Two boys and two girls from the tri-county region have been named semifinalists for Mr. and Miss Maine Basketball, presented each year to the outstanding senior players in the state.

Andrew Fleming of Oxford Hills and Riley Robinson of Dirigo are candidates for the boys’ honor, while Tianna Sugars of Oxford Hills and Emily Jacques of Edward Little are girls’ contenders.

Sugars and Jacques lead their teams in the Class AA North girls’ championship game on Friday night. Fleming’s Vikings lost a close battle with Deering, 73-67, in the boys’ AA semifinals on Tuesday. Robinson’s Cougars will face Waynflete in the C boys’ semis on Thursday.

Fleming will attend the University of Maine on a full basketball scholarship. He scored more than 1,300 points in his career, an Oxford Hills record.

Robinson is approximately 50 points away from 2,000 points for his Dirigo career.

Other boys’ semifinalists are Matt Pushard of Brewer, Donovan Savage of Caribou, Nicholas DePatsy of Medomak Valley, Amir Moss of Portland, Shyheim Ulrickson of Mt.  Ararat, Thomas Coyne of Falmouth and Jack Lesure of Lake Region.


Joining Sugars and Jacques as girls’ semifinalists are Nia Irving and Dominique Lewis of Lawrence, Kelsey Shaw and Sierra Tapley of Mount Desert Island, Chloe Smedley and Shannon Todd of York, Maddie Hasson of South Portland and Jess Willerson of McAuley.

Three boys and three girls will be named finalists after the tournament concludes. The presentations will take place March 11 in Bangor.

— Kalle Oakes

No-surprise semis

As final fours in Class C South boys’ basketball go, Thursday night’s semifinals are the equivalent of Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Arizona.

Expect a pair of donnybrooks when No. 2 Winthrop and No. 6 Boothbay collide at 7 p.m., followed by No. 1 Dirigo against No. 4 Waynflete at Augusta Civic Center.


If those matchups sound unfamiliar, you’re new to this February thing. Hard to believe, actually, that Winthrop and Boothbay haven’t met in this wide-open arena since 2007. Prior to that, the Seahawks and Ramblers squared off seven times in an 11-year span at tourney time.

Boothbay owned a slim 4-3 edge in those years, winning in the 1997 semifinals, 2000 regional final, 2005 quarterfinals and 2007 semifinals. Winthrop earned its bragging rights in the 2002 quarterfinals, 2003 semifinals and 2006 finals. The two schools enjoyed a fiery football rivalry in those years, as well, only heightening the anticipation.

Each of those Seahawks’ teams was coached by I.J. Pinkham, who has won more boys’ games (603) than any coach in Maine history.

“He probably has forgotten more about basketball than I will ever know,” Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur said. 

The familiar MVC foes played two games this winter that lived up to the lofty history of the rivalry. Boothbay dodged eight 3-pointers by Jacob Hickey to win 61-57 at home on Jan. 14. Hickey hit a late 3-pointer to put the Ramblers over the top in a defensive struggle, 42-39, on Feb. 1.

Dirigo and Waynflete need no introduction to one another. They will collide in the semifinals for the fourth time in six seasons. Dirigo won 55-37 in 2011 and 58-36 a year ago. Waynflete prevailed 58-51 in 2013, ending the Cougars’ four-year reign as regional champions.


The Cougars also won a quarterfinal game over the Flyers in 2009.

“Waynflete is always one of the top teams around,” Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson said. “We woill have to play our absolute best to beat them.”

No school outside that “big four” has won Class C South since Hall-Dale in 2005.

— Kalle Oakes

Coming back again

Poland girls’ coach Michael Susi thought his team would take the next step this year, after getting a taste of the tournament last season. That didn’t happen for the Knights, who played in the Class B regional quarterfinals for the second year in a row, losing in that round each time.


The Knights — who regressed from a 10-10 record to an 8-12 mark — are “back to square one,” according to Susi. The eighth seed in the Class B South bracket nearly knocked off No. 1 seed Mountain Valley, but were one-and-done at the Portland Expo yet again.

There is reason for optimism that Poland can take that next step next season. The Knights lose just one senior, guard Sarah Bolduc, and a large sophomore class has two years of tournament experience under its belt.

