It has been a pretty good week for Bryce Lausier and Julia Colby.
Both led their teams to state championships last Saturday, and both were honored for their individual excellence Friday night by being named the 2020 Mr. and Miss Maine Basketball during the annual Maine Association of Basketball Coaches banquet at the Anah Temple Shrine in Bangor.
Lausier, a 6-foot-4 guard from Hampden Academy, was named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North Player of the Year. He averaged a league-leading 27.7 points per game while leading the Broncos to a 17-1 regular-season record and the No. 1 spot in Class A North this season.
He went on to be named the outstanding player-sportsman of the regional tournament after sparking coach Russ Bartlett’s club to three come-from-behind victories en route to Hampden’s second A North title in three years.
Lausier then scored 23 points in the state championship game as Hampden used a 23-1 second-half run to rally past York 65-56 and capture the program’s first gold ball since 2015.
“This just means a lot,” said Lausier, one of three finalists for the Mr. Basketball award along with guards Zach Maturo of Bonny Eagle in Standish and Logan Bagshaw of Greely in Cumberland Center. “And it shows that hard work pays off. I’ve put in a lot of years working to get an award like this, working hard with my family and my teammates.
“This is definitely the best week of my life, a feeling I’ll never experience again.”
Colby led Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School of South Paris to the first two Class AA state championships in program history during the last two seasons.
The 5-6 point guard was named Class AA North Player of the Year after averaging 17.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.6 steals while leading the Vikings to a 17-1 regular-season record and first place in the division.
Colby then was selected the outstanding player of the regional tournament for the second straight season before scoring a game-high 22 points as Oxford Hills defeated South Portland 49-38 in the state final.
“She’s the best ballhandler I’ve ever coached, and then over the last four years she developed into probably the best shooter I’ve ever coached,” Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier said. “She had the total package.”
Colby, who was joined as a finalist for the Miss Maine Basketball award by Maggie Whitmore of South Portland and Brooke Obar of Greely, plans to continue her basketball career on the NCAA Division II level at the New York Institute of Technology.
“This means a lot,” Colby said. “The other two finalists, I’ve been playing with them since fourth grade in AAU and they’re great players. Of the 10 nominees, I’ve played with six of them so it means a lot to win this.
“The goal has always been to win a gold ball and hopefully this.”
Also earning Miss Basketball semifinalist status — the Mr. and Miss Basketball awards go to the state’s top senior high school players — were Katherine Alley of Stearns in Millinocket, Cecelia Dieterich of Oxford Hills, Jordan Grant of Gray-New Gloucester, Lexi Ireland of Penobscot Valley in Howland, Lexi Mittelstadt of Mt. Blue in Farmington, Caroline Smith of Freeport and Gabrielle Wener of Messalonskee in Oakland.
Other Mr. Basketball semifinalists were Leyton Bickford of Sanford, Jackson Curtis of Ellsworth, Parker Deprey of Caribou, Te’Andre King of North Yarmouth Academy, Simon McCormick of Cony in Augusta, Isaac Varney of Hermon and Henry Westrich of Bangor.
The 40th annual Maine McDonald’s All-Star Weekend continues Saturday at Newman Gymnasium on the campus of Husson University in Bangor, beginning at 8:30 a.m. with the state free-throw shooting contest.
That’s followed at 9:15 a.m. by the girls Classes AA-A-B all-star game, with the boys AA-A-B game at 10:45.
A 3-point shooting contest is scheduled for 12:15 p.m., then a slam dunk contest at 12:30 before the Classes C-D all-stars take to the court, with the boys game at 1 p.m. and the girls game at 2:30 to conclude the day’s activities.