Winslow’s Jason Reynolds (40) drives to the basket against Maine Central Institute during a boys basketball game Tuesday in Winslow. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

WINSLOW — Even with a minor setback, Jason Reynolds has gone from one milestone to the next at lightning pace.

Back on Dec. 13, the senior forward scored his 1,000th career point as he poured in 36 to lead the Winslow boys basketball team past Maine Central Institute. Just six games later, Reynolds has sailed well past that mark to post another landmark achievement as the program’s all-time points leader.

That moment came Friday might as Reynolds scored 27 points against Leavitt to eclipse the previous program record of 1,170 set by Mark McInnis in 1993. The Winslow standout had been slated to reach it at home against Belfast three nights earlier but was unable to do so after rolling his ankle at practice the previous day.

“It was a bit unfortunate that (I got hurt) the night before and had to sit out, but I was right back practicing the next day,” said Reynolds, whose 31.8 points per game through Jan. 13 led all Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference players. “It’s an honor, and it’s great to know that all the hard work you’re putting in has paid off.”

Behind Reynolds’ standout season this year have been a number of monster statlines. In addition to posting 38 points and 17 rebounds against Presque Isle in the season opener, he also registered 36 points against MCI, 39 points and 11 rebounds against Oceanside and 31 points and 13 rebounds against Mt. Desert Island.

Reynolds, though, is quick to point out that he hasn’t done it alone. In Matt Quirion (9.0 rebounds per game), Winslow (8-1) has another elite rebounder; in Braden Rodrigue, they have a top distributor in the KVAC; in Andrew Poulin (21.1 points and 3.8 steals per game), they have another two-way player on par with any in the league.


The combination of Reynolds and Poulin, the conference’s No. 5 scorer at 21.1 points per game, has made Winslow particularly lethal. The latter made himself known on the soccer field by posting one of the most prolific seasons in Maine history, but his basketball exploits, Reynolds said, have been no less impressive.

“We know each other really well after playing since elementary school, and we feed off each other; we can run the two-man game really well together,” Reynolds said of Poulin, who scored 41 points in his absence against Belfast. “I feel like he’s not as well-known in basketball compared to soccer, but he’s one of the best guards in the state.”

The numbers, though, won’t mean nearly as much if Winslow isn’t competing for hardware next month. The goal, Reynolds said, is to bring home a state championship, and with the pieces the Black Raiders have, he thinks that’s something they’re plenty capable of achieving.

“The record is great to have, but the goal we really have is winning that Gold Ball,” Reynolds said. “We have a lot of work to do, but we’re 8-1, and we’ve won six in a row. We’re playing with a great intensity and a lot of confidence.”


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North Yarmouth Academy’s Graca Bila plays defense on Kents Hill’s Rose Jenkins during a Class C South girls basketball quarterfinal last season at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Although hard work and a willingness to learn can take a basketball team a long way, there are certain traits that can’t be taught — and size and experience are among them.

Both of those factors have helped carry the Kents Hill girls team to a strong start to the 2022-23 season. With a starting lineup that consists of five seniors and can outrebound just about anyone, the 7-0 Huskies are currently first in a Class C South field loaded with contenders.

Leading the way for Kents Hill this season has been 6-foot forward Logan McDonald, who has averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. She forms a potent combo in the post with Phoebe Simpson, a fellow senior captain averaging roughly eight rebounds at center.

Kents Hill’s elite rebounding ability, though, goes beyond its starting post players. Rose Jenkins, a 5-8 player who outplays her size as the state’s reigning outdoor track long jump champion, is averaging 15 points and 10 boards, and Logan McDonald’s younger sister, Lucy, is the Huskies’ first player off the bench with a 6-foot frame of her own.

“We have a really good combination of size and athleticism,” said Kents Hill head coach R.J. Jenkins. “We want to play fast and get up and down, and in order to do that, you’ve got to rebound. We do stress rebounding quite a bit, and we’ve been doing that well, especially on offense.”


Some of Kents Hill’s biggest wins this year have come recently with the Huskies having beaten Winthrop, Dirigo and Traip Academy in their past three games. The team will face arguably its biggest challenge of the year Tuesday when it hosts reigning state champion Hall-Dale.

It’s a season that’s been a particularly welcome one for Kents Hill, which has been hit particularly hard in the COVID-19 era. The private school’s strict COVID guidelines allowed the team to play just one game in 2020-21, and the lack of experience gained from that year, Coach Jenkins said, was evident at times last season.

Kents Hill’s current crop of seniors, which also includes standout guards Naomi McGadney and Regina Sabirova, has gone through that journey together. The Huskies showed promise in going 10-5 last year, and that year of development has helped turn an inexperienced squad into one of the most veteran ones in Class C.

“The cohesion and the chemistry that comes from having a group of seniors that can play a lot of minutes helps tremendously,” Jenkins said. “You could see us getting there last year, and now we’re really jelling. … I know the girls are relishing some of the tough challenges we have coming up.”


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Erskine’s Emma Stred (24) battles for the rebound with Skowhegan’s Jayla Gentry (23) during a girls basketball game Dec. 22 in South China. Michael G. Seamans

The season has reached (or, for some teams, even surpassed) its midway point, and for a few teams that are used to being perennial contenders, things have shaken out much differently in 2022-23.

After years of No. 1 seeds, regional titles and even two Gold Balls, the Winthrop boys team finds itself at 5-6 in Class C South. Currently ranked 13th, the Ramblers occupy the region’s last playoff spot — an unfamiliar feeling for a team that entered tourney time with the No. 1 seed just last year.

On the girls side, Waterville is currently 1-9, a major drop-off from a 12-5 mark last year and regional title game appearances in 2019 and 2020. The Purple Panthers have battled a young roster this year, as has rival Winslow, which brought home a state title back in 2018 but now sits at 0-9.

In Class A North, reigning state champion Skowhegan is 4-6 with star big Callaway LePage unable to play this season. Messalonskee, a longtime contender and an undefeated Gold Ball winner in 2017, is at the bottom of A North with an 0-11 record.

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