Emily Esposito has achieved a rare feat. Gorham High School’s senior guard has been chosen to the first team of the Bangor Daily News All-Maine Schoolgirl Basketball Team for the third consecutive season.

Esposito, who will play at Division I Villanova University next season, was also chosen as Miss Maine Basketball and the Gatorade Player of the Year in securing a spot on our 41st All-Maine squad.

The team, selected without regard to position or class, is compiled by the BDN staff with statewide input from coaches, officials, media and longtime observers.

Esposito is joined on the First Team by three-time choice Kolleen Bouchard of Houlton, Sophie Holmes of Messalonskee High in Oakland, Anna DeWolfe of Greely in Cumberland Center and Gorham’s Mackenzie Holmes.

DeWolfe was a second-team pick in 2016 while the Holmes girls were third-teamers.

The Second Team includes five seniors: Edward Little High of Auburn’s Jordyn Reynolds, Bangor’s Katie Butler, Brunswick’s Madeline Suhr, Tasia Titherington of Portland’s Deering High and Winslow’s Heather Kervin.

The Third Team is composed of George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill senior Morgan Dauk, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle senior Brie Wajer, Gardiner senior Lauren Chadwick, Presque Isle junior Emily Wheaton and Boothbay Region junior Page Brown.

Butler, Reynolds, Wajer and Wheaton were honorable mentions in 2016.


Esposito and Mackenzie Holmes led the Rams to their second consecutive state Class AA championship and a 42-game win streak. The duo shared the Southwestern Maine Activities Association Co-Player of the Year Award and were league first-team and all-defensive picks.

Thornton Academy coach Eric Marston said Esposito “plays on another level most of the time. She is so athletic.”

“She can play all five positions,” said Gorham coach Laughn Berthiaume. “She has really developed her outside game.”

Berthiaume said Esposito shot 36 percent from the 3-point arc and, “just under 49 percent from the floor. Sometimes they’ll play real good defense on her but she’ll still score.”

“She’s hard to defend and she’s especially dangerous in the open court,” said South Portland coach Lynne Hasson.

Mackenzie Holmes, according to Deering coach Mike Murphy, is a “monster” in the paint.

“She can write her own ticket [to college]. She made it tough on all of us. She has tremendous footwork,” he said of the polished post player.

“She can score around the rim with both hands,” said Berthiaume. “She can go left or right.”

“You can’t shut her down because she’s too big and too good,” said Hasson. “She has great hands and runs the court really well. And the big thing with her is she is a shot-blocker so she affects the way the other team plays offensively.”

Sophie Holmes was the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A Player of the Year and the “A” North tourney MVP as as she led the Eagles to the Class A state championship.

“She plays at a different level,” said Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby, who considers her an exemplary leader. “She’s aggressive. She has a nose for the ball and a nose for scoring.”

“She is a great rebounder. She is always around the ball,” said Brewer coach Chris Horr. “She’s not the biggest player around but she just wants the ball. She had a great all-around game.”

DeWolfe is a guard who was one of the state’s top scorers and playmakers.

“She scores the ball very efficiently and she’s a good, solid defender,” said Greely High coach Todd Flaherty. “She was a captain as a sophomore and that’s a little unusual.

“She plays both ends of the court. She does a lot of things for us,” he said. “She distributes the ball well. She’s a well-rounded player who was very important to our team. Her assists-to-turnovers ratio was 2-to-1.”

“She can do anything with the ball,” said Biddeford coach Katie Herbine. “She’s an unbelievable player and she’s young, so she’s only going to get better.”

Bouchard led Houlton to its third straight regional championship. She was the BDN’s Owen O. Osborne tournament MVP for the third straight year.

“Her No. 1 asset is her versatility,” said Houlton coach Shawn Graham. “She can play anywhere. She has certainly extended her range. She shot 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. She’s also very good off the dribble. She can penetrate and get to the rim with either hand.

“And she is probably the most clutch shooter I have ever coached. She makes extremely difficult shots in big-time situations,” added Graham.

“She made all the big plays when Houlton needed them,” said Presque Isle coach Jeff Hudson. “She blocks shots, she rebounds. She has such a long wingspan.”

“She is in a class by herself,” said Ellsworth coach Andy Pooler.


Despite playing on an inexperienced Bangor team, Tufts University-bound forward Butler still had an exceptional season — especially down the stretch.

