The Houlton Hig h Sc hool girls basketball team became one of the few teams to win back-to-back regional championships in two different classes when it followed up last year’s Class C state championship with the Class B North title by virtue of its 51-35 victory over Hermon on Saturday.
Kolleen Bouchard, who became just the third freshman since 1991 to earn a spot on one of the three Bangor Daily News All-Maine Schoolgirl Basketball teams a year ago when she was chosen to the second team, was the catalyst again this season, and she was chosen the Owen Osborne Most Valuable Player of the Class B North tournament.
Bouchard was the tourney MVP in Class C a year ago.
Senior center Kelli Kennedy, who led Narraguagus of Harrington to its first ever regional championship, was selected the Class C North MVP, and Shead High School of Eastport senior guard Cierra Seeley was the Class D MVP as she guided her Tigers to their first regional title since 1999.
The voters include tournament personnel, media members and Maine Principals’ Association representatives.
Bouchard was joined on the Class B team by teammate Natalie Hill, a senior guard; Hermon junior forward Emi Higgins; Presque Isle sophomore guard Emily Wheaton and Winslow junior forward Heather Kervin.
Hill was an honorable mention all-tourney selection in Class C last year.
Kennedy was accompanied on the Class C team by teammate Kayla Toppin, a junior guard; Penobscot Valley of Howland senior center Sami Ireland and senior guard Amy Hallett; and Fort Fairfield senior guard Chelsey Pelkey.
Pelkey was an all-tourney pick in Class D last year, and Ireland was an honorable mention in Class D.
Seeley is joined on the Class D team by junior teammate Holly Preston, a guard; Central Aroostook of Mars Hill senior forward Karli Levesque; Machias senior center Tate Dolley and Washburn senior guard Emmy Churchill.
Churchill was an all-tourney choice last season, and Dolley was an honorable mention.
Point guard Bouchard, 5-foot-10, had a terrific tournament as she finished with 65 points in the Shires’ three wins. She led all scorers in all three games as she had 23 points in the wins over Foxcroft Academy and Winslow and 19 in the triumph over Hermon in the title game.
She also was productive on the boards.
“She’s a special player,” said Houlton coach Shawn Graham. “She can do so many things. She can rebound, she can defend, she’s a great point guard, she can shoot with both hands and can hit [3-pointers]. I’ve never coached a player who can grab a rebound and take it the length of the court like she can.”
Hill averaged just under 10 points per game including a 15-point performance against Hermon. She scored six points in the third quarter of the championship game to help the Shires turn a four-point halftime advantage into an 11-point lead.
The 6-foot Higgins led the upstart Hawks to their berth in the final coming out of the seventh seed.
She had 15 points, six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot in their upset win over Mount Desert Island; 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists against Presque Isle and 11 points in the loss to Houlton.
Wheaton scored 15 points in each of Presque Isle’s two games and exhibited exemplary ball-handling skills with a willingness to take the ball to the hoop.
Kervin had an exceptional tournament for the youthful Black Raiders as she followed a 14-point, three-rebound showing against Ellsworth with a 16-point, eight-rebound, three-steal outing against Houlton.
Kennedy, according to Narraguagus coach Heather Thompson, was the “backbone of our team.”
“A lot of the things we do revolve around her. She can do it all. She’s the center of our defense, she can rebound, she can score, and she can handle the ball if we need her to,” said Thompson.
The 5-11 Kennedy had a game-high 14 points in the championship game win over Penobscot Valley, and she also grabbed five rebounds. She had 16 points, six rebounds and six steals in the triumph over Dexter and nine points vs. Piscataquis Community Guilford.
Toppin had a game-high 18 points in the victory over PCHS and had a productive performance in the final against Penobscot Valley with nine points and four rebounds.
The 6-1 Ireland capped her outstanding career with an impressive tournament performance in which she had a double-double (14 points, 15 rebounds) against Fort Fairfield and came close against Narraguagus (10 points, eight rebounds) and Schenck of East Millinocket (10 points, nine rebounds). She also had six blocked shots against Narraguagus.
Teammate Hallett averaged 10 points in the two tourney wins and grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots against Narraguagus.
The determined Pelkey led the Tigers to a hard-fought win over Calais by pouring in 20 points, grabbing nine rebounds, dishing out four assists and making four steals, and she followed that with nine points against Penobscot Valley.
The 5-7 Seeley not only averaged over 11 points and nearly five rebounds in Shead’s three victories, it was her precise pass to Preston that enabled Preston to hit the game-winning layup with 8.6 seconds left in their 38-35 win over defending five-time state champ Washburn in the semis.
She also was Shead’s inspirational leader.
“In the final against Central Aroostook, we fell behind 5-0,” said Shead coach Corey Sullivan. “I called a timeout. At the end of the timeout, Cierra said ‘I’ve had enough’ and went out and scored the next seven points.
“She’s our spark. She’ll do whatever we need,” said Sullivan.
Seeley had 14 points and five rebounds against Central Aroostook.
Preston had a game-high six assists against Central Aroostook along with eight second-half points to help the Tigers build the lead. Preston averaged 12 points per game and had 10 rebounds in the win over Deer Isle-Stonington. She also did a fine job handling the ball.
Levesque concluded her impressive career with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Shead despite being the focal point of their defensive coverage. She had eight points in the win over Southern Aroostook and six against Machias.
Churchill pumped in 23 points, including two clutch free throws with 11.6 seconds left, in the 67-62 win over Katahdin of Stacyville. She also had five rebounds. She followed that with eight points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in the loss to Shead.
Dolley played in just one game, but it was memorable as she scored a game-high 33 points and set a Class D record by making 16 free throws in the quarterfinal loss to Central Aroostook.