 points. She had single-game highs of 21, 18 (twice) and 15, and scored in double digits in nine games. In the playoffs, Tedford tallied 12 points.

Second team

    Clark, a 5-8 forward, is a four-time C-G all star. A scrappy player with a penchant for going all-out on the floor, Clark was called upon to shoulder a much larger scoring role after Boggs’ injury. Clark responded and led her team in scoring with 150 points (8.3 per game), which was sixth-best in the Midcoast. Including the playoffs, she tallied 156 points.

    She had single-game highs of 19, 15, 14 and 12. Clark also shot 53 percent from the free-throw line and 33 percent from the floor. She also averaged 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.6 assists.

    As a junior, she was second on her team in scoring, and 12th in the Midcoast, with 130 points (7.7 average) during the regular season. Including the playoffs, she tallied 147 points.

    In the postseason, Clark netted 11 points against MCI in the preliminary round and scored six points against Waterville in the quarterfinals.

    As a sophomore, she was third on her team in scoring with 170 regular-season points and 177 overall points.

    She had single-game highs of 14, 13 (twice) and 12 (twice), while scoring in double figures in eight-of-18 games. Clark averaged 8.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and almost one assist. She also converted 50 percent of her foul shots.

    As a freshman, Clark made an immediate impact. By season's end, she had played herself into a starting role through her dogged determination and hustle.

    She scored 122 points on the regular season (6.8 average) and had single-game highs of 12 (twice), 11 (twice) and 10. She also had 64 rebounds (3.6), 15 steals, six blocks and 14 assists. From the free-throw line, Clark was 30 of 51 (59 percent) and she was four of 12 from behind the 3-point arc. In the playoffs, Clark scored seven points in both the preliminary round and quarterfinals, and netted 10 in the semifinals.

    In her four varsity seasons, she tallied 602 points.

    Cocks, a 5-2 guard, showed steady improvement as the season wore on. Thrust into the tough role of being the Bucs starting point guard, Cocks rose to the challenge and played her best game of the season in the quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center.

    She tallied 120 points on the season (6.7 average), and finished with 135 total points, including the playoffs. Cocks also averaged 1.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists. She tallied eight points in the preliminary game and seven points in the quarterfinal.

    Cocks also led the Bucs in free throw shooting, converting 16-of-23 attempts (60 percent).

    Davidson, a 5-4 guard, was the Vikings’ top scoring threat this season thanks to her ability to drain the outside shot. She netted 143 points during the regular season (7.9), which was seventh best in the Midcoast. Including the playoffs, she tallied 181 points.

    During the regular season, Davidson had single-game highs of 17, 16, 15 and 13, and she averaged four rebounds, one steal and one assist. In the playoffs, she scored a season-high 22 points in the Vikings’ quarterfinal win and added 10 in the semifinals and six in the finals.

    Nolan, a 5-5 guard, was the consummate sharpshooter for the Tigers this past season. She was second on the team in scoring, and eighth in the Midcoast, with 141 points (7.8 average). Including the playoffs, Nolan tallied 149 points. She had single-game highs of 20, 14, 13 and 12. In the Tigers’ lone playoff game, Nolan led her team with eight points.

    She shot 72 percent from the free-throw line and 37 percent from the floor. From behind the 3-point arc, Nolan converted 24-of-64 attempts (38 percent). Nolan also averaged 2.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.4 assists.

    Wood, a 5-8 forward, was perhaps the scrappiest member of the Buc roster, as she often battled much bigger opponents for a loose ball inside paint and could be found diving on the floor for the ball.

    She tallied 130 points (7.2 average) on the regular season, which ranked her ninth in the Midcoast. She finished with 142 total points, including the postseason. Wood had single-game highs of 17, 15 and 11. Wood scored six points in each of the Bucs’ two playoff games. She also made 20 of 41 foul shots (49 percent).

Third team

    Cornforth, a 5-8 forward, was one of the Panthers’ best low-post players and rebounders. She missed two games due to injury and finished with 85 points (5.3 average). She had single-game highs of 14, 13 and eight.

    Cornforth averaged 67 percent from the foul line and 4.1 rebounds per game.

    Conary, a 5-3 guard, was the Panthers’ starting point guard and best all-around ball handler this season. She missed three games early in the season due to a knee injury, but still finished with 70 points (4.7 average). She had single-game highs of nine, eight (twice) and seven.

