Carylanne Wolfington still receives congratulations from Hall-Dale High School basketball fans excited about the team’s state championship a few weeks ago.

“All the time,” she said. “A lot of people I don’t really know that well.”

All of those fans are familiar with Wolfington, though, and what she did to help the Bulldogs to the Class C title. During the championship game against Washington Academy, the junior guard scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded four steals.

The performance mirrored her effort all season long. She was named Mountain Valley Conference southern division player of the year and carried her strong play through the Western Maine tournament.

For her efforts Wolfington has been selected Kennebec Journal Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Also considered were Hall-Dale teammate Taylor Massey and Oak Hill’s Maggie Sabine.

Wolfington is undoubtedly the school’s top female athlete. She excels in soccer and softball as well and is hard pressed to name her favorite sport.

“It depends on which season I’m in,” she said.

She devoted a lot of time to basketball during the offseason, though. She attended clinics during the summer and currently plays for an AAU team.

“I really wanted to improve my ballhandling and be more aggressive to the basket,” she said of her offseason goals.

It worked out well for her. During her sophomore season Wolfington shot a lot of 3-pointers and was consequently guarded more closely along the arc this year. That opened avenues to the basket where she could drive to the hoop and dish to teammates.

“She continues to get better at the offensive end,” Hall-Dale coach Brandon Terrill said. “Her whole life she was a post player. (Last season) was the first time she played on the perimeter.”

A strong 5-foot-7 guard, Wolfington still posts up smaller guards from time to time. Her versatility is what separates from most of the players in the conference.

“Some players have strength and some have speed,” Terrill said. “Very few of them have both. It’s a pretty special combination.”

Wolfington also draws key defensive assignments, too, usually the opposing team’s best offensive player. And it wasn’t always a guard. In last year’s Western Maine semifinal against Waynflete, she guarded Morgan Woodhouse, the team’s 6-1 center.

In addition to improving on-court skills, Wolfington also developed into more of a leader this season. Terrill said her comments before games or at halftime were usually perceptive and relevant.

“On the court, she’s always communicating with me,” he added.

Wolfington she and her teammates realized they had a shot at the state title last fall. By the time the season rolled around so did their fans who packed the Hall-Dale gym for every game.

“All our classmates would always come to the games, especially the boys team,” she said. “It was always fun to play in front of them.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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