BANGOR, Maine — Cordelia Stewart of Bangor High School, Chandler Guerrette of Presque Isle, Maddy McVicar of Calais and Carmen Bragg of Washburn have two things in common after the conclusion of the Eastern Maine girls basketball tournament on Saturday.
They led their teams to EM championships and they each were named an Owen Osborne MVP in their respective classes on the Bangor Daily News East All-Tournament squads for their play during the event.
The BDN selected the all-tourney teams with input from school administrators, media representatives, former coaches, Maine Principals’ Association officials and other dedicated observers.
The MVP award was established in 1994 in memory of Osborne, a former BDN sports reporter and editor. Five players were selected to the all-tourney team for each class.
IN CLASS A, Stewart and all-tourney teammate Mary Butler formed an interior defensive pairing for Bangor that no tournament foe could penetrate consistently as second-seeded Bangor won each of its three games at the Augusta Civic Center by double digits to earn its first regional title in 31 years.
Stewart averaged 10 rebounds during the EM tournament while Butler averaged 10.7 rebounds during those three games, and both were among the leading shot blockers as the back line of a Bangor defense that limited its foes largely to perimeter shooting.
Stewart’s tourney week was highlighted by a 19-point, 13-rebound performance during Bangor’s 57-43 championship game victory over No. 9 Cony of Augusta, while Butler’s 16-point, 13-rebound effort was pivotal to the Rams’ 61-48 quarterfinal victory over No. 7 Skowhegan.
Denae Johnson, the third member of Bangor’s all-tournament trio, provided the speed and quickness to complement the Rams’ inside size.
Johnson stepped up in the semifinals when Stewart and Butler were saddled with foul trouble, amassing 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals to help Bangor hold off No. 3 Mount Ararat of Topsham 56-44. That effort included two straight fearless drives to the basket against taller players after Mount Ararat had closed to within two points early in the fourth quarter.
Johnson followed that performance with 10 points and a team-high 14 points in the EM final.
Mallory Nelson of Mount Ararat of Topsham used her finesse around the basket and her accuracy at the free-throw line to emerge as the tournament’s top scorer. She followed up a 22-point quarterfinal effort against No. 6 Oxford Hills of South Paris with 24 points and eight rebounds in the Eagles’ semifinal loss to Bangor — and Nelson went a perfect 12-of-12 from the line in each game.
Josie Lee, the only returning starter from Cony’s 2012 EM championship team, led the Rams on a four-game postseason run that began with a prelim win at Brewer and lasted until they fell to Bangor in the title game.
Lee had 16 points and 18 rebounds in Cony’s quarterfinal upset of top-ranked Edward Little of Auburn, then scored 21 points during a semifinal victory over No. 4 Lawrence of Fairfield.
IN CLASS B, Chandler Guerrette won her second straight Osborne Award after leading the undefeated Wildcats back to the state game, where they are the defending champions. The senior point guard scored in double figures each of the three games at the Bangor Auditorium while also directing the offense.
Guerrette’s speed and quickness in driving to the basket, plus the occasional outside shot, means defenders can’t rest for a moment. And she often creates points with her defensive play, stealing opponents’ passes and outracing them to the other end for layups.
Megan Ireland of Presque Isle is a good complement to Guerrette as she does more outside shooting, especially 3-pointers, and she can play point. Ireland was 10-for-19 on 3s in the tourney.
Jordan Knowlton of Camden Hills of Rockport posted a pair of strong games for the No. 7 Windjammers, including 21 in a quarterfinal upset of No. 2 Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston. She then scored 29 points in a semifinal loss to No. 3 Nokomis.
Hannah Shaw led Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor with a 14-point effort in the quarterfinal win over No. 13 Winslow before coming up against the Wildcats in the semis.
Anna Mackenzie sparked the offense for Nokomis of Newport, which won its first two games before facing Presque Isle in the EM final. Mackenzie scored in double figures in each game, led by the 14 she scored against Presque Isle in the regional final.
In Class C, Maddy McVicar was a unanimous MVP choice after her whirlwind performances.
Much like Guerrette, McVicar is a slashing point guard and tenacious defender. She posted double-figure scoring in every game for the undefeated and top-seeded Blue Devils, including a team-high 15 against No. 3 Orono in the final.
Her quick hands on defense were best seen while she covered the Red Riots trying to inbound the ball in the first quarter of the final, just left of the Calais basket. As the ball was fired in, McVicar snagged the pass and made the easy layup.
Taylor Blood led Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln into the semifinals and nearly led the Lynx’s upset of the Blue Devils before Calais tipped MA 46-45 in overtime. Blood scored 14 points in that game.
Meagan Cavanaugh was the 3-point shooter for Calais, making three of them in the final while scoring 14 points as the Blue Devils held off Orono.
Jillian Woodward, the Red Riots’ center and lone senior, used her spin move on the low blocks to help her score 15 points in the final against Calais. The 6-foot center also scored 16 points in the No. 3 Riots’ quarterfinal win over Piscataquis of Guilford.
Kelli Kennedy of Narraguagus of Harrington only played one game, but the freshman guard’s 24 points spearheaded a game No. 8 Knights team that fell to Calais by only one point.
In Class D, the only close contest involving Washburn was the Osborne Award selection of Carmen Bragg over Mackenzie Worcester, last year’s winner. Both were key elements for the undefeated Beavers, who will be trying to win their third straight state title.
Bragg upped her scoring each game, posting 19 in the final against Schenck of East Millinocket.
Worcester was also a scoring machine, especially in the semifinal against Machias when she scored 32 points, and was in double figures all three games.
Junior Kristin Thompson of Schenck paced the Wolverines’ scoring, and senior Morgan Thompson, her cousin who also made the all-tourney team, picked up the scoring in the semis when Kristin Thompson had an off day.
Kristin Thompson scored 24 in the quarters and 16 in the final, while Morgan Thompson had 22 in the semis.
Mariah Wiley led Hodgdon in its two games, scoring 19 in the quarterfinal win over Van Buren and 17 in the semifinals against Schenck.