Hampden Academy senior forward Zach Gilpin and Bonny Eagle of Standish senior guard Dustin Cole split the state’s top individual awards for the 2013-14 schoolboy basketball season, with Cole named Mr. Basketball and Gilpin selected the Gatorade Maine player of the year.
Now that duo shares standing atop the 59th annual Bangor Daily News All-Maine boys basketball team as selected with input from coaches, administrators, officials and media members from around the state.
Joining Gilpin and Cole on the BDN All-Maine first team are junior forward Kyle Bouchard of Houlton and senior centers Matt Talbot of Portland and Mike McDevitt of Greely of Cumberland Center.
The second team consists of senior forward Isaiah Bess of Hampden Academy, junior forward Jack Simonds of Falmouth, senior center Serge Nyirikamba of Waynflete of Portland and senior guards Jayvon Pitts-Young of Portland and Blake Gordon of Brunswick.
Third-team honorees are sophomore guard Thomas Coyne of Falmouth, senior guards Tyler Thayer of Hermon, Justin Zukowski of Portland and Trevor Lyford of Penquis Valley of Milo and junior forward Chris Hudson of Hodgdon.
Gilpin led Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A scorers while also averaging double figures in rebounding while being named the league’s player of the year as well as first-team All-Maine for the second straight season.
The 6-foot-5 forward also became a two-time Eastern A tournament MVP as well as a Mr. Basketball finalist while leading Hampden to its third straight regional title and a 63-3 record during his three years as a starter.
“Zach’s ability to dribble the ball and post up along with his range make him very tough to guard,” said Hampden coach Russ Bartlett of Gilpin, who is likely to attend prep school options in the fall. “If you put a guard on him he’ll post and if you put a big guy on him he’ll take them away from the hoop to shoot the three or drive by.”
Cole returns to the All-Maine first team for the second straight year after earning second-team honors as a sophomore.
He totaled a Southwestern Maine Activities Association-record 1,812 career points while leading that conference in scoring each of the last two years and in assists each of the last three winters. Cole was a McDonald’s All-American Game nominee and two-time SMAA player of the year who will play at Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, N.H.
“Dustin’s game has grown as he has matured both mentally and physically,” said Bonny Eagle coach Phil Bourassa. “He took on a large leadership role in his later years and as he became much stronger he was able to get wherever he wanted to on the floor.”
Bouchard returns to the BDN All-Maine team for the second straight year after leading Houlton to an undefeated season and its first Class C state championship in a decade.
The Eastern C tourney MVP and All-Penobscot Valley Conference selection was one of the state’s top scorers and assist makers as well as a double-digit rebounder — displaying that versatility with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists during Houlton’s overtime victory over Waynflete in the state final.
“Kyle’s a do-it-all guy,” said Houlton coach Rob Moran. “He’s obviously very talented, but he’s also been a glue guy for us ever since he got here. He has very high expectations for himself, and he holds his teammates accountable.”
Talbot was a difference maker on the interior while leading Portland to an undefeated season and the Class A state crown.
“Matt is very strong inside, but he’s also a capable scorer from the outside, he’s tough to match up against,” said Portland coach Joe Russo. “He’s also a great shot blocker.”
The two-time first-team All-SMAA choice is considering multiple options, including Husson University, Keene State College and prep school.
McDevitt led Greely to the No. 1 seed in the final Western B Heal point ratings and a berth in the regional final.
The Franklin Pierce College-bound McDevitt was a Mr. Basketball semifinalist and first-team Western Maine Conference all-star who finished his career as the Rangers’ leader in rebounds (653) and blocked shots (201) and second-leading scorer (1,060).
“Mike has the ability to play with his back to the basket, face up or on the perimeter, making him a hard matchup for any player or defense,” said Greely coach Travis Seaver. “His passion for the game is contagious for his teammates, and his knowledge of the game challenges coaches.”
Bess, a first-team All-Maine choice in 2013 at Penquis of Milo, played more of a complementary role this winter at Hampden. Bound for Stonehill College, Bess was named first-team All-KVAC as well as a Mr. Basketball finalist, McDonald’s All-American Game nominee and Eastern A all-tournament.
“Isaiah was willing to sacrifice points to be part of our program,” said Bartlett, “and he immediately bought into what we did offensively with his unselfish play.”
Simonds is a second-team All-Maine selection and All-Western Maine Conference choice for the second straight year after averaging double figures in scoring and rebounding as well as ranking among Falmouth’s leaders in assists and shooting accuracy.
“Every time Jack Simonds takes the court, he seems to take his game to a new level,” said Falmouth coach Dave Halligan.
Pitts-Young was perhaps the most versatile of Portland’s three All-Maine honorees, leading the SMAA with 4.8 steals per contest and ranking second on his team in both scoring and rebounds.
“He was our insurance policy,” said Russo of Pitts-Young, a Mr. Basketball semifinalist and first-team All-SMAA choice who is considering Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Salem State and Keene State. “He could work inside and guard big guys or go outside and take on point guards.”
Nyirikamba led Waynflete to the Western C title, then had 24 points and 22 rebounds in the Flyers’ state loss to Houlton. The All-Western Maine Conference first-teamer, Western C tourney MVP and Mr. Basketball semifinalist shot 63 percent from the field.
“Serge has been a great player from a statistical standpoint, but when one is evaluating the impact he has had it really goes beyond the numbers,” said Waynflete coach Rich Henry.
Gordon was first-team All-KVAC Class A for the second straight year, this winter as runner-up to Gilpin for player of the year. The versatile guard led Brunswick to a second-place finish in the final Eastern A Heal points, then was named to the Eastern A all-tourney team. He will attend Bowdoin College.
“Blake was the focal point of our team,” said Brunswick coach Todd Hanson. “He had the unique responsibility of acting as point guard in the backcourt and then transitioning to the two-guard once in our halfcourt offense.”
Coyne helped Falmouth make the transition from Class B to a 17-1 record in Western A this winter by leading the Yachtsmen in scoring — including 22.5 points per game during tournament play. Coyne was a first-team All Western Maine Conference selection.
Thayer willed Hermon to the Eastern B semifinals with 40 points during a quarterfinal upset of top-ranked Oceanside. The four-year varsity player relied more on his midrange game than the 3-point shot while surpassing 1,000 career points The Big East Conference co-player of the year and Eastern B all-tourney selection plans to play at Maine Maritime Academy.
Lyford helped Penquis win the 2013 Class C state title and advance to the regional semifinals in each of his four seasons as a starter. The school’s career boys basketball scoring leader with 1,188 points, he averaged 29 points per game in the Patriots’ two postseason contests this winter and was an All-PVC choice and Mr. Basketball semifinalist.
Zukowski, who shifted from shooting guard to the point as a junior, was among the SMAA leaders in assists and steals this year. The Mr. Basketball semifinalist, first-team All-SMAA selection and Western A tournament MVP plans to play basketball at Bates College.
Hudson worked closer to the basket for Hodgdon this winter after playing more of a perimeter role as a sophomore, and the change enabled him to rank among state’s leading rebounders as well as remain an offensive force. The Eastern D tournament MVP and All-Aroostook honoree also was a vocal leader for coach Robert Smith’s Class D state champs.