    Conary averaged 65 percent from the foul line, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

    Conway, a 5-8 forward, was the Vikings’ best inside player, often pulling up for 8-foot jump shots or hauling in rebounds. She tallied 73 regular-season points (4.1 average) and finished with 93 overall points. In the playoffs, she netted four points in the quarterfinals and eight points in both the semifinals and finals. She also averaged three rebounds, one assist and one block. Conway had single-game highs of 10, nine and eight (twice).

    LaBree, a 5-7 guard, was one of the Windjammers’ best defensive players and was often called upon to guard the opposition’s best player. According to her coach, LaBree did all of the little things well that don’t necessarily show up in the box score. She tallied 60 points during the regular season (4.0 average), and finished with 65 overall points as she netted five points in the Windjammers preliminary playoff. She had single-game highs of nine and eight (twice).

    Poland, a 5-7 guard, was one of the Buccaneers’ best outside shooters and a 3-point specialist. She tallied 121 regular season points (7.1 average) and finished with 138 total points. In the Bucs’ preliminary contest, Poland netted 10 points, while in the quarterfinals she added seven. She also led the team in steals (1.9 per game), was second in rebounding (3.6 per game), and third in assists (1.6 per game). She had single-game highs of 19, 12 and 11. She also made 13 of 23 free throws (56 percent).

Future remains bright for Whalers

Sport:   Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Future remains bright for Whalers
GALLAGHER/Standard-Times special
By Justin Townsend
Standard-Times correspondent
March 12, 2008 6:00 AM

BOSTON — As New Bedford's seniors were subbed out of the MIAA Division 1 state semifinal with Andover well ahead, a glimpse of the future Whalers basketball team remained on the TD Banknorth Garden's parquet floor.

With names that have become staples in Whalers sports the past few years headed toward graduation, new names took the state's biggest basketball stage.
 

Seniors Shelly Depina, Stephanie Houtman and Azia Johnson passed the torch to sophomore Brittany Mello and freshmen Torie Manny, Ariell Gomes and Alyssa Roach.

Watch video clips of the game:


And the underclassmen showcased what the coming years can bring for Whalers basketball.

"I wish we could've come out with a win. We just have to keep up in spirits because a lot of us still have a couple years left to play," Mello said. "We have a lot of young talent so next year should be good and so should the years after that."

Mello was New Bedford's leading scorer with 10 points, and added five rebounds and three blocks. Her inside presence and defensive skills give coach Mickey Gonsalves a cornerstone to work with in the coming years.

"I thought she played very well. We talked about getting her more touches in the second half and we did that and good things were happening," he said. "If she didn't get a good shot, she got a good look. A lot of times, obviously she didn't finish, but we like her going to the basket."

But Mello wasn't the only underclassman won logged big minutes in the Eastern Mass. title game. Manny and Gomes combined for another 11 points and 11 rebounds.

"We have three freshmen, who will probably all be starting next year. Our sophomore, Mello, was probably our best player out there tonight. We had one kid (Katherine Maguire) who was hurt who started as a freshmen last year," Gonsalves said. "That's our five, our nucleus, so I feel very comfortable about our nucleus coming back next year, and who knows, maybe we'll luck out and be right back here."

The experience of playing in front of a large crowd, in an even larger arena was also something Gonsalves sees as something the team could take from the loss.

"It's a very good experience. I don't know how much an impact it had on (the freshmen) during the game," Gonsalves said. "They looked comfortable out there to me. They've played a lot of basketball, all members of the AAU teams. This is going to help us in the future."

Andover coach James Tildsley was impressed by the youth movement.

"They're well-coached and they're young. They're going to be a force to reckon with," he said.

Whether or not the loss overshadows the team's season, Mello is looking forward to the coming years with enthusiasm and something to prove.

"We know our potential," Mello said. "We're going to be young, but we're going to be a good team. We're losing great players, but at the same time we have girls that are going to become more experienced and more confident."

Pain will give way to memories of great season

Sport:   Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Pain will give way to memories of great season
 
By Ed Collins
 
March 12, 2008 6:00 AM

NB's Shelly Depina looks to pass as Andover's Ilana Cohen defends.ANDREW T. GALLAGHER/Standard-Times Special



Frustration.

That kind of sums up the night New Bedford had at TD Banknorth Garden on Tuesday.
 
Very little went right for the Whalers in a 66-34 loss to Andover in the MIAA Eastern Mass. Division 1 championship game.

New Bedford fell behind 12-2 and never recovered. The Whalers struggled with their shooting, they were unable to run the ball and their defense did little to slow down the Golden Warriors.

