AUGUSTA — Quin Leary of Edward Little and Kristen Anderson of Leavitt are in contention for the highest individual honor in Maine high school basketball.
Leary and Anderson were announced Wednesday among the 10 finalists for the Mr. and Miss Maine Basketball awards, presented each year by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches.
Each list will be narrowed down to three finalists in about a week, with the awards to be presented at the annual banquet Friday, March 8 on the campus of Husson University in Bangor.
The two players followed in large footsteps with the announcement. Both had an older sibling receive the same recognition in 2011.
Bo Leary, now playing at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Massachusetts, was one of the three finalists for Mr. Basketball that year. Courtney Anderson was a Miss Basketball semifinalist and now starts at the University of Maine.
The younger Leary is a three-year starter and four-year letterman who led the Red Eddies to the Eastern Class A semifinals all four seasons. He was the sixth man on EL's regional championship squad in 2010 as a freshman.
EL enjoyed an 8-1 record against rival Lewiston during Leary's career, including a memorable win in the 2012 Eastern Class A quarterfinals.
Coach Mike Adams has lauded Leary's unselfishness throughout the past two seasons, when like his brother before him, the 6-foot-3 forward has drawn double and triple-team defensive schemes at nearly every turn.
Anderson started for two years with her sister and has been coached all four years by her mother, Tammy. Together, they celebrated a 23-0 season capped by a Class B state title in 2011.
The younger Anderson scored the 1,000th point of her career as a junior, a milestone also achieved by her sister at Leavitt and her mom at Winthrop.
Her senior season was slowed by a severe sprain of her left ankle. It sidelined her on two separate occasions for several games.
Leavitt lost in the Western Class B quarterfinals to Greely on Tuesday.
Anderson has accepted a basketball scholarship from the University of New Hampshire.
Joining Leary as boys' semifinalists are Anthony DiMauro of Boothbay, Charlie Fay of Falmouth, Evan Worster of Forest Hills, Garet Beal of Jonesport-Beals, Spencer Carey of Lawrence, John Murray of Medomak Valley, Garrett Libby of Old Town, Mitch Worcester of Washburn and Aaron Todd of York.
Rounding out the roster of girls' candidates are Jordan Knowlton of Camden Hills, Josie Lee of Cony, Lauren Crane of Dexter, Kristin Ross of Gorham, Sydney Hancock of Lake Region, Jillian Woodward of Orono, Chandler Guerrette of Presque Isle, Martha Veroneau of Waynflete and Emily Campbell of York.
Radio duo retires
There was much said and written about Doug Lisherness' retirement from coaching the Mt. Abram girls' basketball program after 29 years and two state titles when its tournament run ended Tuesday.
The Roadrunners' loss to 50-42 to Madison quietly ended another era, as well.
Bruce and Al Ibarguen, the brother tandem that broadcast dozens of games every football and basketball season since 1977 on WKTJ (99.3 FM) of Farmington, drew their career to a close with the loss of the final remaining Franklin County team.
Notable for their conversational style and their affinity for the five home schools, the Ibarguens were a fixture at the tournament sites in Augusta and Bangor.
Mt. Blue sports were a priority, but the brothers traveled to Mt. Abram's remote domed gym in Salem Township as well as Jay, Livermore Falls and Rangeley in the winter when the schedule allowed. They also adopted the tradition-rich teams from Dirigo and Valley high schools for many tournament seasons.
"With (longtime Mt. Blue boys' coach) Jim Bessey retiring last year and Doug this year, it seemed it was time," Bruce Ibarguen said.
Bruce, who will turn 67 this year, also plans to retire from the Maine Department of Transportation in June.
Asked what the brother act will do with itself next December without a game to cover, Bruce replied in typical homespun, good-humored fashion.
"Stay warm," he said.