BANGOR — Tyler McFarland achieved nearly every team goal he sought as a four-year basketball standout at Camden Hills of Rockport — two state titles, three Eastern Maine Class B championships and an 83-5 overall record.
The 6-foot-6 center achieved the state’s top individual high school honor Friday night, being named Maine’s 2011 Mr. Basketball during the Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star banquet at Newman Gymnasium on the campus of Husson University.
McFarland shared the evening’s top honor with Deering of Portland standout Kayla Burchill, who was named Miss Basketball though she was unable to attend the banquet due to illness.
McFarland averaged 24.6 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game during the regular season this winter, then went on to lead unbeaten Camden Hills to its third straight regional title and second state championship in three years, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds during a 68-59 win over Cape Elizabeth in the final.
McFarland already is a two-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine honoree as well as a two-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B player of the year, and last month he became the first-ever three-time Eastern B tournament most valuable player.
“It was definitely a goal of mine,” said McFarland of the Mr. Basketball award. “As a player you need goals to motivate you, and most of those things come from the losses or from competing for championships as a team. But there are also some things you need to strive for as an individual to keep yourself on task in games and on the practice court, so this was a goal of mine right along.
“Every since I was young I could envision myself as being a Mr. Basketball, and now that it’s come true it’s pretty unreal. It’s awesome.”
McFarland, who plans to continue his basketball career at prep school in the fall, becomes the first Camden Hills player to earn the Mr. Basketball award since its inception in 1988.
“I’m going to miss this kid,” said Camden Hills coach Jeff Hart. “Everything that’s said about him and what he does on and off the court, you can’t say it enough. He’s what this award is all about.”
McFarland was one of three finalists — all from Eastern Maine — for the Mr. Basketball award, which along with the Miss Basketball award recognizes performances on and off the court as well as players’ contributions to their team and basketball in Maine.
Other Mr. Basketball finalists were Graham Safford of Hampden Academy and Bo Leary of Edward Little of Auburn.
Burchill, a 6-foot-0 guard, led Deering to the No. 1 seed in Western Maine Class A Heal point ratings this winter and a berth in the regional final each of the last four years. A two-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine first-team choice, she led the Southwestern Maine Activities Association this year with a scoring average of 22.6 points per game to go with 9.3 rebounds per contest and was named that conference’s player of the year.
“I think she’s the best player the SMAA’s had since [Sarah] Marshall went to Boston College [after graduating from McAuley of Portland in 2003],” said Deering coach MIke Murphy. “She can flat-out score with anyone, and she really changed her game this year by grabbing nine or 10 rebounds every night.”
Burchill, the first Deering girls player to be named Miss Basketball, will play next winter at the University of Vermont.
“I think she’s going to have a great college career,” said Murphy. “She’ll step right in at Vermont and play the same type of game she played here out on the wing. She can shoot from well beyond the arc, and she’s also just a solid person and a pleasure to coach.”
Other finalists for Miss Basketball — all from Western Maine — were Nicole Taylor of York and Rebecca Knight of McAuley.
Among other awards presented Friday night, longtime Gorham athletic administrator Gerry Durgin, a former coach at Telstar of Bethel and Fryeburg Academy and currently the director of the Western A-B tournament, received the Bob Brown Contributor Award, while Jeff Schools and Matt Boutwell of the Maine Sports Network were presented the Ron Brown Media Award.
Maine McDonald’s weekend activities continue at Husson on Saturday, beginning with the state free-throw shooting finals at 8:30 a.m., followed by the boys Classes C-D game at 9:15, a slam dunk competition at 10:30 and the boys A-B game at 11.
The girls A-B game is set for 1:15 p.m., followed by a 3-point shooting contest at 2:30 and the girls C-D game at 3.