Cash McClure, who led Maranacook to an undefeated season and the Central Maine Class A/B championship, was honored Friday as Mr. Maine Basketball. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Cash McClure thanked former Maranacook Community High School boys’ basketball coach Rob Schmidt for taking a chance on him when he was a 5-foot-2 freshman, giving him a spot on the varsity roster. Emily Archibald thanked her older brother, Connor, for putting up so many shots with her in their driveway.

That faith shown in McClure and Archibald was rewarded, and they earned the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches’ highest honors Friday. McClure was named Mr. Maine Basketball, and Archibald, a senior at Kennebunk High, was chosen as Miss Maine Basketball.

For the first time in the 33-year history of the awards, the ceremony was virtual – a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. and Miss Maine Basketball, along with the other awards, were presented via the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine’s YouTube page.

Kennebunk’s Emily Archibald received the Miss Maine Basketball award after an abbreviated season in which she averaged 26 points and 20 rebounds. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald

The Maine Association of Basketball Coaches also announced selections to its AA/A/B North and South and C/D North and South all-star teams, for what would have been the 41st annual Maine McDonald’s High School Senior All-Star games; as well as all-state foul shooters and academic teams, recognizing a total of 111 players.

Parker Desjardins of Forest Hills and Payton Jones of Thornton Academy were also finalists for Mr. Maine Basketball. Greely’s Camille Clement and Portland’s Gemima Motema were finalists for Miss Maine Basketball.

Archibald averaged 26 points and 20 rebounds this season and reached the 1,000-point career milestone. Archibald, who will play college basketball at Providence College, is the second Kennebunk player to win Miss Maine Basketball, joining Allison Booth, who won the award in 1995.

In a Zoom interview with media, Archibald went into more detail about how her brother has influenced her.

“My brother isn’t much of a basketball player. He never played in high school or anything, but he’s a competitor and he’s an athlete. Just playing with him in the yard is so much fun. He’s definitely been a big role model in my life,” Archibald said.

McClure led the Black Bears to the Class B South title in 2020, and with no state tournament this year because of the pandemic, to an undefeated season and the Central Maine championship. McClure averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals per game this season. The second Black Bear to win Mr. Maine Basketball, McClure cited Ryan Martin, who won the honor in 2008, as a huge influence on his game.

Martin was on hand to celebrate with McClure.

“I don’t know if I gave him any pointers, but we used to work out when he was really young. He was one of the hardest workers I was ever able to be around. I think the difference between Cash and a lot of other players isn’t the time he spent in the gym, but the quality time he spent in the gym, too,” Martin said.

McClure, who is planning for a prep year at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, said he takes the responsibility of being a role model to young players seriously.

“The Maranacook basketball community starts really young. I really hope I can be that role model, be in the back of their head when they’re in high school,” McClure said.

The Patrick Thibodeau Spirit of the Game Award went to Motema and teammate Amanda Kabantu, who thrived at Portland High after leaving the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Joshua Titus Spirit of the Game Award went to Nokomis Regional High School senior Donovan Kurt, who fought to return to sports after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in March 2020.

 

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