BANGOR — Megan Phelps didn’t expect to be named a semifinalist for Maine’s most prestigious basketball award Wednesday.
But the Mount Desert Island senior is in select company as a semifinalist for Miss Maine Basketball.
“I didn’t know before I came here,” Phelps said. “I’m honored. It’s a big deal.”
The 10 boys and girls semifinalists were announced at a news conference revealing the teams for the McDonald’s Senior All-Star games at the Bangor Civic Center.
The other nine girls semifinalists were Keila Grigware of Biddeford, Rebecca Knight of Catherine McAuley, Central’s Hannah Pray, Deering’s Kayla Burchill, Mia Rapolla of Gorham, Courtney Anderson of Leavitt, Oak Hill’s Maggie Sabine, Nicole Taylor of York and Skowhegan’s Whitney Jones.
Skowhegan’s Jones was nominated despite missing the entire season with a foot injury.
The 10 boys semifinalists were Zach Blodgett of Bangor, Tyler McFarland of Camden Hills, Theo Bowe of Cape Elizabeth, Kyle Brady of Cheverus, Edward Little’s Bo Leary, Hampden’s Graham Safford, Cam Kaubris of Mountain Valley, Joey McCloskey of Penobsot Valley, Andrew Shaw of Thornton Academy and Wells’ Alex Furness.
The three Mr. and Miss Basketball finalists will be announced later this month, and the winners crowned at the McDonald’s All-Star Banquet on March 11 at Husson University in Bangor.
McDonald’s of Maine and the Maine Red Claws have teamed up for a new Team of the Year award. The girls nominees are Buckfield, Central, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield, Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor, Old Orchard Beach, Orono, Richmond, South Portland and Wells. Edward Little, Scarborough, Windham, Boothbay, Lawrence and Cheverus are the boys nominees.
Phelps is the first MDI player to be nominated for Miss Basketball since Bracey Barker, sister of head coach Brent Barker, in 2003.
“I think my mouth probably dropped very quickly,” Phelps said. “It’s exciting.”
Phelps has led her Trojans to the tournament the last three seasons, including the Eastern Class B final last winter where MDI was ousted by Nokomis.
The Warriors beat the Trojans in the quarterfinals this year.
“People expected it to be a rebuilding year, so it was nice to get back to the Auditorium,” Phelps said.
Phelps believes Nokomis is the team to beat in Saturday’s regional final.
“We wish them the best in the rest of the tournament,” she said. “They deserved to win that game.”
Free-throw shooting champions will also be crowned during McDonald’s All-Star weekend March 11-12 at Husson.
The regional champions on the girls’ side were Carmen Bragg of Washburn (North), Abby Pyne of John Bapst (East), Lawrence’s Danielle Spaulding (Central) and Frankie Lally of Edward Little (South).
For the boys, Travis Dyer of Presque Isle will represent the North, Bryan James of Lee Academy the East, Dirigo’s Josh Turbide the Central and Cape’s Bowe the South.