From the first time Jordyn Reynolds worked out with the Central Maine Community College women’s basketball team she had high hopes for her collegiate basketball career.

CMCC’s Jordyn Reynolds passes to her sister Brooke during the first half of a 2017 game in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo Buy this Photo

Things worked out nicely.

On Thursday, Reynolds was one of 12 former Mustangs to be named to the CMCC women’s basketball all-decade team that spans 2010-2020.

“I can remember going to my first summer lift session at CMCC and seeing the plaque with all the names that made the all-decade team before, and always thought how amazing it would be to get that accomplishment,” Reynolds said.

The former Edward Little High School star is joined on the team by both her older sister, Brooke, and three other members of the Mustangs’ 2017 recruiting class — Alex Bessey, Kristen Huntress and Natalie Thurber.

“It’s definitely special to share this with my sister,” Brooke Reynolds said. “Not very many people can say they played college basketball with their sister, and have been on such a successful team like our years at CM. Being on the all-decade team is an added bonus. All of my former teammates receiving this award is very well-deserved. The special part is, there’s still five more that could probably be on this list. That shows the depth we’ve had over the years.”

The Central Maine CC women’s basketball all-decade unveiling is the first of six over the coming weeks. Dave Gonyea, the school’s athletic director, worked with each program’s current and former coaches to decide with players to include.

“It was very difficult to choose the all-decade team for women’s basketball because of the amount of success the program has seen over the last 10 years,” current Mustangs head coach Andrew Morong said. “Identifying the best of the best is not as easy as it seems. Some players left lasting impacts on the program, and school, in different ways — most of which do not show up in any box scores.”

Morong used Huntress, whose career spanned from 2017-20, as a prime example of a player whose impact went beyond statistics.

Kristen Huntress, left, and Natalie Thurber were members of CMCC’s 2017 recruiting class that included two other all-decade honorees, Alex Bessey and Jordyn Reynolds. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file photo

“Kristen Huntress never received an all-conference selection, which is borderline criminal, however, her unwavering leadership during the 2019-20 season was one of the main reasons that team was successful,” Morong said.

Despite being left out of the Yankee Small College Conference honors, Huntress was twice named to the USCAA National Tournament All-Tournament Team.

Morong, in a news release announcing the all-decade team, noted that each of the 12 members were part of YSCC regular season and tournament championship teams.

The most senior member of the decade’s dozen is Kayla (Ellis) Maggy, who played from 2009-12. Morong said Maggy is “the most relentless defender on this list, and someone who always led by example. She just didn’t stop!”

CMCC’s Danielle McCusker looks for a team mate to pass to past the defenses of UMA’s Katie Porier in the first half of a 2010 game. Sun Journal file photo

Danielle McCusker (2010-13) and Gabby Foy (2013-15) “could just flat-out score,” said Morong, who took over the program from Mike Bridges starting in with the 2011-12 season.

A freshman from Morong’s first season who made the all-decade team, former Oak Hill standout Maggie Sabine, put the Mustangs on the map, according to Morong, as far as sending players to the next level of collegiate basketball. After CMCC, Sabine received a full scholarship to Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, where she started every game during her Purple Knights career.

Foy and Laura (Soohey) Murphy also received scholarships following their CMCC careers, both to Rochester (Michigan) University in the NAIA.

“To share this honor with Laura Soohey … man, it makes me want to cry,” Foy, a former Mt. Blue standout, said. “(At Rochester we) really went through some stuff together. She’s family.”

Foy said that taking a chance at CMCC helped open doors for other top Maine players to join the program.

“The stigma of the community college system in 2013 was not what it is today. It felt looked down upon, and a second option,” she said. “I loved that. I loved that CMCC said come here, and prove to all those coaches why they were wrong not to grab you.”

CMCC’s Susie French pushes against NHTI’s Jordan Phinney as she jockeys for a better position to shoot the ball in Auburn in 2012. Sun Journal file photo

Another of Foy’s CMCC teammates named to the all-decade team, Susie French (2012-14), helped push her to get better.

