BANGOR, Maine — Forty different Maine high schools have had a player named either Mr. or Miss Basketball since Tim Scott of Ellsworth and Julie Bradstreet of Central Aroostook of Mars Hill won the inaugural awards in 1988.
When the 2014 recipients are announced Friday night, Hampden Academy or Catherine McAuley High School may add to the list of recipients from their schools.
Or Bonny Eagle of Standish, Van Buren or Lake Region of Naples could join the roster of schools having fielded a recipient of the state’s top individual basketball honor for the first time.
Mr. Basketball finalists are Hampden teammates Isaiah Bess and Zach Gilpin of Hampden Academy and Dustin Cole of Bonny Eagle, while Tiana-Jo Carter of Lake Region, Allie Clement of McAuley and Parise Rossignol of Van Buren are the remaining candidates for Miss Basketball.
Should Bess or Gilpin be named Mr. Basketball, he would join 2012 winner Christian McCue as a recipient from Hampden. Should Clement be crowned Miss Basketball, she would follow previous McAuley standouts Ashley Cimino (2007) and Alexa Coulombe (2012) in winning the award.
According to the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches, the awards are presented each year to the senior players who have “exhibited outstanding skills throughout his/her career, has made a significant impact on his/her team, has demonstrated respect for the game through leadership on and off the court, has epitomized the values of sportsmanship and has been a positive school and community citizen.”
Cony of Augusta and Deering of Portland are the only schools statewide with three recipients of either of the awards.
Cony has had three Miss Basketball recipients: Amy Vachon (1996), Katie Rollins (2005) and Rachael Mack (2008), while Deering had back-to-back Mr. Basketball recipients in Jamaal Caterina (2001) and Nik Caner-Medley (2002) and a Miss Basketball recipient in Kayla Burchill (2011).
Cony, Deering and McAuley are among five schools to have had multiple recipients of the same award. Portland and Falmouth each have had two Mr. Basketball winners, Portland with Robert Pillsbury (1999) and Tyler Emmons (2005) and Falmouth with Mike Mastropaolo (1997) and Bryant Barr (2006).
Deering is one of seven schools to have had both a Mr. and Miss Basketball winner. The Rams are joined by Mt. Blue of Farmington (Mike Adams in 1990 and Heather Ernest in 2000), Bangor (Rita Sullivan in 1991 and Zak Ray in 2003), Sanford (Keith Gendron in 1992 and Kayla Parker in 2006), Old Town (Matt Arsenault in 1993 and Andrea Pardilla in 1998), Edward Little of Auburn (Val Brown in 1992 and Troy Barnies in 2007), and Greely of Cumberland Center (Austin Ganly in 1998 and Morgan DiPietro in 2001).
This year’s recipients will be announced at the end of the Maine McDonald’s High School Senior All-Star Awards Banquet to be held at the Cross Insurance Center.
Gilpin, a 6-foot-5 forward, led Hampden Academy to three straight Eastern Maine Class A championships as well as the 2013 state title.
Bess, a 6-4 wing, sparked Penquis Valley of Milo to the 2013 Class C state crown before transferring to Hampden this year and helping the Broncos win another Eastern A championship.
Cole, a 5-9 guard, became Bonny Eagle’s career scoring leader this season and led the Scots to four consecutive Western A title-game appearances.
Clement, a 5-8 guard, helped McAuley win four Class A state championships during her varsity career, a run that included a 56-game winning streak.
Carter, a 6-2 center, led Lake Region to three consecutive Western B championships as well as the 2014 state title.
Rossignol, a 5-8 guard, became one of the state’s career scoring leaders during her four varsity seasons at Van Buren and led the Crusaders to this year’s Eastern D final.
All three Miss Basketball finalists are heading to Division I college programs, Clement at Marist College, Carter at the University of Albany and Rossignol at the University of Maine.
Among the Mr. Basketball finalists, Cole and Bess will continue their basketball careers at the Division II level, Cole at Franklin Pierce University and Bess at Stonehill College, while Gilpin is undecided on his college choice.