BANGOR, Maine — Two players barely a week removed from celebrating as their teams won state championships captured the biggest individual awards in Maine high school basketball Friday night. Matt Fleming of Bangor and Anna DeWolfe of Greely of Cumberland Center were named the state’s Mr. and Miss Maine Basketball.
“I definitely enjoyed the state championship a little better, said Fleming, who led Bangor to the Class AA gold ball last Saturday, the school’s first basketball state title since 2011. “The team aspect, there’s nothing like it. But to be named Mr. Maine Basketball is amazing.”
Fleming, a 6-foot-6 forward who will continue his playing career at Army West Point, averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in leading coach Brad Libby’s club to a 20-2 record.
But some of his satisfaction in becoming just the second Bangor boys player to win the Mr. Maine Basketball award — Zak Ray was the recipient in 2003 — was more about sibling rivalry than being the best in the state.
Older brother Andrew Fleming was a Mr. Maine Basketball finalist in 2016 and now is a junior forward at the University of Maine where on Friday he was named to the All-America East second team.
“Me and my brother have always been really competitive with each other,” said Matt Fleming.
“We’re each other’s biggest supporters but at the same time we want to outdo the other one. Seeing his career go the way it did, I set some goals for myself that I wanted to beat him in as many aspects as I could.”
Other Mr. Basketball finalists were Wol Maiwen of Edward Little in Auburn and Ben Onek of Deering in Portland.
The finalists were selected from a field of semifinalists that also included Ashtyn Abbott of Hall-Dale in Farmingdale, Zach Brown and Andrew Storey of Greely, Nick Fiorillo of Scarborough, John Martin of Gray-New Gloucester, Cooper Wirkala of Oceanside in Rockland and Cam Wood of Winthrop.
“Ben and Wol are really great players so they could have given it to any one of us tonight,” said Fleming after the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches banquet at the Anah Shrine Hall.
DeWolfe, a 5-7 guard, led Greely to its second straight Class A girls basketball title this winter. She averaged 27 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals while making 46 3-pointers for the undefeated Rangers (22-0).
“I like to play fast,” said the Fordham University-bound DeWolfe of her style of play. “I like to get assists. Assists are better than scoring, personally. I love setting up my teammates.”
DeWolfe’s fellow finalists were Mackenzie Holmes of Gorham and Faith Blethen of Boothbay, all of whom were longtime teammates with the Maine Firecrackers AAU program.
“They’re awesome. We’re so happy for each other,” said DeWolfe. “There’s no real competition between us. I love them all, and it’s been special the last four years.”
Six of the 10 semifinalists played together for the Firecrackers.
“I’m truly blessed,” said DeWolfe. “I just try to enjoy every moment I possibly can, take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.”
Holmes, a 6-2 center, was named 2018-19 Gatorade Maine Girls Basketball Player of the Year on Friday.
The other Miss Maine Basketball semifinalists included Annie Cooke of Skowhegan, Bailey Donovan of Hampden Academy, Delaney Haines of Deering of Portland, Brianna Jordan of Gray-New Gloucester, Grace Martin of Biddeford, McKenzy Ouellette of Massabesic of Waterboro and Katie Whitmore of South Portland.
All-star weekend activities continue Saturday at Newman Gymnasium on the campus of Husson University in Bangor, beginning at 8:30 a.m. with the state free-throw shooting contest.
The boys finalists are Chris Albert of Old Town (North), Jeremy Richard of Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft (East), Parker Desjardins of Forest Hills in Jackman (Central) and Nicco Petre of Falmouth (South).
The girls finalists are Faith Sjoberg of Presque Isle (North), Peyton Grant of Dexter (East), Skowhegan’s Cooke (Central) and Blethen of Boothbay (South).
That event is followed by four McDonald’s Maine Senior All-Star Games: Girls AA/A/B at 9:15 a.m., boys AA/A/B at 10:45, C-D boys at 1 p.m. and C-D girls at 2:30. A 3-point contest is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. with a slam dunk contest to follow at 12:30.