More and more schoolboy basketball standouts from the Class of 2017 are firming up the next stage of their academic and athletic careers in the aftermath of the recently completed season.
Cameron Allaire, the 6-foot-7 senior center who led Medomak Valley of Waldoboro to an undefeated regular season and the No. 1 seed in Class A North this winter, will continue his studies and playing career at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine next winter.
Allaire averaged 17.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists in leading coach Nick DePatsy’s club to an 18-1 record.
Allaire was named a semifinalist for the state’s Mr. Basketball award, to the All-Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A first team and to the Maine McDonald’s Classes AA-A-B North senior all-star team.
Allaire will join former teammate and Bangor Daily News All-Maine swingman Nicholas DePatsy with the Mariners next season.
Two top guards, Bryce Harmon of Ellsworth and Jackson Mathers of Southern Aroostook in Dyer Brook, both plan to join the men’s basketball program at Thomas College in Waterville.
Harmon was a four-year varsity performer for coach Peter Austin’s Eagles who in 2016 helped Ellsworth win its first regional championship since 1988. His buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end regulation in last year’s Class B North semifinals forced overtime and Ellsworth outlasted Caribou in overtime.
This year Harmon averaged more than 16 points per game in leading a youthful Ellsworth squad to an 8-10 regular-season record and a berth in the Class B North preliminary round. Harmon was named to the All-Big East Conference first team.
Mathers was a four-year starter who scored more than 1,400 career points while leading coach Bill McAvoy’s Southern Aroostook squad to three appearances in the Class D regional championship game.
Mathers averaged nearly 20 points per game this winter in helping the Warriors go 17-1 during the regular season to finish atop the Class D North Heal points. Southern Aroostook then advanced to the regional final before falling to eventual state champion Machias.
Mathers was named to the BDN’s Class D North all-tournament team, the All-Aroostook team and the Maine McDonald’s Classes C-D North senior all-star team.
Thomas College went 15-13 and advanced to the North Atlantic Conference championship game before falling to top-ranked Husson University of Bangor.
Spruce Mountain rejoining MVC
While most schools and leagues are waiting for the Maine Principals’ Association biennial reclassification process to conclude before firming game schedules for the 2017-2018 academic year, one school already has taken a significant step to shape its future.
According to the Lewiston Sun Journal, Spruce Mountain High School — the product of the 2011 consolidation of the former Jay and Livermore Falls high schools — plans to return to the Mountain Valley Conference after three years in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.
The reason? Dwindling enrollment.
According to the report, Spruce Mountain’s student population has dropped from 560 students when it first joined the KVAC to just over 400 students now, leaving it in a borderline position between Classes B and C for future classification cycles.
The KVAC is composed largely of Class A and Class B schools, while the MVC is made up predominantly of Class C South schools.
Spruce Mountain has competed in Class B South in most sports while in the KVAC, and is set to drop from Class C South to Class D South in football next fall.
The MVC is expected to take formal action approving Spruce Mountain’s return to its ranks later this month.
MDI tourney draws 84 teams
One of the state’s top undergraduate tournaments is underway, with 84 high school and junior high teams participating in the Great Harbor House Shoot-Out beginning Friday.
The event will be held at gyms on Mount Desert Island as well as in Trenton and Ellsworth.
The high school boys and girls divisions each will feature 30 teams ranging from the Saint John Valley in northernmost Maine to the state’s midcoast region. Championship games in both divisions will be held Sunday at Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor, with the girls game at 2 p.m. and the boys final at 4.
The junior high boys and girls divisions each will have a 12-team field.
Mt. Ararat plans artificial-turf field
Residents of the SAD 75 towns of Topsham, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham and Harpswell have approved funding for an artificial-turf athletic field in conjunction with their March 7 vote to build a new Mt. Ararat High School.
The new school, which will replace the building that opened in 1973, will be financed by state funding of approximately $53.5 million. Local taxpayers voted to pay $6.8 million in additional costs, which includes $649,000 for the artificial-turf field.
The first phase of construction, building the new school, is scheduled to start in April 2018. It will be located on the site of the baseball and football fields. The second phase will be to demolish the old high school and build the new track and athletic field.
The new school tentatively is expected to open in the fall of 2020 with completion of the track and artificial-turf competition field anticipated by the end of that year.
A new baseball field also is part of the project.