Those sophomores accounted for 30 of the Knights’ 33 points against Mountain Valley on Tuesday. That total all came from Bolduc’s four fellow starters in the game — Natalie Theriault (14 points), Alexandria Grondin (eight), Jessica Seeley (five) and Morgan Brosseau (three).

Grondin and Seeley sparked a Poland defensive swarm that held Mountain Valley to five points in the third quarter, allowing the Knights to rally. Theriault was the sole Poland scorer through the first 11-plus minutes of the game, and Brosseau provides size down low while also being able to shoot from outside.

Susi said his sophomore class will be “motivated” to take the next step to the semifinals next year.

— Wil Kramlich


Balancing act

Lincoln Academy could have a 1,000-point scorer on its team, but that’s not coach Kevin Feltis’ style. Gray-New Gloucester has six players who have totaled 100 points this season, but just one who has scored 200.

There could be a lot of different names called when the two teams meet in the Class B South girls’ basketball semifinals Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

Skye Conley was the Patriots’ leading scorer this season, averaging around 12 points per game. The junior big was supported by a cast of other capable scorers, though none of whom filled up the score sheet on a regular basis.

Conley had a game-high 18 points in the quarterfinal win over Freeport. Grace Kariotis added 16 in efficient jump-shooting effort. Six other Patriots made baskets, but Isabelle DeTroy and Ashley Jordan made more than one.

Gray-NG coach Mike Andreasen called his team “unbelievably consistent” on the offensive end.


Feltis could say the same for his team. Gabrielle Wajer has the potential to be a career 1,000-point scorer, but Feltis shies away from that in his spread-the-wealth system.

Wajer tied for the team-high in a quarterfinal win over Wells, with just eight points (one field goal, six free throws). Avae Traina equaled that performance, scoring four points each on field goals and foul shots. Like Gray-NG, the Eagles had eight different scorers, with each making at least one basket.

Conley may be the most prolific scorer heading into the semifinal matchup, but she’ll be dealing with a tall Lincoln Academy front court. That means the leading scorer in Thursday’s game is anybody’s guess.

—Wil Kramlich

Promising future for Saints

On the last day of the regular season, Jon Berry reviewed what had to happen for his St. Dom’s girls’ basketball team to miss the tournament. The list was five items long and nearly every one of them happened that evening.


“There were five things that had to happen and four of those five things happened,” said Berry, whose team defeated Lisbon to end the regular season to give them a chance at a tourney berth. “If we had lost at Lisbon, we would have been 15th and looking in.”

Instead, the Saints made the tourney for the 12th year in a row and turned that chance into a wonderful opportunity. Not only did 11th-ranked St. Dom’s win its prelim, stunning sixth-ranked Dirigo, but also gave third-ranked Monmouth a challenge in a Class C South quarterfinal. The Mustangs outscored the Saints 11-4 in the third quarter to open the lead for good, but it was a fine effort for St. Dom’s, which finished the year 10-10.

While Caroline Gastonguay led the team with 13 points against Monmouth and Chloe Dwinell added eight, the Saints got strong performances out of a number of players like Rileigh Stebbins, Hannah Phelan, Abby Castonguay and Allie Veinote, who drilled a pair of 3s in the final quarter and keep things close.

“I ask all the girls to play different roles,” Berry said. “Not everyone can have their name in the paper and not everyone can score all the points. Not everyone can be on the floor, but when I called on somebody, they came in and not just battled but make some really nice plays. I can’t ask for more.”

What was especially enjoyable about the Saints late season surge and postseason performance is the fact that St. Dom’s had no seniors. The Saints will return in full next year with a great experience to build upon.

“We have a lot of building blocks right now,” Berry said. “We’re looking forward to the future. We have some good eighth graders coming up. Our program has been building itself for awhile. It’s fun to have something to look forward to.” 


— Kevin C. Mills


Complete coverage of the high school boys and girls basketball tournaments includes:

  • Updated brackets for all the classes
  • Live updates from the games and arenas
  • Comprehensive game coverage and profiles
  • Photos and videos from the tournaments

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