Forest Hills senior Parker Desjardins drives past Madison defender Cameron Cobb during a Feb. 17 game in Madison. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

Parker Desjardins of Forest Hills and Maranacook’s Cash McClure are two of the three finalists for Mr. Maine Basketball, awarded annually to the top high school senior player in the state.

The duo are joined by Payton Jones of Thornton Academy. The three finalists for Miss Maine Basketball are Emily Archibald of Kennebunk, Camille Clement of Greely, and Gemima Motema of Portland. The winners will be announced during a virtual awards ceremony streamed on March 19 at 6 p.m. Players selected as members of the McDonald’s regional all-star team also will be honored during the awards ceremony.

McClure led Maranacook to the Class B state championship game in 2020, falling in a double overtime thriller to Caribou. A 1,000-point scorer, McClure led the Black Bears to an undefeated regular season this year, and the top seed in the central Maine Class A/B tournament. Marancook was set to host Gardiner in the quarterfinals of the tournament Friday.

Winthrop’s Gavin Perkins tries to defend Maranacook’s Cash McClure during a Feb . 9 game in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

McClure would be the second Mr. Maine Basketball winner from Maranacook, joining 2008 winner Ryan Martin.

“It’s definitely a huge accomplishment. Even making top 10 is a huge accomplishment, but being recognized as one of the three top players in the state is pretty cool,” McClure said. “Parker and Payton, they’re both really great players, and I’ve played either with them or against them for a bunch of years now and it’s been fun. It’s pretty cool to see the kids that I’ve grown up playing with and against also recognized for how good they are.”

Desjardins is the first Mr. Maine Basketball finalist in Forest Hills history. Desjardins scored his 2,000th career point last month in a win at Greenville, and helped lead the Tigers to back-to-back undefeated seasons and Class D state championships in 2019 and 2020. The No. 3 seed in the central Maine Class C/D tournament, Forest Hills was set to host Mt. Abram Friday.

Desjardins said he’s honored to be named a finalist, and noted it’s rare for a player from Class D to get such statewide recognition. Only two Class D players have won Mr. Maine Basketball since the award’s inception in 1988: Raymond Alley of Vinalhaven in 1989, and Garet Beal of Jonesport-Beals in 2013.

“It would be an amazing way to cap off my high school career,” Desjardins said. “Cash and Payton are amazing players and I have a lot of respect for their game.”

Jones would be the first winner from Thornton Academy.

Clement is vying to become Greely’s third Miss Maine Basketball winner in seven seasons, joining 2019 winner Anna DeWolfe and 2015 winner Ashley Storey. Archibald would be Kennebunk’s first Miss Maine Basketball since Allison Booth in 1995. Motema would be Portland’s first winner of the award.

 

 

 

 

 

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