From left: Cash McClure, Emily Archibald Credit: Contributed

Cash McClure of Maranacook Community School in Readfield and Emily Archibald of Kennebunk were named the state’s Mr. and Miss Basketball during a virtual Maine McDonald’s senior all-star awards ceremony hosted Friday night by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches.

McClure, who entered high school at just 5-foot-2, grew into a 6-1 guard by his senior year. His shooting range extended from slam dunks to well beyond the 3-point arc. He averaged 27 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals in propelling the Black Bears to an undefeated record this winter.

A two-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B player of the year, McClure led Maranacook to the Class B state final in 2020.

He plans to attend prep school next fall at Kimball Union Academy in Plainfield, New Hampshire.

Other Mr. Basketball finalists were Parker Desjardins of Forest Hills of Jackman and Payton Jones of Thornton Academy of Saco.

Archibald, a 6-2 guard-forward who is bound for Providence College on a full athletic scholarship, finished her career at Kennebunk with more than 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 steals, 200 blocked shots and 200 assists.

She averaged 20 points and more than 20 rebounds this season after being named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2020. She also is a two-time Southwestern Maine Activities Association Player of the Year and a four-year team captain.

The other Miss Basketball finalists were Camille Clement of Greely High School in Cumberland Center and Gemima Motema of Portland High.

Donovan Kurt, a senior at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, and cousins Amanda Kabantu and Gemima Motema of Portland High School were named recipients of the MABC’s Spirit of the Game Awards.

Those awards are presented annually to high school basketball team members who embody the spirit of the sport, exemplify sportsmanship, inspire their teammates and coaches, and have shown the ability to overcome obstacles and boundaries.

Kurt was honored for his determination in rebounding from a 10-hour surgery in mid-March to remove a potato-sized brain tumor to not only return to school this fall but to rejoin his school’s soccer and basketball teams for his senior year.

That comeback comes while he continues to undergo chemotherapy at home each month after six weeks of both radiation and chemotherapy last spring.

Kabantu and Motema arrived in America four years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo, initially playing on an AAU basketball team in California. They subsequently came to Portland and were encouraged to stay with a relative in Maine’s largest city rather than return to the unrest in their native country.

That relative eventually had to relocate for job reasons, but a local family took the cousins into their home and they have gone on to emerge as team leaders as well as top players.

Both will play basketball on scholarship beginning this fall, Motema at Division I Northeastern University and Kabantu at Division II Bentley College.

Zakary Mills of Penquis Valley High School in Milo and Kylie Brown of Boothbay Region High School, members of the boys and girls Academic All-State teams, each received a $2,000 scholarship for their efforts in the classroom throughout their high school careers.

I.J. Pinkham, the winningest coach in Maine schoolboy basketball history, was named recipient of the MABC Bob Brown Contributor Award. The Milbridge native coached for 49 years at Buckfield and Boothbay Region High School and compiled a 659-316 record, a .676 winning percentage.

WHOU of Houlton and owner Fred Grant and his staff were recognized with the MABC Media Award for their work in broadcasting high school basketball on the radio and more recently expanding their efforts in livestreaming high school basketball games in Aroostook County and beyond, including tournament coverage.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...