Watch video clips of the game:


"It seemed like every time we scored a basket, they answered with a 3-pointer," said New Bedford senior guard Stephanie Houtman. "They were red hot with their shooting, It was just their night."

The loss ended a history-making season by the Whalers (19-6), who won the program's first Division 1 South Sectional title and finished as the Big 3 Conference champion for the first time since 1996-1997.

"We came a long way this season and we have nothing to hang our heads about," said Houtman. "We got a chance to play at the Garden and not many teams get that chance. It was the chance of a lifetime and we're all disappointed that we didn't play better."

The buildup heading into the game was also something special for the Whalers.

"Everybody in school kept congratulating us and wishing us good luck," said senior forward Shelly Depina. "This game was all we thought about all week and even though we lost, it was still a game to remember."

For Houtman, just walking onto the parquet gave her shivers.

"I looked up at all the banners and realized where I was. I though about all the great players who had played there," said Houtman. "It was kind of like a dream, but before I knew it, it was time to play and reality set in."

New Bedford scored the first basket of the game on a layup by Depina, but the North Sectional champion Golden Warriors (23-2) came out smoking and reeled off a quick 12-0 run.

"We were all a little nervous at first and we dug a big hole for ourselves right at the start," said Houtman. "We just couldn't hit a basket in the first half. (Andover) just kept making shots and we kept falling further and further behind."

Even though the rims were "a little bouncy," Houtman said the Whalers gave it their best shot.

"We played hard. We gave it our best effort and that's all you can ask for," said Houtman. "It was just one of those games where the ball didn't bounce our way."

The game was the finale for Houtman, Depina and senior guard Azia Johnson, but all three could end up at Bridgewater State next season. Houtman and Depina have already been accepted and Johnson has applied.

"It's been a great season. It was a tough season with a lot of hard work, but it was all worth it," said Houtman. "I'm going to remember my teammates and all the fun we had. We played as a team all season and we have a lot to be proud of. I'm going to miss my teammates, but I'll be back to watch them next season."

Ending the season at the Garden helped soothe the Whalers' wounds after the game and Depina was grateful for the opportunity.

"I couldn't believe that we were really here. I had goosebumps before the game. Running onto the floor and hearing our fans cheer us was a thrill that I'll never forget," said Depina. "We all wanted to win, but it just wasn't meant to be. Nobody wants to lose, but we have a lot of good memories from this season and we went out at the top, playing on a court that most kids can only dream of."

For now, Houtman wants to put the basketball season behind her and take it easy for awhile.

"I'm going to need some time to unwind and get back to normal. It's been a whirlwind season and it takes a lot out of you," said Houtman. "I need to find a job and make some money. It's been a great ride, but it's over and I can live with that. It's going to hurt for awhile, but I'll be alright. We'll all be alright."

Contact Ed Collins at ecollins@s-t.com

Shooting woes end New Bedford's season

Sport:   Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Shooting woes end New Bedford's season
By David Brown
Standard-Times staff writer
March 12, 2008 6:00 AM

New Bedford senior Stephanie Houtman waits to re-enter the game during the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s MIAA Eastern Mass. Championship game at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. The Whalers lost 61-34 to the Andover Golden Warriors in their first-ever title game.ANDREW T. GALLAGHER/Standard-Times special


BOSTON — New Bedford's blessing was its curse.

The Whalers had the pleasure of playing on the Red Auerbach court at TD Banknorth Garden in the MIAA Division 1 Eastern Mass. Championship on Tuesday, but the tricky part of that treat was the adjustment to arena play.

The Garden's wide-open spaces made shots difficult in the early stages of the game, and New Bedford's opponent, sharp-shooting Andover, had the upper hand. The North Sectional champion Golden Warriors took advantage of the Whalers' first-half shooting woes and ended New Bedford's season with a 61-34 victory in the state semifinals.

The Whalers (19-6) made just five of the 27 shots in the first half (18.5 percent), a fact that the players and their coach attributed to new scenery and a bout of nerves.

"It seemed like we were very excited and very anxious when we did get the ball," New Bedford head coach Mickey Gonsalves said. "We missed a lot of chippies, a lot of good shots, but the attitude and the effort was there. I'm very proud of the kids."

New Bedford senior Shelly Depina, who had eight points in her final high school game, said the Whalers weren't used to the court when they finished warm-ups.

"I think we needed a little more time," Depina said. "We had 10 minutes to warm up, but you get used to it I think."

