Playing in front of cardboard cutouts of fans, Maranacook’s Cash McClure shoots over Winthrop defenders during a Feb. 9 game in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Maranacook senior Cash McClure saw the announcement Wednesday of the Mr. and Miss Basketball semifinalists as a small return to normalcy in a season that’s been anything but.

“It sheds a little bit of light on a weird season,” said McClure, one of the 10 semifinalists for Mr. Basketball. “No fans are allowed at games and we’re wearing masks. I’m glad we’re able to play, and the top players are able to be recognized.”

Joining McClure on the list of Mr. Basketball semifinalists are Parker Desjardins of Forest Hills, Matt Parent of Messalonskee, Wyatt Hathaway of Leavitt, Sawyer Deprey of Caribou, Andrew Szwez of Bangor, Payton Jones of Thornton Academy, Dylan Griffin of Thornton, Dylan Huff of Brewer, and Kobe Gilbert of Piscataquis.

The 10 semifinalists for Miss Maine Basketball are Emily Archibald of Kennebunk, Glory Blethen of Boothbay, Camille Clement of Greely, Cassidy Dumont of Oxford Hills, Peyton Grant of Dexter, Amanda Kabantu of Portland, Adele Nadeau of Gorham, Gemima Motema of Portland, Sophia McVicar of Calais, and Mollie Obar of Greely.

Winners will be announced during a virtual awards ceremony on March 19. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no McDonald’s All-Star games this season. Teams were selected and players chosen, along with academic all-state selections, winners of the free throw contest, and Spirit of the Game award winners, also will be honored during the March 19 virtual ceremony.

A 1,000-point scorer, McClure helped lead Maranacook to the Class B South title in 2020. The Black Bears lost a double overtime thriller to Caribou in the Class B state championship game, when fellow Mr. Basketball semifinalist Sawyer Deprey made a layup at the buzzer to clinch the game. Being considered for Mr. Basketball has been a goal for some time, McClure said.

“It’s been something that’s been my dream for a while,” McClure said.

McClure said he’s leaning towards a prep year at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, where his uncle Cory McClure is head basketball coach, next year.

On Tuesday, Desjardins joined exclusive company in Maine high school basketball history, scoring the 2,000th point of his career in Forest Hills win at Greenville. A guard, Desjardins has started for the Tigers since he was in eighth grade and was a key player on the team’s state championship-winning squads in 2019 and 2020. Averaging 43.6 points per game this season, Desjardins hopes to continue his basketball career at either Thomas College, UMaine-Farmington, or Maine Maritime Academy.

“It’s an honor. It’s something that I’ve worked towards and it is a talented class, in my opinion,” Desjardins said.

Parent has led Messalonskee to a 6-3 record in this pandemic-abbreviated season. A guard, Parent averages 22 points, 5.3 rebounds, and four assists per game. Parent leads the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North division with 33 3-pointers on the season, making 42.5 percent of the threes he’s attempted. At the free throw line, Parent is shooting 87.5 percent.

“Matt has been our best player all season,” Messalonskee coach Jay Dangler said.

Dumont helped Oxford Hills to back-to-back girls Class AA titles in 2019 and 2020. Blethen was a key member of Boothbay’s Class C state championship-winning team in 2019. Archibald joined the 1,000-point club Tuesday.

 

 

 

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