Two boys basketball standouts from eastern Maine who helped their teams win a combined five state championships have determined where they will continue their athletic careers after high school.
Jacob Godfrey, the 6-foot-6 senior forward who helped undefeated Hermon High School capture its first Class B state title last winter, has accepted a full scholarship to play next fall at East Stroudsburg University, an NCAA Division II program in Pennsylvania.
Taylor Schildroth, a three-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine senior guard from George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, will reclassify to the Class of 2019 and attend prep school at The Nation Christian Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida, this coming year.
Both decisions were announced via Twitter by their AAU basketball program, Black Bear North, for which Schildroth and Godfrey have been teammates.
Godfrey helped Machias win the 2017 Class D state championship before moving last fall to Hermon, where he provided a key interior component both offensively and defensively as the Hawks went unbeaten in 22 games.
Godfrey averaged 12.3 points on 54 percent shooting from the field and grabbed 8.0 rebounds per game during the regular season for the Hawks, then played a pivotal role in the team’s 55-34 victory over Wells in the Class B state final as he scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the first half.
He was named a semifinalist for the state’s Mr. Maine Basketball Award, a member of the All-Big East Conference first team and also earned BDN All-Maine honorable mention status.
East Stroudsburg University is coming off a historic season as coach Jeff Wilson’s club advanced to the Division II Elite Eight for the first time. The Warriors (27-6) won their third Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship in the last seven years and earned their fifth NCAA tourney berth in the last nine seasons.
East Stroudsburg scored 92 points per game last winter to rank fourth in Division II.
That offense was fueled in part by defense, as the team recorded a Division II-best 11.5 steals per game. The Warriors also ranked second nationally in turnover margin (+6.7) and turnovers forced per game (21.2), third in assists (19.8) and fourth in 3-point field goal defense (30.8 percent).
“I think that’s certainly a level he’s capable of playing at,” said Hermon coach Mark Reed. “I think there’s going to be a lot of growth in him at the next level because the game is going to change for him.
“His size is probably going to move him more toward the perimeter as a three or stretch-four kind of player and it’s going to be interesting to see how he develops.”
The 6-1 Schildroth has been one of Maine’s most prolific scorers during the last three seasons under George Stevens Academy coach Dwayne Carter.
Among his high school accomplishments, he scored 61 points in a single game as a junior, which is believed to be the highest total for a game since the 3-point shot was instituted in 1988.
As a senior Schildroth averaged 24.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 5.9 steals during the regular season, then averaged 27.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.3 steals and 5.0 assists during tournament play as the Eagles finished 21-1 and captured their third straight Class C state championship.
He scored a game-high 27 points in this year’s state final as George Stevens defeated Hall-Dale of Farmingdale 64-59.
Led by Schildroth and Maine Maritime Academy-bound center Max Mattson, GSA went 64-2 over the last three winters.
Schildroth was a finalist for this year’s Mr. Basketball award as well as a first-team Bangor Daily News All-Maine choice for the second straight year after earning third-team recognition as a sophomore.
Schildroth will be coached at The Nation Christian Academy by someone familiar to Maine’s AAU basketball scene in Mike Woodbury, who used to operate the MB Nation AAU program in central and southern Maine before relocating to Florida in recent years.
“I know he’s had a lot of success with guys who have played with him,” said Schildroth, who never played under Woodbury in the AAU ranks but played against the coach’s squads.
“Knowing him and knowing that we trust him I think made it a pretty easy decision to go down there for a year to explore my options.”
The Nation Christian Academy basketball program plays what its website describes as a nationally recognized schedule designed to enhance its players’ potential to earn multiple collegiate options.
“I think a year of prep school will really challenge Taylor with a high level of competition that will elevate his game,” said Carter. “Also, Taylor will physically and mentally mature, which will help him hone his game and get him ready for high-level college play.
“It will also give him a lot more exposure and the possibility of college scholarships. Taylor is a player who likes to be challenged and always rises to it. This will be a great experience for him and will elevate his abilities as an athlete and player.”
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