“Over her last 10 games, she averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds per game,” said Bangor coach Joe Johnson. “She blocked two or three shots a game and altered a lot of shots. She really worked hard all year and it really came together for her.”

“She plays really hard, she’s aggressive on the offensive glass and she’s a smart player. She can do a lot to hurt you,” said TA’s Marston. “She blocks a lot of shots.”

Brunswick’s Suhr was the KVAC South Class A Player of the Year after leading the Dragons to the regional title. She was the first Brunswick player to be chosen the tournament MVP since former UMaine women’s coach and current Duke coach Joanne Palombo McCallie.

The forward will play at Division III Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

“She was the base of all of our defenses. She’s long and she knows how to use her body,” said Brunswick coach Sam Farrell. “She became a much better ball handler and she was a press breaker.”

“She’s very athletic and deceptively quick. She covers a lot of ground,” said Flaherty, whose top-ranked Rangers were upset by Brunswick in the regional title game as Suhr had 22 points and shot 8-for-8 from the field.

Reynolds, a post player, was chosen the KVAC Class AA North Player of the Year and EL’s Jipson called the center the “best shot-blocker I’ve ever coached. She is such a great athlete.

“She has always been a great defender and a real good rebounder and she became a scorer this year. She shot 43 percent from the floor,” said Jipson, who noted Reynolds played most of the season with a stress fracture in her leg.

“She really blossomed as an offensive player,” said Farrell.

Titherington was an All-SMAA Class AA first-team guard and was the North tournament MVP.

“She was our backbone. She has been our leading scorer for four years,” said Murphy. “She was a calm presence for us and the others fed off her. She hit 38 3-pointers despite being face-guarded most of the time.”

“She does a little bit of everything and she controls the game. She’s a tough kid and a tough defender,” said Marston.

Kervin, a gritty guard-forward, was recognized as the KVAC Class B North Player of the Year.

“She has been our go-to player for four years,” said Winslow coach Lindsey Withee. “She scored over 1,000 points and had over 500 rebounds. She has been the heart and soul of our team. And she has really worked at her game.”

“She’s a tough kid. She would run through a wall for you,” said Lincoln Academy coach Kevin Feltis. “She is an undersized player who plays like she’s a 6-footer. She’s a real good rebounder.”


Lincoln Academy’s Wajer, who will attend Division II Wingate (North Carolina) University, “is the epitome of having a coach on the floor. She even changed defenses for us [on her own],” said Feltis.

“She can hit a 3, she can take it off the dribble. Her ability to handle the basketball is second to none. She is everything you could ask from a point guard.”

“She is fearless. She is extremely quick and she is one of the best defenders in the state,” said Winslow’s Withee.

Wheaton was the catalyst at point guard for Presque Isle and shot 45 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the foul line.

“She is a great all-around player,” said PI coach Hudson. “She makes all her teammates better. She breaks the press for us. She can shoot from anywhere.”

“She is the best point guard in Class B. She is one of the best ball handlers around,” said Houlton’s Graham.

The Williams College-bound Dauk dominated the paint for George Stevens Academy.

“She was the key to our defense,” said GSA coach Bill Case. “She was our press-breaker and you don’t see many girls that size who can dribble like she can. I’ve been coaching girls basketball since 1980 and I’ve never had a player who is so good in so many areas as Morgan.”

“She can handle the ball like a guard and that’s what separates her from other big players,” said Ellsworth’s Pooler.

Brown was the Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year after averaging almost a double-double.

“She’s a throwback to post players,” said Boothbay coach Tanner Grove. “That’s a rarity in high school. She is very efficient in the block. She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. She really stepped up big time this year.”

“For a girl her size, she has some great moves and she’s very quick under the basket,” said Madison coach Al Veneziano. “She boxes out very well.”

Chadwick was Gardiner’s leader, statistically and otherwise.

“It’s hard to put into words what she meant to our team over the past four years,” said Gardiner coach Mike Gray. “We ran everything through her. She had great stats but they don’t start to tell the story of what she did for our team. She was a great leader and set the tone at both ends of the court.”

Brewer’s Horr said the guard has an exceptional all-around game.

“She’s aggressive. She wants the ball both offensively and defensively. She doesn’t put herself in bad positions. She can attack the basket or hit jump shots,” said Horr.