Some of Eastern Maine’s top schoolboy basketball players will be testing their skills at the national level this summer after contributing to AAU Division I state championship squads.
Among the teams that will represent the state at the nationals are the MBR 17-and-under team and the MBR 16-and-under squad, both coached by Carl Parker of Bangor; and the Penobscot Pirates, a 15-and-under squad coached by Norman Poirier and Jean L’Italien.
The MBR 17-U squad is led by Bangor Daily News first-team All-Maine choice Keegan Hyland, a guard who just completed his junior year at South Portland and is drawing considerable attention from Division I college programs.
He is joined by BDN All-Maine second-teamers Indiana Faithfull, a guard from Cheverus of Portland, and 6-foot-6 forward Dominic Borelli of Westbrook. Both will be seniors in the fall. Others on the squad include Colton Gross of Hermon, Jacob Moore of Hampden Academy, Stefano Mancini of Falmouth, Trevor Tierney of Greely of Cumberland Center and Yusef Iman, Bo Leary and James Philbrook, all of Edward Little of Auburn.
That team will leave July 22 for the Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where it first will compete in a Super Showcase tournament before playing in the AAU junior national championships July 26-Aug. 1.
Two years ago, another MBR 17-U team coached by Parker finished 11th in a field of 153 teams at the Junior Nationals. That team included Notre Dame-bound center Tom Knight of Dirigo of Dixfield, Sam Leclerc of Winthrop, now at Division I Bryant University in Rhode Island, Bangor’s Lee Suvlu, Brandon Tomah of Calais and Derek Libbey of Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln, who spent last winter as a postgraduate at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield and will attend Rhode Island College in the fall.
Parker’s MBR 16-and-under team features many of the players expected to stand out at the high school varsity level in the next two years, among them Zach Blodgett of Bangor, Ray Bessette of Brewer and Cameron Shorey of Calais, who is on the comeback trail after missing the 2008-09 high school campaign because of a knee injury suffered during football.
Also on the roster are Tyler Alexander of Bangor Christian, Justin Brier of Brewer, Ryan Cavanaugh of Calais, Devin Delaite of Mattanawcook Academy, Taylor Gross of Hermon, Bo Leary of Edward Little, Mike McCann of Winslow, Christian McCue of Hampden Academy, Nathan Thistle of Skowhegan and Brandon Thayer and Tristan Thomas of Bangor.
The 16-U state champs will leave July 24 for their national tournament, scheduled to begin the next day and run through July 30, also at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
The Penobscot Pirates earned their trip to the 15-and-under national championships July 11-16 at Clarksville, Tenn., by going undefeated in five state tournament games with an average victory margin of 24 points.
Members of the squad are Nick L’Italien, Ryan O’Hara and Chase Vicaire, all of Lincoln; John Pond, Logan Poirier and Chad Worster, all of the Hampden/Winterport area; Nick Sherwood, Christian Corneil and Josiah Hartley, all of Bangor; Yuhi Sasaki of Brewer and Jalen Lincoln of Damariscotta.
That team is raising funds to help defray the cost of attending the national tournament, and anyone seeking to contribute may contact Norman Poirier at 223-5211.