Although Andover (23-2) has had better days from the floor, the Golden Warriors did have a solid shooting performance, making 21 of 48 field-goal attempts (44 percent) and nine of 22 3-pointers (41 percent).

"We're a pretty good shooting team," Andover head coach James Tildsley said. "It's tough to shoot here. I was really happy with the way we shot today. We hit a lot of 3s, and they were pushing us out and we moved the ball pretty well to shoot those 3s."

Andover senior guard Meghan Thomann made three of those treys and finished with a game-high 17 points. Laura Renfro, also a senior guard, also had three 3s, and finished 15 points.

Altogether, the Warriors buried five of their eight 3-point attempts in the first half to build a 32-14 lead at halftime.

"To hold them to 14 points in the first half," Tildsley said. "I think that was the whole turning point in the game."

New Bedford, which was down 22-10 after the first quarter, held Andover without a field a goal for the first 3 minutes, 15 seconds of the second period, but missed a big opportunity to get back in the game, mustering just one basket in that stretch,

"I think it was just all the nerves," said sophomore center Brittany Mello, who had a game-high 10 points for the Whalers. "Being nervous, playing here. But hey, it happens."

Mello scored eight points in the third quarter, New Bedford's best period of the game, but the Warriors continued to fire away from outside. They made three 3s in the third, and tied the Whalers 15-15 in the period.

"We spotted them too much early," Gonsalves said. "They spread you out. It seemed like they had five guards out there."

Andover forward Camille Fantini scored to give the Warriors a 52-32 lead with 5:38 left to play, and the game was effectively out of reach for New Bedford.

Sitting on the home bench at the Garden with an insurmountable lead in the fourth quarter, Tildsley could have lit up a cigar — if not for the fact that they prohibit tobacco smoke on the court named in Auerbach's honor.

"I do smoke cigars, too," Tildsley said, adding the best part of the big lead was that every player on each team got to play on the parquet. "It was great. I'm glad for kids. Everyone got to play on both teams, which is very, very important. Playing on the Garden floor, you know win or lose, these kid will never forget that."

For Depina, it was the sweet part of a bittersweet experience. After losing the first two games of the season, New Bedford went on to capture a Big 3 title and its first South Sectional championship, earning itself a chance to play in Boston, one that she said she won't forget.

"Obviously a loss isn't going to feel good," Depina said. "But when you know how much it took to get here and everything you put into it to get here, the only disappointment is the season ending and not doing anything after school."

Contact David Brown at

dbrown@s-t.com

ANDOVER 61,

NEW BEDFORD 34

New Bedford (19-6)

Johnson 0-1-1, Depina 4-0-8, Roach 1-0-2, Houtman 1-0-2, Gomes 1-4-6, Mello 4-2-10, Manny 2-0-5. Totals 13-7-34

Andover (23-2)

Gomez-Martinez 3-1-8, Heinrich 1-0-2, Thomann 5-4-17, Cohen 2-0-6, Hughes 3-5-11, Renfro 5-0-15, Fantini 1-0-2. Totals: 20-10-61

New Bedford 10 4 15 5 —34

Andover 22 10 15 14—61

3-pointers: NB-Manny; A-Thomann 3, Renfro 3, Cohen 2, Gomez-Martinez.

Red Hawks fly into final

Sport:   Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Red Hawks fly into final
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
By JEFF THOMAS
jthomas@repub.com

AMHERST - For the Frontier Regional boys basketball team, the state semifinals were all about weathering the storm.

The Red Hawks struggled in the first half with the 2-3 zone of Bromfield's, falling behind by as many as 17 points yesterday. But an 11-0 run at the end of the second quarter, combined with a switch to man-to-man defense rocketed the Red Hawks to a 61-45 victory over the Trojans at the Mullins Center.

Frontier (23-1) advances to the state final, where it will take on Eastern Massachusetts champion Scituate (21-2) Saturday at 12:30 at the DCU Center in Worcester.    

After the first eight minutes, it didn't appear Frontier was going to be around to play another game. The Trojans (16-8) used their superior height (four starters at 6-foot-2 or bigger) and length in an active 2-3 zone to frustrate the Red Hawks.

It was 4-4 when Bromfield went on a 13-0 run, and the Trojans closed the first quarter with a 22-9 lead.

"We knew they played a match-up 2-3 zone, and we had never played against it," senior guard Jamie Bell said. "We came out playing our normal zone just to see what they were like. At halftime, we switched it to man-to-man and everybody on the court played tough."

