There doesn’t seem to be a shot Sophie Holmes can’t make. Off balance, left-handed, after contact, under-handed, over-the shoulder — you name it, Holmes has likely made it in her four-year career at Messalonskee.

“Every shot she’s made in a game we’ve seen in practice dozens of times,” Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby said.

Derosby recalled Holmes taking a potential game-winning shot against Oxford Hills in a tournament game her freshman year. Most freshman would have treated the ball in the closing seconds as a hot potato, but Holmes launched a 3-pointer as the clock wound down.

“It rimmed out,” she said. “In my family we’d count down, 3, 2, 1 and take that last-second shot. I’ve done it so often, just in my yard.”

Holmes has taken a lot of conventional shots, too. She finished her career at Messalonskee with 1,389 points, with 22 of those coming in the Eagles’ recent Class A state championship win over Brunswick.

For her effort, Holmes is the Morning Sentinel Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Holmes’ athletic life has revolved around basketball, from her parents to her older brothers, Orlando and Jordan, who both starred at Messalonskee.

“They definitely just pushed me to be better,” she said.

Holmes averaged 20 points and just under 10 rebounds this season, comparable to numbers she’s put up the last three seasons. As a 5-foot-8 guard, the rebounding statistics are a testimony to her quickness, athletic ability and basketball savvy.

Derosby said her greatest improvement came during her junior year when she learned to play without the ball in her hands. An adept ballhandler, Holmes has always been a scorer first.

“My dad and brothers think ballhandling is the most important thing,” Holmes said. “But I’m a scorer. I’ve always worked on my shooting form, and if your outside shot isn’t working you’ve got to take it to the rim.”

Winning Messalonskee’s second Gold Ball but first in Class A was a goal Holmes set since Day 1.

“For me it’s a dream come true for our school and community,” she said. “(Our fans) were there (at the state championship) an hour before the game. Everyone still wants to talk about it.”

Derosby agrees winning a Gold Ball was one of Holmes’ goals and said she went about it the right way, involving all her teammates in the process.

“She’s pretty selfless,” he said. “I don’t think she realizes how much she inspires other kids. She doesn’t want to let anyone down.”

Despite her own progress as well of that of her teammates, Holmes never got ahead of herself this season.

“We knew any team could bet us,” she said. “We stuck to our principles — focus on our defense and our offense will come.”

Holmes doesn’t believe defense is her strong suit although she averaged 2.5 steals a game this season.

“She’s an underrated defender,” Derosby said. “She has quick hands and gets in passing lanes.”

This spring Holmes is playing lacrosse, a sport she played in middle school, while focused on basketball with an eye toward next year. She’s drawn interest from several schools and is considering a scholarship offer (unofficial at this point) from Div 2 Southern New Hampshire University.

“Who wouldn’t want to co to college for free?” she said.

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