Local hoops standouts honored-Portland edition

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After eight of nine city basketball teams reached the postseason, two made it to the state final and one, the Portland boys, won a state title, it’s no surprise that the Southwestern Maine Activities Association and Western Maine Conference all-star teams featured a lot of familiar names.

Bulldogs lead the way

Portland won the first-ever Class AA championship late last month, its second state title in three seasons, and had standout senior Amir Moss named the SMAA Most Valuable Player.

Portland’s Terion Moss and Deering’s Anthony Lobor and Ben Williams joined Gorham’s Billy Ruby, Massabesic’s Tyus Sprague-Ripley and Thornton Academy’s Jack Tilley as SMAA first-teamers.

Cheverus’ Jack Casale made the second-team, along with Gorham’s Sam Kilborn, Marshwood’s Ryan O’Neil, Massabesic’s Ryan Gullickson, South Portland’s Jack Fiorini and Windham’s Nick Curtis.

The third team included Cheverus’ Austin Boudreau and Deering’s Raffaele Salamone, along with Bonny Eagle’s Troy Bogdhan, Massabesic’s Dan Amabile and Sanford’s Ethan Belanger.

Cheverus’ Jesse Matthews, Deering’s Malik White and Portland’s Joe Esposito were honorable mentions, along with Noble’s Brandon Davis, South Portland’s Ruay Bol, Thornton Academy’s Ben Lambert and Rome Pura and Westbrook’s Curtis Knapton. 

Deering’s Ben Onek and Portland’s Trey Bellew and Pedro Fonseca made the SMAA All-Rookie team, which also included Biddeford’s Kyle Norton, Scarborough’s Nick Fiorillo and Westbrook’s Zac Manoogian.

Portland’s Esposito was named SMAA Defensive Player of the Year.

Cheverus’ Andrew Roberts won the Gary Randall Award.

Senior All-Stars included Deering’s Lobor, White, Williams and Max Chabot and Portland’s Esposito and Amir Moss.

Cheverus’ Kenny Drelich, Andrew Roberts and Jake Tomkinson and Portland’s Joe Esposito and John Williams qualified for the SMAA All-Academic team.

Waynflete got to the Class C Final for the second time in three seasons and the Flyers had Milo Belleau and Yai Deng named to the WMC Class C first-team. They were joined by North Yarmouth Academy’s Haven Cutko and Old Orchard Beach’s Evan Christiansen and Erik Hogan.

Waynflete’s Abel Alemayo and Will Nelligan made the second-team, along with NYA’s Jake Malcom, Old Orchard Beach’s Ian Regan and Traip Academy’s Coleman Pelkey and Angelo Succi. 

Nelligan qualified for the WMC All-Academic team.

Alemayo, Belleau and Nelligan all took part in the WMC Senior All-Star Game.

Alemayo won the WMC 3-point shooting contest.

Belleau won the Bob Butler Award.

Amir Moss played for the Class AA/A/B boys’ North team (he had 19 points in a 97-91 victory over the South) and Belleau was part of the Class C/D South squad (which beat the North, 113-79) in the Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star Game.

Cheverus’ Andrew Roberts qualified for the boys’ All-State All-Academic team.

Amir Moss was a semifinalist for the Mr. Maine Basketball Award, which was won by Hampden Academy’s Nick Gilpin.

Tradition of excellence

Girls from the city have long been among the state’s best and there were plenty of stars in 2015-16.

In the SMAA, McAuley’s Jess Willerson joined Emily Esposito and Mackenzie Holmes of Class AA champion Gorham, South Portland’s Meghan Graff and Maddie Hasson and Westbrook’s Alisha Aube on the first-team.

Cheverus’ Abby Cavallaro and Deering’s Abi Ramirez joined Thornton Academy’s Alex Hart and Ashley Howe and Windham’s Sadie Nelson on the second-team.

Deering’s Tasia Titherington, along with Gorham’s Kaylea Lundin, Massabesic’s McKenzy Ouellette and Scarborough’s Sophie Glidden and Brooke Malone, was named to the third-team.

The SMAA All-Rookie team included Deering’s Delaney Haines, who was joined by Biddeford’s Grace Martin, Bonny Eagle’s Mackenzie Emery, Gorham’s Holmes, Massabesic’s Ouellette and South Portland’s Katie Whitmore. 

Deering’s Ramirez and McAuley’s Eva Mazur, along with Gorham’s Lundin, South Portland’s Hasson and Thornton Academy’s Hart and Howe, were SMAA All-Defensive team selections.

Senior All-Stars included Deering’s Delaney Donovan and McAuley’s Willerson, Sarah Clement, Brooke Howard and Chelsea Rairdon.

The SMAA All-Academic team included Deering’s Cassidy Coyne and Delaney Donovan and McAuley’s Chelsea Rairdon and Jess Willerson.

Deering’s Mike Murphy was given the Ron Cote SMAA Coach of the Year award.

In the WMC, Waynflete’s Annika Brooks and Lydia Giguere were named to the Class C first-team, along with Old Orchard Beach’s Peyton Feitz and Brianna Plante and Traip Academy’s Cassidy Delano.

Waynflete’s Anne Veroneau, along with NYA’s Maggie Larson, Old Orchard Beach’s Vanessa Hebert and Traip’s Marina Casey and Jessica MacNeill, was named to the second-team. 

Waynflete’s Arianna Giguere and Anne Veroneau qualified for the WMC All-Academic team.

McAuley’s Jess Willerson and Waynflete’s Arianna Giguere qualified for the girls’ All-State All-Academic team.

Willerson was a semifinalist for the Miss Maine Basketball Award, which was won by Lawrence’s Nia Irving.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements


Portland senior Amir Moss didn’t just lead the Bulldogs to the inaugural Class AA state title, he was also named the Southwestern Maine Activities Association MVP.

Deering’s Abi Ramirez used her speed and determination to earn a spot on the SMAA girls’ basketball all-star team.

Waynflete’s Yai Deng played a key role in his team’s run to the Class C state final and was named to the Western Maine Conference boys’ basketball first-team. 

Senior Jess Willerson led McAuley to another excellent season, was named to the SMAA girls’ first-team and was a semifinalist for the Miss Maine Basketball award.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.