Bios for Maine Basketball Hall of Fame inductees

Posted Aug. 21, 2014, at 6:17 p.m.

PLAYERS

Lisa Blais Manning — She was a four-time All-Maine player at Westbrook High School, leading the Blue Blazes to four consecutive Class A state championships while winning Gatorade Player of the Year honors. She went on to Old Dominion University, where she was a four-year starter who led her school to an NCAA Division I national championship in 1985.

Rachel Bouchard — She was a two-time All-Maine selection from Hall-Dale High School as well as the Gatorade Player of the Year and a Converse All-American in 1987. Bouchard went on to become one the best players in University of Maine history. She was a two-time North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year and was named a Kodak All-American in 1989, 1990 and 1991. Bouchard later played professionally in France.

Brett Brown — He was a two-time All-Maine guard who led South Portland High School to two Western Maine Class A titles and the 1979 state championship. The Converse All-American went on to play under coach Rick Pitino at Boston University, where he was the team’s MVP as a sophomore and went on to captain the Terriers. Brown later was an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, helping the team win three NBA championships. He also served as the Australian Olympic coach in 2012. He is head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Skip Chappelle — He was an All-Maine selection from Old Town High School, Chappelle led his team to a state championship and then moved on to Maine Central Institute for a post-graduate season. He set scoring records at the University of Maine, leading the Yankee Conference in scoring three consecutive years. Drafted by the Boston Celtics, Chappelle returned to Maine and became head coach of the University of Maine.

Danny Coombs — He was an All-Maine selection at Brewer High School in 1960, when he led the Witches to the Class LL state final — a game in which he scored 35 points en route to setting the Class LL record for tournament points with 104. Coombs went to Seton Hall University on a basketball scholarship and played two seasons until he signed a professional baseball contract. He pitched for several years in the major leagues.

Don Crosby — He was an All-Maine, All-New England and Scholastic Magazine All-American at Cony High School of Augusta in 1966 after leading the Rams to the state championship. He went on to play at Boston College where he was part of the 1969 NIT runner-up team. Crosby became an assistant coach at Boston College in 1972 and later was an assistant coach at Acadia University under ex-Cony coach Dick Hunt. They helped Acadia win the 1979 Canadian national championship.

Matt Donahue — He amassed 1,513 career points at Westbrook High School during the pre- 3-point era and was a first team All-Maine player his junior and senior seasons. Donahue set the Westbrook single-game scoring record with 57 points during his senior season. His team lost the 1969 Class LL state final to Caribou on Mike Thurston’s last-second shot. Donahue continued his career at the University ofSouthern Maine, where he averaged more than 25 points per game and set several scoring records.

Brad Moore — He is still the career scoring leader for Hall-Dale High School where his number is retired. Moore was a first-team All-Maine honoree as a senior. He subsequently attended Colby College, where he remains the school’s career rebounding leader and third-leading scorer. Moore was an All-Maine college first-team selection, All-ECAC Division 3 selection and third-team All-American.

Joanne Palombo-McCallie — She was a two-time All-Maine guard and Parade All-American while at Brunswick High School. She went on to play at Northwestern and then joined the coaching ranks. She coached at the University of Maine and Michigan State before taking the job as the women’s basketball head coach at Duke.

Steve Pound — The sharpshooter from Stearns High School of Millinocket set scoring records that still stand 50 years later. Pound was a first-team All-Maine selection his senior season when he regularly scored more than 50 points per game. He went on to play at Acadia University in Nova Scotia and became that school’s career scoring leader while also leading his team to the Canadian National Championship. After college, Pound played a season overseas in England and averaged more than 38 points per game.

Doug Roberts — One of the most versatile basketball players in Maine history, the 6-foot-5-inch Roberts led Rumford High School to the 1974 and 1976 Class A state championships and the 1976 New England Championships. He was first team All—Maine his junior and senior seasons and scored more than 1,400 points career points. Roberts attended Acadia University and was on the school’s 1977 Canadian national championship team. He transferred to Clark University in Massachusetts where he achieved All-New England honors and scored more than 1,000 points.

Jack Scott — To many, Scott is the best schoolboy player ever to come out of Maineas he led the Ellsworth High School teams in the mid-1950s to a state championship and to the New England tournament. Scott earned a scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut, then returned to Maine to finish his playing career at Husson College. After college, Scott remained active in semipro basketball teams that toured in gyms throughout New England.

Joe Harrington — This two-year All-Maine player led Morse High School of Bath to the 1963 Class LL state championship, and the Shipbuilders fell to Stearns of Millinocket in the New England championship game by a single point. Harrington went on to be a four-year starter at the University of Maryland, and he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1967. Harrington then started an illustrious coaching career at Maryland under legendary coach Lefty Driesell before becoming head coach at Hofstra, George Mason, Long Beach State and the University of Colorado.

Matt Hancock — He left a lasting legacy on Maine basketball. The Lake Region High School of Naples star was an All-Maine selection who led the Lakers to the 1985 Class B state championship. He then took his game to another level at Colby College and became a Division III All-American three years in a row. In 1990, he was named NCAA Division III Player of the Year after leading the nation in scoring with an average of 33 points per game. He left Colby as Maine’s all-time collegiate scoring leader.