Bell (23 points), Brian Clark (19) and Dan Clark (14) did nearly all of the scoring for the Red Hawks, but guards Gary Grandonico and Brian McKenna were crucial in beating the zone press and getting the ball to the front-line players.

"I thought we were a little more athletic than them, so I didn't want to stay in a zone," Frontier coach Marty Sanderson said. "We were really lethargic, but when we went man we definitely got a lot more energy."

Frontier trailed 28-11 halfway through the second quarter when it made a run to get back in the game. Dan Clark scored a pair of baskets, one inside and the other outside. Brian Clark, playing the high post, then scored inside off a baseline feed from Bell.

The half closed at the foul line for Frontier. Bell was fouled attempting a 3-pointer from the corner and made all three at the stripe, and Dan Clark hit two free throws to make it 28-22 at the break.

The Trojans led 32-26 when the Red Hawks made their decisive run. Bell scored on a layup and was fouled, converting the free throw. Brian Clark buried a short jumper to get Frontier within one, then Matt Chamberlin connected on one of two foul shots to tie the game at 32.

Bell made two shots to give Frontier its first lead since 4-2, and he followed that with a jumper for a 36-32 lead.

"Once they tied it at 32, that was the run we needed to stop," Bromfield coach Charles Noonan said. "The ball wasn't falling on our end. (Frontier) is a very good team, and we were privileged to play them."

Josh Lyvers' 3-pointer cut the Frontier lead to 36-35, but McKenna promptly answered with a 3-pointer for Frontier, and Dan Clark followed with a layup. Lyvers (game-high 25 points) kept trying to keep the Trojans afloat, hitting a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to keep Frontier's lead at four.

But the Red Hawks answered with Bell hitting a jumper and Brian Clark ripping down an offensive rebound, scoring the basket and getting fouled to push the lead to nine, an insurmountable lead against a Bromfield team that relies on defense.

"We knew we had the talent to beat this team," Bell said. "We had to keep playing Frontier basketball to get the job done."

Longmeadow takes the loss

Sport:   Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Longmeadow takes the loss
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
By JEFF THOMAS

AMHERST - Even in defeat, the Longmeadow boys basketball team showed no quit.

Trailing St. John's of Shrewsbury for much of the game, the Lancers refused to go away even when the deficit hit double digits and Longmeadow's best player was struggling to find his shot.

But in the end the Pioneers had too much size and too many options, winning the Division I state semifinal 59-50 last night at the Mullins Center.

The Pioneers (21-6) advance to the state final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the DCU Center in Worcester where they will play Eastern Massachusetts champion Central Catholic.

Longmeadow (19-5) concludes a historic year, winning its first Western Massachusetts championship while running its win streak to 17 games before last night.

"We did something no Longmeadow team has ever done by winning the Western Mass. championship," Longmeadow coach Tim Allen said. "It's a special group of kids."

The Pioneers did a nice job containing senior Pat Donnelly, who had eight of his team-high 14 points in the first half. Other players stepped up and hit big shots - like Scott Beaulac, Kyle Smith and Mark Kofman, but it wasn't enough.

"I couldn't get much to fall," Donnelly said. "The ball just didn't bounce our way."

The Pioneers knew Donnelly was the top gun for the Lancers and put senior forward John Perron on him for most of the contest.

"That Donnelly's a great player," Perron said. "We tried to take him out of the game as best we could."

Brault steps down as York basketball coach

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Brault steps down as York basketball coach

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By Jay Pinsonnault
jpinsonnault@seacoastonline.com
March 12, 2008 6:00 AM

Rick Brault just completed his 19th season as head coach of the York High School boys basketball team.

There will not be a 20th.

Brault recently informed his team of his decision to step down after a 3-15 season.

"I am doing this with mixed feelings, but it's time for me to pursue other opportunities," Brault said. "My fingers will remain in basketball in some capacity. I've had the pleasure to coach fine young men for the past 19 years and right now, it's time to pass that off to somebody else."

Brault guided the Wildcats to four Western Maine Class B title games, winning two regional championships and the 1991 Class B state championship.

"It's hard to walk away," Brault said. "I'll miss the personal contact with the kids and the people like (assistants) Randy Kinzly and Ellis Lane. There's a lot of plus sides to coaching, a lot more than the negative sides."

Kinzly, an assistant with Brault for the past six years and former standout at the University of New Hampshire and Oyster River High School, has expressed his interest in the position to York High School athletic director Ted Welch.

"I want to keep all my options open," Kinzly said. "I love the kids and enjoy being around the program. I've learned so much from Rick in the past six years."