“Playing with Susie was the most fun I ever have had playing basketball. For the first time, I was playing with someone who was better than me,” Foy said.

Morong called French and Brooke Reynolds (2016-19) “two of the most decorated women’s college basketball players in the history of our state.”

“Both Susie and Brooke were multiple USCAA First Team All-American selections, scored 1,000 points, broke program records, etc. Even though I was there, I was shocked when I looked at the list of things these two accomplished,” Morong said.

Another member of the all-decade team, former Lewiston standout Kristina Blais (2016-18), is now one of Morong’s assistant coaches.

“Everyone on that list was completely bought in (and still is) to our program,” Blais said. “They showed up every day to work and compete, exceeded in the classroom, and completely embodied what it means to be a CM Lady Mustang.”

The list includes five 1,000-point scorers (Sabine, Brooke Reynolds, French, McCusker, Foy) and six members of national championship teams — the Mustangs have participated in each of the past four national finals and the 2014 team also made it to the national championship game.

 

Central Maine Community College’s Kristina Blais, left, and Brooke Reynolds defend as UMaine-Augusta’s Emily Billings, middle, grabs the ball before it goes out of bounds during a game in Augusta in 2017. Kennebec Journal file photo Buy this Photo

“This definitely is an honor to be selected on this team with all the talent that has come through CM in the last 10 years,” said Bessey, a former Spruce Mountain standout who now plays at UMaine-Farmington. “I loved everything about the program at CM and playing for coach Morong.”

For Jordyn Reynolds, the all-decade honor is just the icing on top of a special CMCC experience.

“Playing college basketball with my sister was a great experience as it is, and to make the all-decade team with her is something I will never forget. Making this team with girls I grew up playing with as well as getting the chance to continue playing with in college is such a unique experience,” she said. “I started my basketball career with them and finished with them and I don’t think it gets much better than that.”

THE ALL-DECADE PROJECT

Thursday’s announcement of the Central Maine Community College women’s basketball all-decade team was the first in what will be a series of unveilings of six all-decade teams. The honorees of each team have been decided, and each Thursday a new one will be announced: Men’s basketball (Feb. 4), baseball (Feb. 11), softball (Feb. 18), women’s soccer (Feb. 25), men’s soccer (March 5). Only the programs that were active during the entire decade will be honored with all-decade teams.

Central Maine Community College’s Laura Soohey drives to the basket past Southern Maine Community College’s Alicia Hoyt during a 2014 game in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo Buy this Photo

Gonyea said the announcement of the women’s basketball all-decade team has attracted a large audience on social media.

“We’re in a time in COVID that we need things to hang on to and look back on and be proud of, and recognize and celebrating those kinds of things, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Gonyea said.

“One of the cliches I’ve always used is, ‘To understand where you’re going, you have to understand where you’ve been,'” Gonyea added. “And we’ve always acknowledged the past here, always acknowledged the alumni, and this is one way to celebrate their commitment and their contribution to the college.”

Gonyea said the all-decade project is part of a larger project that the athletic department has been working on: attempting to track the history of CMCC athletics from 1994 to the present day and put it on the school’s athletics website.

“Every game, every player, every score, every stat we can find,” Gonyea said. “So I’ve been doing a lot of research on websites, on our old website, through the Sun Journal, through photos people send me, of trying to relive the history of the athletic program at the college.”

Central Maine Community College standout Gabby Foy in 2014. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file photo

Central Maine Community College’s Natalie Thurber, left, and Bryant & Stratton College’s Kiara Sweeney battle for a rebound during a November 2019 game in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

CMCC’s Jordyn Reynolds hauls in an offensive rebound in front of UMFK’s Ivette Trujillo during the first half of a 2019 game in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

Central Maine Community College’s Brooke Reynolds, left, drives around UMA’s Caitlin LaFountain during their game in Augusta in 2017. Kennebec Journal file photo

Central Maine Community College’s Natalie Thurber, front, and UMaine-Augusta’s Emily Billings scramble for a ball during their game in Augusta in 2017. Kennebec Journal file photo


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