Maine’s top basketball seniors compete in all-star games

By Sam Canfield, Bangor Daily News Staff

BANGOR — The state’s most talented high school seniors took the court at Husson University’s Newman Gymnasium on Saturday, March 9 to face off in the 44th annual Maine McDonald’s All-Star games organized by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches.

Beginning with the Class AA/A/B girls All-Star game, players and fans were treated to six hours of fun, high-quality basketball, in addition to 3-point shooting and slam dunk contests.

After the Southern region won the Class AA/A/B girls All-Star game by a score of 68-58, the Northern region wound up winning the C/D girls game 78-68 and sweeping the Class AA/A/B and C/D boys games 109-95 and and 80-74, respectively.

Dexter Regional High School’s Hannah Dean, Cally Gudroe, and Mazie Peach were members of the girls C/D North team.

In the Class AA/A/B girls game, Emma Lizotte of Thornton Academy (16 points) and Maddie Fitzpatrick of Cheverus (nine points) were named the game’s MVPs, and in the C/D girls game Abigail Haines of Central Aroostook (18 points; three 3-pointers) and Graca Bila of North Yarmouth (14 points) were the MVPs.

“It’s been really nice to hang out with them today,” Fitzpatrick said of her fellow All-Stars on Friday night. “They’re fun to be around, they’re great people, and are great players.”

Fitzpatrick will be playing for the University of Maine next fall, and was named Miss Maine Basketball at the Anah Shrine on Friday. Chance Mercier of Ellsworth won Mr. Maine Basketball.

In the Class AA/A/B boys game, Zach McLaughlin of Hampden Academy (22 points; four 3-pointers) and Gabe Hagar of Lincoln Academy (15 points) were named the game’s MVPs, and in the C/D boys game Dylan Burpee of Southern Aroostook (23 points) and Sammy Calder of Monmouth Academy (16 points) won the MVP awards.

“It was a great feeling. I’m close with a lot of those guys, on and off the court, and it was good to play with them one last time,” McLaughlin, a Mr. Basketball finalist, said. “Everybody’s having fun, smiling, joking on the court. I saw a couple shots go, and it was just history from there.”

In the free throw shooting contest in the morning, Braiden Welch of Forest Hills won the boys contest by sinking 46 of 50 shots from the stripe, and Hunter Hartsgrove of Katahdin won the girls contest with 45 baskets.

Later in the afternoon, both 3-point shooting contests went to a tiebreaker. In the girls competition, Izzy Allen of Central and Caroline Hartley of Scarborough both made 11 of their 25 shots in the first round, before Allen beat out Hartley 8 to 7 in the finals. In the boys competition, Carter Galley of Oceanside, Finn Harkins of Boothbay and Patrick Dagan of George Stevens each made 14 of their 25 attempts in the first round, before Galley blew them both out with 18 in the finals.

“I just found my rhythm again after sitting for like an hour. They just started falling,” Galley, a Mr. Basketball finalist, said. “It’s [been] awesome. You meet a lot of new people, and they’re a lot of fun to be around.”

Finally, in the slam dunk contest, Evan Ham of Yarmouth beat Mason McDunnah of Schenck, Jalen Reed of Bangor Christian and Sammy Calder of Monmouth.

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