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 High School and Jaycie Christopher of Skowhegan Area High School are among the finalists for the state’s Mr. and Miss Basketball awards that will be presented next weekend.

Curtis, John Shea of Edward Little High School in Auburn and Brady Coyne of Falmouth are finalists for the Mr. Basketball award given annually to the state’s top senior high school boys basketball player.

Christopher, Anna Nelson of Gorham and Grace Eastman of Wells will vie for the Miss Basketball award.

The awards, normally presented at a banquet held in Bangor the night before the annual Maine McDonald’s All-Star Basketball games are contested in the Queen City, instead will be presented Saturday during a break in the four-game slate of all-star games at Newman Gymnasium on the Husson University campus in Bangor.

The Maine Association of Basketball Coaches president Peter Murray, boys basketball head coach at Dexter Regional High School, said the association and McDonald’s determined that a banquet of that size — typically several hundred people — could not be done safely and in compliance with CDC regulations this year, as also was the case in 2021.

A ceremony featuring various honors that normally would be presented at the banquet, including the Mr. and Miss Basketball, Spirit of the Game and Academic Scholarship awards, will be held between 12:30 and 1 p.m. Saturday during a break between the AA/A/B and C/D all-star doubleheaders.

Curtis, the Big East Conference Player of the Year and Class B North tournament’s most valuable player, averaged 18.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game during the regular season and led the Eagles to a 22-1 record and the regional championship before they fell to Yarmouth 59-52 in overtime at Friday night’s Class B state final.

Shea was named Class AA North Player of the Year after averaging 27 points and 11 rebounds per game while leading Edward Little of Auburn to an 18-3 record, the No. 1 seed in the region and a berth in the regional championship game, where the Red Eddies fell to Oxford Hills of South Paris 48-47 in overtime.

Coyne averaged a team-leading 19.3 points and 4,8 assists per game during the regular season as Falmouth finished atop the Class A South Heal points. He went on to be named the A South tournament MVP as the Navigators reached the Class A state championship game before falling to Nokomis of Newport 43-27 to finish their season with a 19-3 record.

The Mr. Basketball finalists were selected from a field of semifinalists that also included Max Clark of Bangor, Aaron Newcomb and Colby Smith of Brewer, Luke Briggs of Cony of Augusta, Austin Delisle of Fort Kent, David Omosambo of Lewiston and Owen Maloney of South Portland.

Christopher’s play was pivotal as undefeated Skowhegan captured its first Class A girls basketball championship. The Boston University-bound guard averaged 23.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.5 steals per contest during the regular season and scored 24 points as the River Hawks defeated Greely of Cumberland Center 60-46 in Saturday’s Class A state final to finish their season with a 22-0 record.

Nelson sparked Gorham to an appearance in the Class AA state championship game. The guard averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds per outing for the AA South champions, who finished the season with an 18-4 record after falling to Cheverus of Portland 49-36 in Saturday’s state final.

The Merrimack College-bound Ramsdell, a 6-1 center-forward, propelled Wells to the No. 1 seed in Class B South and a berth in the regional semifinals before Warriors were upset by No. 5 York 60-52. Ramsdell also helped Wells capture the 2020 Class B state title.

Other semifinalists for the Miss Basketball honor were Chelsea Graiver of Greely of Cumberland Center, Brooklyn Alexander of Oxford Hills of South Paris, Faith Sjoberg of Presque Isle, Lindsay Fiorillo of Scarborough, Aislyn Alley of Stearns of Millinocket, Sarah Talon of Windham and Katelyn D’Appolonia of Yarmouth.

Maine McDonald’s All-Star Basketball Games activities begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with the state free-throw shooting contest, followed by the Classes AA/A/B games at 9:45 a.m. (girls) and 11 a.m. (boys).

The Classes C/D games are scheduled for 1:15 p.m. (boys) and 2:45 p.m. (girls).

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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...