Ellsworth's Hunter Curtis battles past an Orono player to take a shot on the net during the Boys Class B North final at the Cross Insurance Center, Feb. 26, 2022. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

Hunter Curtis of Ellsworth, Will Kusnierz of Dexter and Hunter Burpee of Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook were instrumental in leading their teams to North regional boys basketball championships at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Their play and leadership have earned the trio the 2022 Bangor Daily News William C. Warner Awards as the most valuable players in Classes B, C and D.

The all-tournament squads were selected by media and tournament staff votes.

read more about the all-stars

Curtis was a unanimous MVP choice while leading Ellsworth to its first Class B North title since 2016, while Kusnierz similarly garnered all the MVP votes as Dexter captured its second straight Class C North crown.

The MVP race was a family affair in Class D, with Burpee, a senior center, edging his brother, sophomore forward Dylan Burpee, for the Warner Award after both propelled Southern Aroostook to its first regional championship since 1991.

Curtis is joined on the Class B all-tournament team by teammate Chance Mercier of Ellsworth, Pierce Walston of Orono, Edoardo Fiore of John Bapst of Bangor and Gabe Gifford of Old Town.

The Class C all-tourney team is composed of Kusnierz and Avery Gagnon of Dexter, Bryce Schneider of George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill, Simon Allen of Central of Corinth and Austin Delisle of Fort Kent.

Machias cousins Shane and Kashman Feeney and Carter Pelletier of Wisdom of Saint Agatha join Hunter and Dylan Burpee on the Class D North all-tournament squad.

Class B

Curtis’ versatility was on display throughout the region as the senior guard-forward averaged 13.7 points per game in Bangor and nearly had a triple-double in the championship game against Orono with 18 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Mercier, a sophomore forward, was Ellsworth’s leading scorer in its three-game tournament run, averaging 16 points with a high of 25 in the Eagles’ quarterfinal victory over Presque Isle.

Walston, a sophomore guard, was both playmaker and point producer as a youthful Orono team advanced to the championship game. He averaged 14.0 points per game, including 24 points during the Red Riots’ semifinal victory over John Bapst.

Fiore, a senior guard from John Bapst, via Venice, Italy, announced his arrival at the tournament with 20 points and 12 rebounds as the 11th-seeded Crusaders upset No. 3 Foxcroft Academy in the quarterfinals, a performance that included  a ¾-court 3-pointer to end the first quarter. He averaged 17.0 points in two tourney games.

Gifford, a junior guard, scored 13 of his team-high 16 points during the fourth quarter and overtime to help the Coyotes outlast Mount View of Thorndike in the quarters. Gifford had four 3-pointers in the contest, and finished his team’s tourney stay averaging 13.5 points per contest.

Class C

Kusnierz joins older brother Brett, a 2020 honoree, as an all-tournament choice and is the second straight Dexter player to earn MVP honors, following Nathan Richards two years ago. The junior forward averaged 21.7 points and scored 29 points in the quarterfinals and helped Dexter rally from an early 23-2 deficit in the championship game against George Stevens by scoring 12 of his game-high 14 points after intermission.

Gagnon epitomized the team defense that enabled Dexter to win its second straight regional crown, and the senior guard also averaged nearly 10 points per game, including 19 points in the semifinals and the winning basket with 38 seconds left in the title game against GSA.

Schneider was a key part of GSA’s towering front line, averaging 10.3 points with a team-high 17 as the Eagles edged Central of Corinth in the semifinals.

Allen, a senior guard, averaged 20.5 points per game during his stay in Bangor, including 23 points in the Red Devils’ quarterfinal upset of No. 3 Woodland, despite facing a box-and-one defense.

Delisle averaged 16.0 points per game, including a 28-point outburst during the quarterfinals as the Warriors topped Calais.

Class D

Hunter Burpee displayed considerable versatility during Southern Aroostook’s tournament run, with shooting range to 3-point land. But his strength was his inside play, as the Warriors’ senior big man averaged 18.0 points per game. He had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the quarterfinals, then scored 25 points with nine boards in the semifinals.

Dylan Burpee, a sophomore forward, nearly matched his brother’s offensive output, averaging 16.7 points at the Cross Center, including 21 points and nine rebounds in the quarterfinals and 17 points in the semifinals.

Shane Feeney was the leading scorer in the D North tournament, averaging 19.3 points per game for Machias, including a 26-point semifinal performance.

Kashman Feeney, a senior forward and the 2020 Class D North most valuable player, averaged 16.0 points in three games, including 29 in a semifinal victory over Wisdom.

Pelletier, a senior guard, led Wisdom to its first semifinal appearance since 1996, scoring 10 of his game-high 16 points during the fourth quarterfinal as the Pioneers rallied from a 10-point deficit to edge Bangor Christian in the quarterfinals.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained errors in the headline.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...