Jon MacDonald — He was a first-team All-Maine selection three straight years. He also garnered All-New England and Parade All-American status in 1963 as his Stearns High School team defeated Morse of Bath for the New England championship. MacDonald went on to play for four years at the University of Maryland where he captained the team in 1969.

John Mitchell — John “Swisher” Mitchell was one of the best point guards to play inMaine. His Waterville High School teams of the mid-1940s compiled a 70-2 record and won both the Maine and New England championships in 1944. After high school, Mitchell attended the University of Rhode Island where he was an All-Yankee Conference selection for two years and an All-New England and All-Boston Garden honoree his senior year. Mitchell then returned to Waterville and served as Dick Whitmore’s assistant coach at Colby College for nearly 40 years.

COACHES

Bob Brown — He coached for 50 years, including 42 as a head coach during stops in Rockland, Williams High School of Oakland, South Portland, Edward Little of Auburn, Bonny Eagle of Standish, Cheverus of Portland, the University of Southern Maine, Boston University and St. Anselm College. His high school teams won four state titles and seven regional championships, while his college teams made four trips to the NCAA tournament. His 1988-89 USM team reached the Division III Final Four.

George Wentworth — A legend in Maine basketball, this Notre Dame graduate turned Stearns High School into a perennial champion and helped put Maine basketball on the map by winning the 1963 New England championship. Wentworth developed a comprehensive basketball program many years before it became common practice, and as a result, Stearns dominated Maine basketball for more than 20 years until his retirement in the early 1970s.

Richard Whitmore — With more than 635 career victories, Whitmore is the most successful college coach in Maine history. After starting his coaching career at Hall-Dale and Morse high schools, he went on to Colby College, where his teams won 31 CBB championships, three ECAC championships and made three NCAA Division III tournament appearances. He directed the Pine Tree Basketball Clinic for 38 summers, providing guidance to more than 50,000 young players. Whitmore is in demand as a clinician and resource for basketball people beyond Maine. He also is executive director of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

Paul Vachon — This Augusta native coached his Cony of Augusta girls basketball teams to 11 Eastern Maine championships and seven Class A state titles. His teams won 451 games and qualified for postseason play in 23 consecutive seasons. His career coaching winning percentage of 91 percent is one of the highest in the nation. He is a sought-after clinician and director of the Capital City Basketball Clinic in Augusta. Vachon began his varsity coaching career at Messalonskee of Oakland.

CONTRIBUTOR

Bob Butler — He has been involved with Maine basketball for more than 60 years. As the unofficial historian of the game, the longtime former York High School athletic director kept statistics for the Maine Principals’ Association for 41 years and was the point person for compiling the Heal points until they recently became computerized. Butler served as a liaison for coaches and athletic directors with the Maine Principals’ Association and became the primary source people turned to with historical questions regarding Maine basketball. He still updates the Maine Principals’ Association tournament programs with individual and team records.

OFFICIAL

Jim DiFrederico — He began officiating during the 1950s. Players, coaches and fans in the state knew of his knowledge of the game along with the poise and presence that put the Millinocket product in complete control of any situation.

TEAM

1944 Waterville High School Team — Seventy years ago this winter, Waterville High School finished a dream season at 27-0 after winning both the Maine and New England championships. The Purple Panthers were led by the likes of John and Paul Mitchell, Len Saulter, Ted Shiro, and John and Norman Jabar.

LEGENDS of the GAME

Wally Donovan — He coached basketball at Waterville High School for 38 years. The Purple Panthers won 67 consecutive games during one stretch and captured the 1944 New England championship and state titles in 1944, 1945 and 1949. The Waterville High School gymnasium was named after Donovan.

Durwood Heal — He designed the Heal point system in 1947, and it was implemented in Maine in the 1949-50 season in an effort to project placement of teams that too often played weaker schedules to qualify for postseason play. Heal was Bangor High School’s first athletic director, and he was principal at Schenck High School of East Millinocket when he introduced his unique team rating system that remains in use more than 60 years later.

Charlie Wotton — He was Maine’s basketball commissioner, serving in that capacity for 20 years. He was known as “Mr. Basketball” and officiated more than 2,200 games at the high school, college and professional levels.

Tony Tammaro — He was a well-known official for more than 50 years and worked 38 consecutive Eastern Maine tournaments. The popular Tammaro officiated in more than 4,500 games and still officiated in the Washington County area into his 80s. Tammaro also was a legendary boxer in the Woodland-Calais area.

Bill Mansfield — He coached during the 1930s at Winslow High School, where the school’s gymnasium is named in his honor. During an eight-season span leading up to 1938, his teams went 200-14.

William Hanscom — He coached at Presque Isle High School from 1931-56 and compiled a 369-188 record highlighted by the school’s only state title in boysbasketball in 1932. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1927 after playing on the Black Bears men’s basketball team for four years.

Stella McLean — She was instrumental in bringing women’s intercollegiate sports to the state and was a longtime coach at the University of Maine at Farmington. She was a 1950 graduate of New Gloucester High School, where she scored more than 2,000 career points.

Anita Belanger — This forward from Mattawamkeag High School scored 2,209 career points with a stunning average of 55.6 points per game during her career. She graduated in 1955.

Clara Swan — She was a basketball pioneer, coaching the sport at Husson University in Bangor for 19 seasons and compiling a 241-34 record. She taught and coached at Husson for 34 years beginning in 1939.

 

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