McAuley Lions Winter Athlete of the Year

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2010-11 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:

REBECCA KNIGHT, Senior-Basketball

* Miss Maine Basketball finalist

* SMAA all-star, first team

* SMAA Senior All-Star

* Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star

The Rebecca Knight that everyone’s had the pleasure to watch in a McAuley uniform the past four years is a fierce competitor, one serious about her craft.

Off the floor, however, Knight is a different personality altogether, fun loving and carefree.

Mix the two together and you have a standout student-athlete, one who capped her stellar high school career with a long-awaited Gold Ball.

Knight was able to play her senior season free from injury and she and her teammates made the most of their talent as they made the Lions state champion for the first time since 2003.

For being one of the state’s premier players, a great leader and for keeping things light when the pressure was on, Rebecca Knight is The Forecaster’s choice for McAuley’s 2010-11 Winter Athlete of the Year.

Knight’s from Alfred and comes naturally to basketball. Her father, Greg, is the all-time leading scorer at Massabesic and her older sister, Jess, was a Division I athlete (hockey). Knight, who played soccer and softball prior to high school, made an immediate splash at McAuley as a freshman and soon became one of the state’s top players. Her junior year was one of frustration, as she was sidelined much of it by injury, but this season everything came together for Knight and the Lions.

Her ability to score from anywhere, toughness on the glass and on defense made her a focal point of whichever team McAuley faced. Teaming with junior Alexa Coulombe for a deadly high-low game, while helping mentor freshman point guard Allie Clement, Knight had her share of starring performances.

She scored in double figures in 15 of 18 games. Knight had 18 points versus Windham, 14 in a come-from-behind victory at Cheverus, 20 versus Noble, 16 against Bonny Eagle, 25 versus Sanford, 26 against Portland, 26 in a thrilling overtime win at Deering and a season-high 31 in a second victory over Cheverus.

For the regular season, Knight was the SMAA’s fifth-leading scorer at 16 points per game. She was also eighth in rebounds (8.0), fifth in steals (3.5), fourth in field goal percentage and 10th in foul shooting.

In McAuley’s run to the Gold Ball, Knight erupted for 24 points and 10 rebounds in a quarterfinal round win over South Portland, had 12 points and five boards versus Gorham in the semis and added 10 points, five rebounds and a block in an epic regional final victory over Deering.

In the state final, Knight closed her high school career in style, scoring 10 points (giving her 962 for her career), while grabbing a whopping 16 rebounds.

Knight, who plays for the MBNation AAU team after spending two years with the New England Crusaders, will attend the University of Maine next year. She’s undecided on a major, but has an interest in becoming a physical trainer.

She has plenty of greatness to come. Rebecca Knight, McAuley’s 2010-11 Winter Athlete of the Year, got the job done, with flair, and will long be hailed for being a Lions’ great.

Coach Amy Vachon’s comment: “Becca’s phenomenal. When I met her, her first words were, ‘I want to win a state championship.’ She did everything for us. She was a great leader. Such a hard worker. I can’t say enough positive things about her. She led our team and has been fantastic. I can’t put my finger on why some people think she’s not as good as she is, but she’s the real deal. ”

2009-10 winner: Alexa Coulombe (Basketball)

2008-09 winner: Kristen Desrosiers (Swimming)

2007-08 winner: Kristen Desrosiers (Swimming)

2006-07 winner: Abby Wentworth (Basketball)

2005-06 winner: Ashley Cimino (Basketball)

2004-05 winner: Tara Beaulieu (Basketball)

2003-04 winner: Katie Donnelly (Indoor track)

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