Brault, who played college basketball at Northeastern University (1971-73) under longtime Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, said both Kinzly and Lane were both qualified to take over.

"Randy and Ellis both love the sport of basketball so much and anyone who loves the sport, certainly would be a wonderful addition to the game," Brault said.

Brault said this year's young team reminded him a lot of the 1996 squad that won just two games.

"The improvement we made this year was outstanding," Brault said. "The kids improved and their passion for the game was clearly evident."

Kinzly said he learned a lot from Brault over the years.

"I think his knowledge of the game is second to none," Kinzly said. "He was great at time management and strategy and his making adjustments at halftime is as good as I've seen around here. His passion and absolute love of the game is what I am going to miss most."

Hockey season fond one

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Hockey season fond one
BY BILL STEWART, Staff Writer

The high school hockey season is over, minus the Travis Roy Award banquet and all-star games. Soon (well, OK, maybe not soon), it'll be spring and hockey will slowly ease from the mind. For some, this can't come quick enough. For others, like Class B champ Winslow, spring can wait.

Here are a few bits and pieces, odds and ends if you will, to help you thaw out from Sukee or the Kennebec Ice Arena ...

n It's hard to attend a hockey game and not hear at least a few chants break out from a student section or two. While most chants heard throughout the winter were unoriginal -- can we lose the "you can't do that" after a penalty is called? -- the best ones weren't what was said but when.

Messalonskee was trailing Winslow 3-0 with about seven minutes to go in a Dec. 10 game at Sukee Arena, which both teams call home. However, when Matt DelGiudice scored to pull the Eagles within 3-2 with about seven minutes remaining, Messalonskee students started chanting, "This is our house!"

You got the feeling that the Eagles were going to win the game. And they did, scoring two more goals to stun the Raiders 4-3.

Biddeford students also enjoyed that same chant during the Class A final against Lewiston. The game, of course, was in Lewiston. Nice.

n Tucked up against the office at the far end of the Kennebec Ice Arena is a section known as "Coach's Corner." It's here, in this hallowed section, where the most knowledgeable minds of the game would conglomerate and offer powerful words of wisdom to officials, coaches and even the players.

During a Winslow-Gardiner game, this group of know-it-alls, or "parents" as they are sometimes called, noticed at least 150 penalties that the Raiders weren't whistled for. They isolated Gardiner's inability to beat a better team to one missed interference call after another. Impressive work.

n Eastern A teams went a combined 23-23-3 against their brothers from Western A. Pretty even, no? Yes, unless/until you throw out Gray-New Gloucester/Poland, which went 11-4-0 against Western A, mostly against the bottom tier. Minus the Patriotic Knights, Eastern A went 12-19-3 against Western A competition.

Furthermore, if one takes the top three East teams and stacks them up against best of the West, it's no contest which region is better. Lewiston, Brewer and Waterville went a combined 0-3-1 against Biddeford, Kennebunk and Falmouth. The Western powers outscored them 12-1 in those games.

And then there's the Class A title game, which Biddeford won 4-1 against Lewiston in a battle of the top two seeds from each region. The feeling here is that Kennebunk and Falmouth, ranked second and third in Western A, respectively, would've sank the Blue Devils, too.

n Gardiner coach Matt Dineen dealt with a lot of issues during a difficult season, none bigger than the talented Bass Chadwick, who returned from junior hockey to play for the Tigers. Chadwick is a tremendous player, but he drew the ire from his coach for not putting the team first.

Chadwick missed the Eastern B semifinal win against John Bapst for a "school rule violation." He was eligible to play in the regional final against Winslow, but he never dressed. These situations aren't exactly rare in high school athletics -- Chadwick isn't the first player to disagree with a coach, nor will he be the last -- but they do illustrate a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.

The player loses because he won't get this opportunity again. The team loses because it is left wondering what could have been. And the coach loses because his team loses.

n Finally, now is as good a time as any to recognize a few -- and we emphasize a few -- student-athletes who quietly put together fantastic seasons:

Eastern A

n Waterville defenseman Shawn Lee scored 20 points in as many games and helped anchor the Panthers' defense with Brock LeClair. But what made Lee one of the better defenseman in Eastern A was his poise. As much he'd love to jump in the offensive zone, Lee was a rock in his own end. More than anything, coaches love consistency, and that's what Lee brought to both ends of the ice.

n There are plenty of reasons Lawrence enjoyed one of its finest seasons, and one is the play of senior defenseman Jon Engelhart. Although he didn't post lofty statistics -- three goals and six assists for nine points -- Engelhart nonetheless solidified the blueline for the Bulldogs.

n Jon Dale certainly wasn't the best goalie in the region, but the freshman held up well for Cony this season. He had to, because he was all but it for the Rams between the pipes. In his first high school game, Lewiston lit up Dale for nine goals, but the freshman stayed poised and helped Cony earn a playoff berth. He can only get better, and so can the Rams.

