Memorable players, legendary coaches and pioneers of the game are among 16 members of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2019 announced Wednesday.
The slate of inductees includes 11 men and five women who made their marks on the sport in the Pine Tree State, along with eight “Legends of the Game” and the 1963 Morse of Bath and Stearns of Millinocket boys high school basketball teams that battled in the Maine Class LL state final — Morse won — and the New England championship game at the Boston Garden — Stearns won.
This year’s induction ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 18, at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Members of this year’s induction class are the following:
Mark Reed, who was a four-year starter at Bangor High School and led the Rams to the 1992 Eastern Maine Class A title and the 1993 state championship. The first-team BDN All-Maine honoree went on to play collegiately at Liberty University before coming home to coach high school basketball, first at Brewer and now at Hermon High School, where he guided the Hawks to a 22-0 record and their first Class B state championship in 2018.
Rick Simonds played basketball at Waldoboro High School and Maine Central Institute before moving on to the University of Southern Maine, where he starred in both basketball and baseball. He then entered coaching, with stops including Ellsworth High School and Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, where he led the Monks to a 466-176 record with 11 conference titles and six national tournament appearances over 23 years.
Stephanie Carter-Thompson, who led Schenck High School of East Millinocket to three consecutive Class C state championships in 1987, 1988 and 1989, and scored 2,167 points for the Wolverines. She was a three-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine selection and continued her career at the University of Maine and Saint Joseph’s College of Standish.
John Donato, who is one of the winningest coaches in Maine schoolgirl basketball with nearly 550 victories and has led teams to five state championships and 11 regional titles. He led teams at Houlton High School to four gold balls, and has had subsequent stops at Mount View of Thorndike, Messalonskee of Oakland, Hall-Dale of Farmingdale and Lawrence of Fairfield, where his 2015 team captured the Class A state crown. He currently coaches at Orono High School.
Max Good, who is one of Maine’s most successful coaches with more than 600 victories during a career that included stops at Nevada-Las Vegas, Loyola-Marymount, Eastern Kentucky, Bryant College, Pratt Community College and the postgraduate program at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, where he coached from 1989 to 1999 and won 90.2 percent of his games and five New England Prep School Athletic Council championships.
Becky Moholland Ireland, who scored more than 1,000 points while starring at Calais High School in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She spent her first two years of college at the University of Maine at Machias, where she led the nation with 19 rebounds per game as a sophomore. She transferred to Husson College in Bangor for her final two years, and finished her college career with 1,221 points and 946 rebounds.
Scott Saft, who was the inside force for a talent-laden Waterville High School team that won the 1985 Class A state championship. The first-team BDN All-Maine selection went on to play at Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he twice was an All-NESCAC selection as well as a Division III honorable mention All-American. He scored 1,004 points at Amherst while leading his team to the 1988 NESCAC championship and one ECAC Division III tournament appearance.
Jim Beattie, a former All-Maine player at South Portland High School who later walked on at Dartmouth College before embarking on an eight-year Major League Baseball career, most notably with the New York Yankees.
Jeff Bowers, another South Portland High product who went on to star at the University of Southern Maine and helped the Huskies reach the 1989 NCAA Division III Final Four.
John Conley, who helped Morse High School of Bath win three consecutive Class A state championships in 1987, 1988 and 1989, and then was a four-year starter at Dartmouth.
Matt Gaudet, who starred at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford where he was named Maine’s 1991 Mr. Basketball. He went on to Colby College in Waterville, where he played point guard and led the Mules to an 85-16 record and two NCAA tournament appearances. He was named Maine College Player of the year in 1995.
Gail Jackson, who played on three straight Class A state championship teams at Westbrook High School before graduating in 1980 and was a three-time BDN All-Maine selection. She then played at the University of New Hampshire, where she led the Wildcats in rebounding each year and still ranks third in the university’s history for most rebounds in a season.
Doug Lisherness, who scored more than 2,000 points during his playing career at Strong High School in western Maine and set Class D tournament records with 19 free throws in a game and 33 in a tournament. He went on to coach the girls basketball team at Mount Abram High School in Salem for 26 years, winning more than 300 games and state championships in 1991 and 2007.
Derek Vogel, who was a four-year starter at Westbrook College and scored a Maine college-record 3,050 career points and as a senior led the nation in scoring with just under 1,000 points in that season alone. The Cumberland native went on to play nine seasons of professional basketball with stops in England, Russia, Yugoslavia and Germany, as well as a tryout with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.
Mari Warner, who was named to the first BDN All-Maine women’s basketball team in 1977 for her play at Thornton Academy in Saco. She then played at the University of Maine. She coached for 20 years at the University of Albany as the Great Danes moved up from Division III to Division I. She compiled a 298-203 record at Albany before returning to the high school ranks, first in New York and eventually back to Maine, where she coached at Falmouth High School from 2010 to 2016.
Linda Whitney, who was an ambassador for the sport statewide during the pre-Title IX years and led Lake Region High School of Naples to a state championship in 1975, the first year of modern tournament play in Maine schoolgirl basketball. She amassed 314 coaching wins before retiring in 2000.
Legends of the Game
Mike Bouchard was a 6-foot-8 center who led Katahdin of Stacyville to back-to-back state championship games, winning the gold ball in 1977. He was a two-time All-Maine honoree.
Bill Burney had one of the most memorable games in Maine high school basketball history when he scored 53 points against Presque Isle during the 1969 tournament. That performance included 19 free throws.
Leigh Campbell was the official basketball scorer at Bates College in Lewiston for nearly 50 years, and he also served in that capacity for the high school basketball tournament for decades.
Hank Madore was a 1948 Stearns High School graduate on whom legendary coach George Wentworth relied to show his younger players how the game should be played. Madore went on to play 20 years for the semi-pro Millinocket Pills.
John “Jeddy” Newman helped Cheverus of Portland win the 1961 state championship, and then later embarked on a coaching career that included stops at Bonny Eagle of Standish — winning the 1970 state title — and Thornton Academy in Saco, where he coached for two decades.
Jay Ramsdell of Bar Harbor began his pro basketball career as a volunteer with the Bangor-based Maine Lumberjacks and worked with the Continental Basketball Association team from 1978 to 1982, leaving in 1982 after his high school graduation from Mount Desert Island for a job in the CBA’s league office. He took a leave of absence from the league to serve as the general manager of the CBA’s Maine Windjammers in Bangor from in 1985 and 1986 before the team folded.
Ramsdell became the youngest commissioner in any professional sport when he was named to lead the CBA in 1988 at age 24. The CBA named its championship trophy after Ramsdell after he died in 1989 in a plane crash in Iowa. He was 25.
Dick Sturgeon starred at Old Town High School and the University of Maine, where he earned All-Yankee Conference status in 1959. A knee injury shortened his playing career, but he got into coaching with the UMaine freshman team and later coached at Madison and Cony of Augusta high schools before spending 11 years as head coach at the University of Southern Maine.
Al Halliday was a star athlete at Waterville High School who went on to coach the 10th Army basketball team in Germany. He has been active in officiating for 50 years, working more than 2,000 games including many regional and state championship contests. Halliday also has served on the Maine Basketball Commission and as a Maine Principals’ Association tournament supervisor of officials.