Tournament play usually brings out the best in high school athletes, and they tend to produce shining moments for all to remember.
That occurred for the winners of the BDN’s Owen Osborne Most Valuable Player awards: Whitney Jones of Skowhegan in Class A, Nokomis of Newport’s Marissa Shaw in Class B, Nicole Osborne of Calais in Class C and Amanda Hotham of Fort Fairfield in Class D.
Hotham was a unanimous choice while Osborne garnered all but two MVP votes, with teammate Alex McVicar and Central of Corinth’s Hannah Pray receiving the others.
The MVP award was established in 1994 in memory of Osborne, a former BDN sports editor and reporter. The award and the BDN All-Tournament teams, which are listed below, are selected by a vote of media, tourney officials and Maine Principals’ Association representatives.
Osborne came through in the clutch twice in helping lead sixth-seeded Calais’ run to its first regional championship since 2002. She averaged a double-double for coach Dana Redding’s club.
She’s joined on the team by teammate McVicar, Central’s Pray, Washington Academy of East Machias’ Andi Flannery and Vanessa Lougee of Foxcroft Academy.
Osborne sank two free throws with less than a second remaining in overtime in a 58-56 quarterfinal victory over Woodland and put the Blue Devils ahead to stay in the final minute of a 54-51 semifinal upset of Central of Corinth.
The senior center went on to score 18 points and gather 12 boards in the regional championship game, a 55-48 win over rival WA.
McVicar complemented her Blue Devils’ classmate with her 3-point shooting and exceptional ball-handling.
The 5-5 guard’s breakout game came in the regional final, in which she poured in a game-high 21 points, shot 3-for-5 from 3-point range and 12-of-15 from the free-throw line.
McVicar was 17-for-23 from the line during the tournament.
Pray sparked Central offensively while running the Red Devils’ backcourt well.
Pray, who handles the ball well and can shoot from almost anywhere on the floor, did all she could to fuel her team in the semifinals with a 23-point effort against Calais while scoring 18 in a quarterfinal victory over Orono.
Flannery helped spark a balanced Washington Academy attack as the Raiders appeared in the regional final for the second year in a row.
While she only scored in double figures once — 11 points in a semifinal victory over Foxcroft — she was a strong rebounder, grabbing seven in the quarterfinals against Houlton and 12 in the final against Calais.
Lougee sparked Foxcroft’s strong inside game as the Ponies enjoyed one of their strongest seasons in recent memory.
The senior center dropped in 20 points as the Ponies nearly rallied from an 18-point deficit against WA in the semifinals and posted nine points and 10 boards in the quarterfinals against Fort Kent.
Shaw was one of the leading scorers in a balanced offense in Nokomis’ drive to its first regional championship since winning in Class A in 2003.
Shaw, teammates Mary Badeen and Kara Batchelder, along with MDI’s Megan Phelps and Presque Isle’s Chandler Guerrette, are the All-Tourney selections.
Shaw’s best offensive effort came in the semifinals against Presque Isle, in which she scored 16 points to lead coach Kori Dionne’s club.
Badeen helped quarterback the Warriors’ run to the state championship game, and she’s one of three players who can handle the ball for Nokomis.
She can also score when counted upon, going 5-for-5 from the floor and scoring 13 points in the regional championship game against MDI.
Phelps was a key presence on both ends of the floor for regional runner-up MDI.
Phelps, who at 6 feet can score inside but can also score off the dribble and from the outside, scored in double figures in all three of the Trojans’ tourney games, with the high being 14 in the quarterfinals against Hermon.
Batchelder can provide offense when called upon for Nokomis, but she helped bolster a tough defense that surrendered only 89 points in three games.
She was also a key factor in shutting down MDI’s Phelps in the regional final, holding her to 13 points on 3-for-12 shooting.
Guerrette showed she’s going to be one the top players in the region. The dynamic freshman guard dropped in 25 points as Presque Isle ended Waterville’s three-year state championship reign.
Hotham powered Fort Fairfield’s drive to its first regional championship in program history, re-writing the tourney record books in the process.
Joining Hotham on the All-Tourney team are Central Aroostook of Mars Hill’s Vicki McIntyre, Brooke Beaulieu of Fort Fairfield, Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook’s Liz Goodall and Whitney Holmes of Bangor Christian.
Sophomore forward Hotham, who scored 76 points in tournament play, established Class D records for most free throws in a tournament (35) and in a single game, sinking 15 in the Tigers’ EM title game win over Central Aroostook.
McIntyre was Central Aroostook’s leading scorer during its run to the regional final, scoring 20 points in wins over Jonesport-Beals in the quarterfinals and Bangor Christian in the semis.
She spearheaded the Panthers’ efforts in the title game against Fort Fairfield with 16 points.
Beaulieu provided depth in Fort Fairfield coach Larry Gardner’s frontcourt, and while she contributed points when necessary, Beaulieu was a force on defense and the backboards for the Tigers.
Goodall sparked a balanced Southern Aroostook club offensively and led her team with 17 points in a quarterfinal victory over Deer Isle-Stonington.
Holmes put on an exhibition of outstanding shooting in Bangor Christian’s quarterfinal victory over Washburn, dropping in 26 points, a career high for the junior guard, including a 3-for-7 showing from 3-point range.
Jones quaterbacked coach Heath Cowan’s Skowhegan club to its first Eastern Maine Class A championship since 1979.
The Indians’ point guard produced offensively and directed Skowhegan’s offense and ignited its perimeter defense en route to being named winner of the Al Halliday Leadership Award as the tournament’s outstanding player-sportsman.
Davis led Skowhegan in scoring during its successful tournament run, with a high of 19 points in the Indians’ 57-44 semifinal victory over Morse of Bath. She also threw a halfcourt pass that set up Liz Noddin’s buzzer-beating basket that gave Skowhegan a two-point win over Brunswick in the regional final.
Stephenson was part of a balanced Hampden team that reached the semifinals during its first postseason appearance after a six-year absence. She scored in double figures in each game, with 11 points during a quarterfinal victory over Edward Little of Auburn and 10 points in the semifinals against Brunswick.
Caputi was a versatile frontcourt presence that helped Brunswick advance beyond the quarterfinals for the first time since 1987 en route to the regional final. She was among the Dragons’ leading scorers and their leading rebounder in postseason play, including a 16-point, seven-rebound output against Hampden Academy in the semifinals.
Dexter, the 2009 tournament MVP while leading Messalonskee to the EM crown, played just one postseason game this season but posted a tournament-best 28 points to go with 12 rebounds during a quarterfinal loss to Brunswick. With the performance, Dexter surpassed 1,000 points for her career.