Eastern B

n When you watch Peter Caradonna skate, your first impression is that he should stick to football. But the more you watch, the more he grows on you. The Gardiner senior skated on the team's second line with Zoe Fisk and Kevin May and brought a ruggedness to the ice that was tough to match. He skated hard, played hard and wasn't afraid to go into the corners. Everyone loves a goal scorer, but it's players like Caradonna who can define a team's character.

n Jesse Cullivan picked a good time to come up with some big goals. The Winslow senior forward sent the Black Raiders into the Class B state championship game with an overtime goal against Gardiner in the regional final. In the semifinals, Cullivan scored what proved to be a big goal in a 4-2 victory against Houlton-Hodgdon. Winslow skated eight seniors this season, and each one brought a little something different to the team. Cullivan brought good timing.

Western B

n Maranacook-Monmouth qualified for the tournament thanks in part to defenseman Mike Knowlton, who volunteered to play goalie early in the season after the Black Bears lost their starter to injury before the backup left the team. Knowlton did an admirable job, essentially learning a new position on the fly. He made a sacrifice for the better of the team, and the team was better off for it.

So there you have it. The season is over, tucked away for memories. The games have been played, champions crowned. Hope you enjoyed the season; I know I did. See you in the spring or next winter, whichever comes first.

Bill Stewart -- 623-3811, ext. 515

bstewart@centralmaine.com
 

COLLEGE HOCKEY: Maine hockey turns to future

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

COLLEGE HOCKEY: Maine hockey turns to future
BY JENN MENENDEZ

Blethen Maine Newspapers

Next fall's recruiting class will bring speed and grit to the University of Maine hockey team, coach Tim Whitehead said, just days removed from his team's bittersweet season finale.

What Whitehead can't talk about just yet is 6-foot-6 goalie Scott Darling, a 19-year-old that Maine fans may have to get acquainted with quickly. Junior goalie Ben Bishop, a St. Louis Blues draft pick, appears close to a decision about turning pro this week and forgoing his senior season at Maine.

A move would catapult Darling to the forefront. Darling committed verbally to Maine, but until he signs a national letter of intent, Whitehead is forbidden to discuss him publicly.

"We're anxiously awaiting a decision from Ben and his family," Whitehead said. "We've got Plans A, B and C ready to go. When the time comes we'll move forward. I would anticipate we'll hear something before the end of the week."

Maine was mathematically locked out of the Hockey East playoffs Saturday despite winning its finale against Massachusetts-Lowell after 2:20 of overtime.

The victory capped a surge of five wins in the team's last six games, but it wasn't enough for Maine to overtake No. 8 Massachusetts and reach the eight-team Hockey East playoffs.

From the seasons outset, Maine wasn't projected to be as strong as years past. The team lost some 67 percent of its scoring from the year before and had no game-breaking forwards.

It was clear that success would hinge on how quickly the eight freshmen would adjust to the college game, and how several longtime role players would react to more significant spots. Both were lofty expectations.

The Black Bears fell lower and lower in the standings and when crunch time hit -- January and February -- the team lost some 35 man-games to injuries to top forwards. Freshman Andrew Sweetland (back), seniors Billy Ryan (hip) and Keenan Hopson (shoulder), and junior Chris Hahn (jaw) each missed a significant chunk of time.

The lineup was too thin on talent to dig out wins in games when a soft goal was allowed or when a defensive blunder turned into a goal.

Maine lost seven straight from Jan. 26 to Feb. 16 and was close to being mathematically eliminated multiple times. The team got healthy down the stretch and got the best goaltending of the year from Bishop. But it was too little, too late.

"I was proud of how our team fought through a difficult season to finish strong," Whitehead said. "You could see a difference in our confidence with the puck with everyone back. I'm so proud of our seniors. They showed some true character."

Before this season, when it finished 13-18-3, Maine's only losing record in the last 20 years was 1993-94, after the team forfeited 11 wins and three ties because of NCAA violations. Before that the Black Bears hadn't had a losing season since 1985-86, when they went 11-28-1 in Shawn Walsh's second season as coach.

