The awards keep coming for Camden Hills of Rockport basketball star Tyler McFarland.
Less than a week after being named Maine’s 2011 Mr. Basketball, the 6-foot-6 senior claimed the other top individual prize in the state Thursday — recognition as the Gatorade Maine Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
McFarland is the first Camden Hills boys basketball player to win the Gatorade award, which recognizes athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.
“The thing that distinguishes Tyler is his intense desire to not only be the best player he can be, but how much he enjoys helping his teammates become the best players they can be,” said Camden Hills coach Jeff Hart. “He will do whatever it takes for his team to win. If we need him to score 40, then he’ll score 45. If we need 20 rebounds, he’ll go get 25. He wants to be a role model for all the young people not only in our community, but wherever he ends up going to college.
“Tyler is the most impressive young man I have ever met in 29 years of coaching here at Camden Hills High.”
McFarland led the Windjammers to a undefeated record and the Class B state championship this winter, an effort capped off by a 24-point, 11-rebound performance in Camden Hills’ 68-59 victory over Cape Elizabeth in the state final.
For the season, he averaged 24.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 2.0 assists and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 55 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free-throw line.
A two-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B player of the year, he also led Camden Hills to the 2009 Class B state and three straight Eastern Maine Class B championships. He also became the first player to be named most valuable player of any Eastern Maine tournament for three consecutive years.
Off the court, McFarland has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and serves as a member of Camden Hills’ student and captains’ councils. The recipient of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership and Maine Principals Association’s awards for outstanding citizenship, he also has donated his time as part of his school’s peer-mentoring program and as a youth basketball instructor.
McFarland will be back in action Sunday when he participates in the third annual New England Public School All-Star Challenge at Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass.
He was the only Mainer selected for this year’s game, which features the best public high school senior players from throughout New England.
McFarland is expected to attend prep school this fall.
Harbor House tourney set
Seventy-three high school and junior high basketball teams are scheduled to converge on Mount Desert Island, Trenton and Ellsworth beginning Friday for the three-day Great Harbor House Shootout tournament.
Games begin Friday afternoon at the following locations: high school boys, MDI YMCA in Bar Harbor, MDI Elementary School in Northeast Harbor; high school girls, Trenton Elementary School and Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor; junior high boys and girls, Ellsworth Middle School.
The championship games are scheduled for Pemetic Elementary School on Sunday, with the junior high girls final at 3 p.m., the junior high boys at 4:30, the high school girls at 6 and the high school boys at 7:30.
Tickets are $5 per person per location per day and $3 for students and seniors, but event organizers recommend purchasing a weekend pass that allows fans to enter any game location throughout the tournament. Weekend passes are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.
Palmer to leave Gardiner posts
Jim Palmer, who has coached the Gardiner baseball team for the last 10 years and the school’s football team for the last three seasons, will leave those posts this summer to become athletic administrator at Oak Hill of Sabattus.
Palmer currently is the adult education director at Oak Hill, and that job and the athletic administrator’s post will be combined as of July 1. He will replace Bill Fairchild, who is retiring after 35 years at Oak Hill, including the last five years as the school’s full-time athletic administrator.
Palmer, who guided the Gardiner baseball team to the 2008 Class B state championship and a second straight Eastern B title in 2009, will coach the Tigers this spring.
In football, he led Gardiner to the Eastern B championship game each of the past two years.