Five of the seven finalists for Miss and Mr. Maine Basketball, announced Monday by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches and local Maine McDonald’s owners and operators, have a lot of basketball pedigree, as they’ve guided their respective teams to a combined total of nine state championships.
The MABC revealed that Scarborough’s Christy Manning, Claire Ramonas of Deering of Portland and Jen Nale of Waterville on the girls’ side and Westbrook’s Dominic Borelli, Stefano Mancini of Falmouth, Indiana Faithfull of Cheverus of Portland and Keegan Hyland of South Portland for the boys are finalists for the state’s highest basketball honor.
The winners will be announced March 12 at the Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star Awards Banquet at Husson University in Bangor.
The banquet begins at 7:15 p.m. while the All-Star games are the following day, starting at 9:15 a.m.
The award recognizes players’ efforts on the court, along with contributions to their team and basketball in the state of Maine.
Manning was one of the driving forces in Scarborough’s run to an unblemished 22-0 season and the first state championship in program history.
She helped lead a balanced attack for coach Jim Seavey’s club with 12 points Saturday in a 52-32 win over Eastern Maine champion Skowhegan at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland.
Manning, the daughter of former Westbrook High and Old Dominion University star Lisa Blais, averaged 9.8 points per game during postseason play, and will attend the College of the Holy Cross next fall on a track and field scholarship.
Nale, a key part of Waterville’s three straight state championships from 2007-2009, was the main offensive weapon for a Panthers team that lost 2009 Miss Maine Basketball winner Morgan Frame and other offensive weapons to graduation.
A focal point for opposing defenses throughout the season, Nale still led coach Ted Rioux’s club back to the Eastern Maine Class B quarterfinals, where Waterville fell to Presque Isle.
Nale, who will stay home to play for Colby College next year, averaged 20 points in two postseason games.
Ramonas led Deering into the regional finals, where the Rams fell to Scarborough.
She averaged a solid seven points over three tournament contests for coach Mike Murphy’s club, with her best effort being a nine-point output in the Western Maine final.
Mancini powered Falmouth to its first state championship since 1999, when the Yachtsmen played in Class C, despite battling foul trouble in the state final against Camden Hills.
The guard played most of the second half of coach Dave Halligan’s club’s 72-65 overtime victory over the reigning Class B state champs with four fouls, but poured in 27 points and gave his team the lead for good in OT with a driving layup.
Mancini averaged an 25.7 points over four playoff games.
Faithfull led Cheverus to its second Class A state crown in three years after what had been a tumultuous end to the regular season.
Faithfull, who moved from Australia his sophomore year, had missed the Stags’ final regular-season games after being ruled ineligible after the Maine Principals’ Association determined that his eligibility had been used up.
A court order allowed him to play, and Faithfull return to the court for the postseason, where he averaged 17.7 ppg while scoring 23 in the state final, a 55-50 win over Edward Little of Auburn.
Hyland had a fine postseason for South Portland despite missing 17 games with a groin injury, averaging 24.5 points in two games while leading the Red Riots to the Western Maine semifinals, where they fell to Westbrook.
Hyland returned for South Portland’s regular-season finale, where it upset eventual state champion Cheverus 53-43.
His best tourney output came in the semifinals, where Hyland put in 32 points.
Borelli, a 6-foot-7 center, who like Hyland was nagged by injury early in the season, powered the Westbrook Blue Blazes into the Western Maine final.
He averaged just under 30 ppg during tournament play while scoring 26 in a 72-66 overtime triumph over South Portland in the semifinals.
Big East All-Star game set
The annual Big East Senior All-Star girls and boys basketball games will take place Saturday at Hermon High School, with the girls playing at 1 p.m., followed by the boys at 3.
The “White” girls’ team, who will be coached by Mount Desert Island’s Brent Barker, is highlighted by BDN All-Tourney first-teamer Megan Phelps of MDI and fellow Trojans Mackenzie Curtis, Jessica Swanson and Sara Carroll.
Other White Team members are Danielle Ross of Hermon, Brittany Doak and Danielle Soucie of Caribou, Ellsworth’s Sarah Stanley and Marissa Johnson and Kara Churchill of Bucksport.
The “Blue” team, to be mentored by Jeff Hudson of Presque Isle, features the Wildcats’ Elizabeth Kofstad and Haley Johnson, Mattanawcook Academy’s Brooke Hanscom and Jessica Fortin, Jordan Myerowitz, Kirsty Moriarty, Mandy Martin and Tori Mason of John Bast and Old Town’s Amy Cossar.
League awards will be distributed between the two contests.