Since then Maine has made 17 appearances in the NCAA tournament and 11 trips to the Frozen Four, winning two national titles.

"This program will rebound from a losing season," said Billy Ryan, a senior assistant captain. "They'll be a national power again soon."

Athletic director Blake James said he understands fans are frustrated, and believes the team will compete for a Hockey East championship next year.

"As hard as it is to look at it as a fan and say 'Wow, we're in ninth place,' if we really analyze it, this team wasn't that far away from being right there," James said. "There are a lot of positives and these guys will be a year older next year."

GROWING UP IN A HURRY

Maine's current freshmen saw the kind of ice time historically earned by upperclassmen.

That experience, said Whitehead, should provide dividends next year.

"More than anything they'll have an opportunity to step up and play more minutes if they earn it," Whitehead said. "They played quite a bit but didn't end up on the score sheet much. That's their challenge (next year), to make a big impact with their ice time and hope to expand it. I'm hopeful they will."

Sweetland was the standout of the freshmen with eight goals and nine assists in 28 games. He adjusted quickly to the college game, flashing goal-scoring instincts and a strong sense of the game.

Center Tanner House (one goal, 10 assists) also progressed well and is likely to be a first- or second-line skater next year.

On defense, Maine got strong production from freshmen Josh Van Dyk and Jeff Dimmen, both of whom appear to have the right tools to keep progressing into standouts.

Wing Robby Dee, a third-round draft pick by the Edmonton Oilers, progressed slower than expected and had just a goal and two assists.

"He can skate. He's got some size and a lot of tools but you've got to put them all together," Whitehead said. "I'm confident he will emerge for us. The second half of the year he was scoring in practice, which is a good indication he's adjusting to the level."

Maine's remaining freshmen -- forwards Glenn Belmore, Keif Orsini and Lem Randall, and defenseman Mike Banwell -- all progressed and hinted of good things to come.

Said outgoing captain Travis Ramsey of the group: "I can't say enough about the freshman class. They're going to be a force to be reckoned with."

PLEASE WELCOME

Next year's recruiting class is also a large one.

Whitehead, whose contract runs through June 30, 2011, said he"s particularly excited about a Swedish recruit, Gustav Nyquist, who has speed and scoring ability.

Nyquist's new teammates will include a U.S. under-18 national team member, Ryan Hegarty, and two players from the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League, Joey Diamond and Will O'Neill.

"Hegarty is gritty and has a lot of hockey sense," Whitehead said. "O'Neill is also a very tough kid with good hockey sense. Diamond is a well-rounded player, a tough smart forward."

Kevin Swallow, a transfer from Dartmouth, also will debut next year. He sat out this season because of NCAA transfer rules.

Kelen Corkum, whose father, Bob Corkum, played for the Black Bears from 1985-89, had committed to Maine but instead will play for the Junior Monarchs of Manchester, N.H., next season.

Maine also has verbal commitments from defenseman Mark Nemec of the Junior Monarchs, forwards Spencer Abbott of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League, Brian Flynn of the Junior Monarchs and Kyle Solomon of the Junior Bruins. And of course from Darling, the heir apparent in goal from the Indiana Ice of the United States (Junior) Hockey League.

Maine also could lose 6-foot-7 defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin, a Chicago Blackhawks draft pick who made significant strides this season. Danis-Pepin would be a 20-year-old senior, which is younger than many freshmen. He has come a long way with his offense but still has some defensive problems to iron out.

"I'm sure Chicago will go after him," Whitehead said. "But at his age it would be foolish to leave. He's elevating so much each year and next year he'll have a chance to become the complete player Chicago hopes he'll be. We're prepared but I'm pretty confident he's going to stay."

Brown leaves MCI post

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 12th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Brown leaves MCI post

Mike Brown, the boys varsity basketball coach at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield for the last four years, will not return to the sidelines next season.

One major reason for his decision was to have the chance to follow his sons, ages 11 and 7, through their fledgling athletic careers.

Brown had coached the Huskies to three straight postseason appearances in 2005, 2006 and 2007. MCI reached the Eastern Maine Class B semifinals in 2007 after upending top-seeded Maranacook of Readfield in the quarterfinals.

The Huskies went 1-17 this season, making Brown’s overall record at MCI 40-38.

Before taking the MCI post, the former Lawrence High School standout and Bowdoin College graduate was the boys varsity coach for nine years at Mount View of Thorndike.
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