Autumn Freeman knew she had the ability to be a scorer for the Mountain Valley girls basketball team.

The senior finally realized that potential in the first game of the season, when she poured in 40 points in a 59-38 victory over Boothbay. 

Mountain Valley’s Autumn Freeman, left drives to the basket for a shot during a home game against Winthrop last month. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Fifteen of those points came on five 3-pointers in the first quarter, each one increasingly surprising to Freeman. 

“At the Boothbay game I was more surprised than cocky,” Freeman said. “I was feeling good at first, and so I had the poker face, but then I hit the deep 3 and I was surprised so I broke the poker face. … I definitely think after I hit the deep 3-pointer, you can watch the tape and me and Alana (Young) are just wide-eyed, I just stopped in my steps.

“I was surprised it went in but it felt so good and so natural and I could feel it. I have it in me, I just have to show it.”

Scoring has been a theme for Freeman since the start of her senior year at Mountain Valley High School.


During the field hockey season in the fall, she scored a lot and she scored at important moments for the Falcons, who reached the Class C North semifinals.

In a quarterfinal matchup against Orono, Freeman’s third-quarter goal tied the game, then she scored the game-winner in the second overtime period to advance Mountain Valley to the semifinals.

Freeman, who was named to the Sun Journal’s All-RegionField Hockey Team, scored 28 goals and tallied 15 assists in her senior season. She finished her career with 38 goals and 41 assists.

Mountain Valley’s Autumn Freeman, left, dribbles up the court during a home game against Winthrop on Jan. 20. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal


During her freshman basketball season, Freeman was the the first player off the bench for the Falcons. Then she was a supplementary scorer for two years next to Rylee Sevigny, who graduated in 2021.

Freeman’s confidence has increased throughout the 2021-22 season. Along with her 40-point game, Freeman scored 19, 18 (twice) and 16 in games this season for the Falcons (6-8).


“I felt better about myself with confidence because the past couple years I haven’t been the scorer; I usually get the ball and get the assist,” Freeman said. “This year it feels good to just be myself and show what I have.”

Milledge said that opponents, now that they know Freeman can score, are making adjustments to try to slow her.

Mountain Valley’s Autumn Freeman, left, drives to the basket for a shot during a home game against Winthrop on Jan. 20, 2022. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“Autumn can score, but the difference now is it’s not a secret,” Milledge said. “We’re seeing more box-and-ones this season than in the 10 years I’ve had coaching this program. Teams are keying on her, they don’t want her to beat them. … Underclassmen will need to step up and score because teams aren’t going to give Autumn an inch.”

Freeman has taken time to help those underclassmen expand their skills.

“I helped all the freshmen and JV players do Euro steps,” Freeman said. “They said, ‘How do you do that?’ I said, ‘I’ll teach you.’ They tried them on me and I helped them fix what they did wrong, and then one of them did it in a game and I yelled, ‘I taught them to do that.’

“When I was a freshman I was getting varsity minutes, I was like the sixth man, so I took on the leadership role pretty early. I had to figure it out, and then when they came up we all figured it out together. … I was nervous because soccer and field hockey girls come in and you don’t know each other that well, middle of the year, everyone’s grumpy, so I thought the chemistry wasn’t going to be as good. I love everyone like my siblings, and ‘Family’ is on our back for a reason.”



Freeman has taken on a larger leadership role for the Falcons, along with fellow seniors Alana Young and Emily Richard.

Seniors Alana Young, left, Emily Richard, middle, and Autumn Freeman are leaders for the Mountain Valley girls basketball team. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal

Freeman is the on-court leader, the one who younger players go to with basketball problems. For off-the-court guidance, teammates seek out Young and Richard.

“We did a team bonding activity, they would say something about me that inspires them, then something about Autumn, and they told me they liked my leadership skills,” Young said. “I am like the mom of the group, I take care of my people.”

The senior leaders provided comfort to their teammates after a tough 44-18 loss to Spruce Mountain last month.

“Autumn was just in the locker room after we got beat by 20-something, after we got our butts kicked, and her and the other two seniors were talking about how much they cared about their teammates and how much they were there for them no matter what happens to us,” Milledge said. “That’s way bigger than basketball. As a coach, to have three seniors like that and to know the underclassmen are in their hands when you’re not around is incredibly important and means way more to me than if we win 18 games or five.”

“I think this year we are focused on our character,” Richard added. “Even after losses we are making sure that we are together and that we are one.”

The three seniors have a strong bond on the court. Richard plays soccer in the fall and Young and Freeman play field hockey, but the three have been playing basketball together since middle school.

“I know Alana, she has her pump fakes and I know when she is on,” Freeman said. “I’ve known Alana since I was born, pretty much, and I know Emily well, too. We just all clicked together. On the court, off the court, it’s a good click that we’ve had.”

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