The 61st annual Bangor Daily News All-Maine boys basketball team features players who have captured nine state championships and six regional titles during their high school careers.
That includes six gold balls won by first-team honorees — two each by Nick Gilpin of Hampden Academy, Thomas Coyne of Falmouth and Amir Moss of Portland, a trio joined among the top five by Andrew Fleming from Oxford Hills of South Paris and Riley Robinson of Class C power Dirigo of Dixfield.
Second-team honorees are Jack Lesure of Class B state champion Lake Region of Naples, Matt Pushard of Brewer, Tyus Sprague-Ripley of Massabesic of Waterboro, Shyheim Ulrickson of Mount Ararat of Topsham and Nicholas DePatsy of Medomak Valley of Waldoboro.
Third-team choices are Terion Moss of Portland, Jack Tilley of Thornton Academy of Saco, Taylor Schildroth of Class C state champion George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill, Milo Belleau of Waynflete of Portland and Justin Thompson of Schenck of East Millinocket.
The BDN All-Maine teams are selected through voting by coaches, administrators, media and other observers.
GILPIN, the state’s Mr. Basketball and KVAC Class A player of the year, accounted for more than 2,000 career points — the 1,093 he scored to go with 519 assists — despite rarely taking as many as 20 shots in a game.
“I feel his ability to be at his best in the biggest situations is one thing that makes him really special,” Hampden coach Russ Bartlett said. “He always gave the team what it needed. If it was a big game and he had to score, he would. If it was a game where he needed to just facilitate, he would. He had a great feel for the game that you just can’t teach.”
The only returning player from the 2015 BDN All-Maine first team, the 6-foot-3 Gilpin helped Hampden finish 82-4 overall and unbeaten at home during four varsity seasons with three Eastern Maine championships and Class A state titles in 2013 and 2015.
Gilpin will play next season at Bates College.
FLEMING was a transcendent performer for Oxford Hills, as the University of Maine-bound 6-6 forward led the Vikings to the Eastern A final as a sophomore in 2014 and the Class AA North semifinals this past winter.
The state’s 2016 Gatorade Maine Player of the Year and KVAC Class AA player of the year was at his best this winter during postseason play, when he averaged 35 points and 14 rebounds per game. He concluded his career with school records for scoring (1,350) and rebounds (1,025).
“He has changed the culture at Oxford Hills,” Vikings’ coach Scott Graffam said. “Oxford Hills has had some very good players, but Andrew bests them all statistically.”
COYNE capped off his high school career as it began, with a state championship.
The 5-foot-11 guard was the sixth man as a freshman when Falmouth won the 2013 Class B state crown, then emerged as a Mr. Basketball finalist as a senior when he led the Yachtsmen to the Class A title.
“It’s hard to put into words what he does and what he means to us,” Falmouth coach Dave Halligan said. “Even when he doesn’t have the ball he’s a huge factor on the game because he has to draw so much attention. He shares the ball when he has to, but if you need someone to step up and make a play he’s the one to take the team on his shoulders and he’s done that since he was a freshman.”
Coyne, a three-time Western Maine Conference all-star, will join Gilpin at Bates.
MOSS was the Southwestern Maine Activities Association player of the year and a Mr. Basketball semifinalist as he led Portland to its third straight regional title and second state championship during that span.
The 6-1 Moss, a BDN All-Maine honorable mention choice in 2015, experienced defeat just three times during his three varsity seasons and played his best in his finale, scoring 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds as Portland outlasted South Portland in double overtime to win the inaugural Class AA state championship.
“For three seasons Amir Moss has been a quiet, unselfish leader for the Bulldogs with a refuse-to-lose attitude,” Portland coach Joe Russo said. “His clutch performance in the state championship game was second to none.”
ROBINSON, a third-team BDN All-Maine choice last spring, has been the face of Dirigo basketball for the last four years, leading the Cougars to one regional title and three Mountain Valley Conference championships while becoming that league’s three-time player of the year.
The 6-3 senior amassed 1,974 career points, 584 rebounds, 418 assists and 129 3-pointers en route to being named a Mr. Basketball semifinalist.
“Riley set the tone for our program with the way he worked during practices, games and the offseason,” Dirigo coach Travis Magnusson said. “He is extremely coachable, a hard worker and a fierce competitor.”
LESURE, a 6-1 senior swingman, was named the Class B South tournament MVP after leading Lake Region to the regional title, then shook off early foul trouble in the state final to spark a second-half rally that propelled the Lakers past Ellsworth for its first gold ball since 1985.
A Mr. Basketball semifinalist, Lesure will play for his father, Whit Lesure, at Bridgton Academy next season.
PUSHARD, a first-team KVAC Class A all-star, led his conference in rebounds but also used his ballhandling ability and perimeter shooting range to become an 84-foot threat that led Brewer to the Class A North semifinals.
The 6-4 forward will play baseball next year at the University of Maine.
SPRAGUE-RIPLEY, a senior transfer from Oxford Hills, sparked a basketball renaissance at Massabesic where the Mustangs went 14-4 to make its first tourney appearance since 2003.
The athletic 6-4 forward and first-team All-SMAA selection led his conference in rebounds (10.3 rpg) and field-goal shooting (64 percent).
ULRICKSON, a third-team BDN All-Maine choice as a junior, moved up to the second team after being named the KVAC Class A South player of the year.
The 5-11 point guard was one of the state’s premier ballhandlers and totaled more than 1,500 career points.
DEPATSY, a 6-3 swingman, earned second-team BDN All-Maine status for the second straight year and All-KVAC first-team honors for the third straight season after leading Medomak to the Class A North final.
He helped the Panthers win two Eastern Maine championships and finished with 1,313 career points, 507 rebounds and 253 assists.
TERION MOSS complemented older brother Amir’s all-around game as Portland’s floor general and perimeter defensive catalyst. The sophomore guard and first-team All-SMAA honoree ranked second in the conference in assists (5.1 per game) and steals (3.8).
TILLEY transferred to Thornton Academy from New Brunswick, and earned All-SMAA first-team recognition while helping the Golden Trojans earn the No. 1 seed in Class AA South. The senior point guard will return to Canada to play collegiately at St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia.
SCHILDROTH sparked GSA to its first Class C state crown since 2003. The quick-shooting sophomore guard earned All-Penobscot Valley Conference first-team honors, then averaged 24 points and 5.75 assists in four postseason contests while leading the Eagles to a state title.
BELLEAU propelled Waynflete to its second Class C regional title in three years. The left-hander helped the Flyers compile a 19-3 record that included an overtime survival of Winthrop in the Class C South final. He was a first-team All-Western Maine Conference selection and the recipient of that league’s Bob Butler Award.
THOMPSON saw duty at all five positions on the court while leading Schenck to its berth in the Class C North semifinals. That versatility was reflected in Thompson’s statistics as the 6-2 guard averaged nearly a triple-double while surpassing 1,000 career points as a junior.