The 2010 Eastern Maine schoolboy basketball tournament was filled with moments to remember.
Many of those moments stemmed from the play of Yusef Iman of Edward Little of Auburn, Tyler McFarland of Camden Hills of Rockport, Ben Teer of Washington Academy of East Machias and Brandon Theriault of Schenck of East Millinocket, this year’s recipients of the William C. Warner Most Valuable Player Award.
The Warner Award, established in 1994 in memory of a former Bangor Daily News sports editor and reporter, and BDN Eastern Maine all-tournament teams were selected by a vote of media, tournament personnel and representatives of the Maine Principals’ Association.
McFarland, a junior center for the two-time reigning Eastern B champion Windjammers, joins an exclusive club as a two-time Warner Award recipient.
Others so honored during the award’s 17-year history were Sam Henderson of Hodgdon (1995-96), Ralph Mims of Brunswick (2002 and 2004), Josh Madden of Bangor Christian and Calvary Chapel (2003 and 2004), Jordan Cook of Hampden Academy (2005-06), Andrew York of Central Aroostook of Mars Hills (2005-06), Brandon Tomah of Calais (2006-07), and Ryan Martin of Maranacook of Readfield (2006 and 2008).
Iman was the leading scorer in the Eastern A tournament while leading the Red Eddies to their second straight title.
He also had a flare for the dramatic, hitting the game-winning 3-pointer in overtime against Bangor in the semifinals, then making three late free throws in a four-point win over Brewer in the final.
Iman is joined on the Eastern A all-tourney team by teammate James Philbrook, Dom Drake and Ray Bessette of Brewer, and Clark Noonan of Bangor.
Drake and Bessette used their quickness to create scoring opportunities for themselves and their teammates, and sparking an aggressive defense that rallied Brewer from double-digit deficits in both their semifinal win over Hampden Academy and in the final against Edward Little.
Bessette led Brewer in scoring, with a single-game high of 21 points against Hampden Academy. Drake scored a team-high 16 points in the final while averaging more than five steals per outing during the tourney.
Philbrook, the 2009 Eastern A tourney MVP, played a key role in returning Edward Little to championship status with unselfish play that was epitomized by his work in the title game, when he had nine points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. He also scored 15 points in the semifinal win over Bangor.
Noonan was a consistent inside force for Bangor throughout the regular season, and that continued into postseason play. The first-year starter for the Rams had 16 points and nine rebounds in Bangor’s quarterfinal win over Cony of Augusta, and followed that with 12 points and nine rebounds in the semifinals against Edward Little
McFarland was a dominant inside presence during Camden Hills’ title run, but he also displayed his versatility.
In addition to leading the Windjammers in scoring, the 6-6 junior averaged 10.3 rebounds and four blocked shots per outing and made 11 of 12 free throws. McFarland also showed off his perimeter defense by limiting leading tournament scorer Ryan Petros of Ellsworth to nine points in the final.
Joining McFarland on the Eastern B all-tourney team are Camden Hills teammate Keegan Pieri, Petros, Alex MacKenzie of Medomak Valley of Waldoboro and Mike Cochrane of Mount View of Thorndike.
Pieri was a capable frontcourt complement to McFarland with his ballhandling skills, perimeter shooting touch and defensive ability. He scored 15 points in a semifinal victory over Medomak Valley.
Petros averaged 23 points per game while leading Ellsworth to the regional final, including 33 points in an overtime quarterfinal victory over Rockland.
MacKenzie provided a solid Medomak Valley with remarkably consistent statistics on its way to the semifinals. He had 15 points and eight rebounds in a quarterfinal win over Presque Isle, and 14 points and eight rebounds in a semifinal loss to Camden Hills.
Cochrane helped Mount View earn a trip to the semifinals with a big quarterfinal effort in which he scored eight of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter of a hard-fought victory over Old Town.
Though not the tallest player on the court, the 5-foot-8 Teer played the biggest of roles in leading Washington Academy to its first EM title since 1998.
On offense he shot with accuracy from 3-point range in, or he penetrated defenses with the dribble or bullet-like passes. On defense his perimeter pressure set the tone for a WA team that thrived on converting turnovers into fast-break offense.
Teer averaged 15.7 points, six assists and five steals per game as the Raiders ended Calais’ four-year hold on the regional crown.
Also named to the Eastern C all-tourney team were WA teammates Noah Von Rotz and Bryce Colbeth, Cam Shorey of Calais and Josiah Richard of Foxcroft Academy.
Shorey nearly willed Calais to another title, averaging a Class C tourney best 22.7 points per game on 28 of 47 shooting from the field along with 11 rebounds per contest. The 6-5 junior had 26 points and 12 rebounds in the EM final.
Von Rotz earned all-tournament honors for the second straight year with an offensive game that ranged from 3-point shots to slam dunks. He scored 21 points in the quarterfinals, then had 19 points and five assists in the semifinals.
Colbeth, an honorable mention choice last year, saved his best game for last, with 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals in the regional final. Colbeth also had 10 rebounds in the semifinals.
Richard led Foxcroft Academy to a semifinal berth in its return to Class C. His two free throws with 2.8 seconds left in the quarterfinals gave the Ponies a two-point win over Stearns of Millinocket. He followed that with 18 points, five rebounds and three steals in a semifinal loss to Washington Academy.
Theriault led Schenck to its first Eastern Maine title in 16 years, largely by breaking down defenses by dribbling into the lane and then either finding teammates for high-percentage shots or taking his own shots.
The junior guard had 18 points and nine assists in the Wolverines’ quarterfinal victory over Greater Houlton Christian Academy, then scored a game-high 19 points as Schenck defeated Fort Fairfield in the regional final.
Also on the Eastern D all-tournament team are Travis Noyes and John McNamee of Fort Fairfield, Jared Waite of Schenck and Justin Alley of Jonesport-Beals.
Noyes fought off an ankle injury suffered just before the tournament to lead the Tigers to the final. His two free throws with 13.3 seconds left in the semifinals gave Fort Fairfield a one-point win over Shead of Eastport, and he had 16 points and 12 rebounds in the final against Schenck.
McNamee gave Fort Fairfield a low-post presence few rivals in Eastern D could match. He opened tournament play with 30 points and 18 rebounds in the quarterfinals and averaged 12.7 rebounds in three games.
Despite being just 6-1, Waite was strongest near the basket for Schenck. He recorded double figures in scoring and rebounding in each of his team’s first two tournament games.
The 6-foot-6 Alley averaged 13.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in two games while leading the Royals to the semifinals after a three-year tournament absence.