BANGOR — Living up to a parent’s legacy can be a difficult challenge.
Just ask Schenck High School of East Millinocket’s Morgan Thompson.
Her mother is Stephanie Carter, the former three-time first-team Bangor Daily News All-Maine selection.
Stephanie Carter scored 2,167 points during her remarkable career and led Schenck to three consecutive state Class C championships from 1987-89.
Morgan Thompson, who is coached by her father, Darrick Thompson, has led her Wolverines to a berth in Saturday’s 9:05 a.m Eastern Maine Class D title game against defending two-time state champion Washburn.
After scoring eight points in a 53-31 win over Jonesport-Beals in the quarterfinals, Thompson had 22 points, nine rebounds and four steals in a 54-52 win over Hodgdon in the semifinals. She nailed the winning basket, a driving layup, with 7.8 seconds left.
The 5-foot-10 Thompson has averaged approximately 18 points and 10 rebounds per game this season. She leads the team in both categories. She also blocks three or four shots per game and dishes out a couple of assists, too.
Thompson admitted that it can be “frustrating at times” when she is compared to her mother.
“I hear it from so many different people. People want to know if I’m going to be like my mother and if I’m going to be just as good as her. I don’t know. I’m a different player than she was. I have a different role,” said Thompson. “It’s tough to live up to.
“It’s hard because I do so many things wrong and I know that,” she added.
“But you do a lot of things right,” chimed in her dad.
She said her mother is a positive influence in her career.
“She tells me not to put pressure on myself. She says she’s a different player than I was and I don’t have to be just like her,” said Thompson.
“She hates [being compared to me]. The poor kid,” quipped Stephanie. “Girls are so much more athletic today than we were. It’s just a different game.
“Darrick and I try not to put pressure on her. If anything, she puts pressure on herself, not just with basketball but with her schoolwork as well. We encourage her. We just tell her to go out and give 100 percent,” Stephanie said.
Darrick Thompson said they are different types of players.
“Stephanie liked playing with her back to the rim and she was looking to score. She had a great touch around the basket. She still does,” he said. “When Morgan gets the ball, she looks for an open teammate. She’s so unselfish.”
He said his daughter is more of an all-around player as she can handle the ball, hit 3-pointers and isn’t afraid to drive the lane.
The coach said her best position is shooting guard, but they have to use her inside a lot because that’s where they need her most.
“We are two different players for sure,” said Stephanie. “Morgan is truly a perimeter player. She’s a good passer and, most of the time, she’s a good shooter.”
She said they both like to block shots “and we carry ourselves the same on the floor.”
Darrick said he tries to reinforce the aspects of her game that Stephane Carter didn’t possess.
“I told her that her mother wouldn’t have dribbled the length of the court and hit a game-winning layup,” said Darrick.
“Probably not,” agreed Stephanie.
Stephanie’s friends tell her that Morgan looks a lot like her.
“Morgan’s cuter,” said Stephanie.
Morgan has been able to watch her mother on videotape and was impressed.
“She was good. She carried them,” said Morgan, who has been trying to do the same for her Wolverines.
And she has done a nice job of it.
Nokomis basketball coaching powered by UM alumnae
Michelle (Murray) Paradis has enjoyed considerable success during her first season as the girls’ basketball coach at Nokomis High School in Newport.
The third-seeded Warriors are 18-2 going into Saturday’s 2:05 p.m. Class B regional championship game against No. 1 Presque Isle.
She has surrounded herself with two first-year assistants who bring Division I playing experience to the table.
Former University of Maine players Kelly (Bowman) Flagg and Tanna Ross have embarked on their own high school coaching careers on the Nokomis bench.
Flagg was a star at Nokomis, where she was an all-tournament and BDN All-Maine first-team choice in 1994 and ‘95. She went on to play at UMaine from 1995-1999 and was a member of coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie’s team that beat Stanford in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 1999.
After graduating, she coached the Nokomis softball team for two seasons. Paradis, formerly Michelle Murray, was on that team.
“When she had applied for the position, I just said if you want any help, I’d been willing to help you out. It just kind of worked out,” Flagg said.
Flagg then started a family, which has kept her plenty busy during the last several years.
“I have three boys: 6-year-old twins and an 8-year-old,” she explained. “But they’re at an age now where I can venture out a little bit.”
As a senior for the Black Bears, Flagg shot 47 percent from the field, including 36 percent from 3-point range, and converted 84 percent of her free throws.
Ross earned All-Maine first-team recognition in 2007 at Hampden Academy, then played at UMaine from 2007-2010. The Newburgh native has always wanted to be involved in coaching.
Ross explained that she was a volunteer assistant last season at her alma mater, Hampden Academy.
“I’m coaching the freshman girls at Nokomis,” Ross said of her first paid position.
“I love it. Nokomis has quite a tradition and I definitely couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of it.”
While at UMaine, Ross connected for 134 3-point field goals in 91 games. She averaged 8.8 points per game as a freshman (2007-08).
Ross shares the school record for 3-pointers in a game with seven, a mark equalled Wednesday night by Lauren Bodine.