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McAuley Lions Winter Athlete of the Year

Sports

McAuley Lions Winter Athlete of the Year

2012-13 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:

ALLIE CLEMENT, Junior-Basketball

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CITATIONS

· Maine Gatorade Player of the Year

· Edward “Red' McCann winner (MVP of Western A tournament)

· SMAA All-Star, first-team

· SMAA All-Defensive team

· SMAA leading scorer

· Team captain

Clement was once again a prolific scorer and big-game performer and led her Lions to another state title, but it was how she did it and what she had to overcome that really raised impressed this winter.

Late in the regular season, a reporter spotted Clement with a boot on her right foot and asked if she had just injured it in practice.

Hardly.

Clement had been playing with a deep bone bruise and fluid in her joint all season, but you would have never known it.

Her dominance was that pronounced.

Truth in, nothing Clement does on the floor comes as a surprise anymore. She came naturally to the game as her father, Brian, played on a state champion at Lake Region High School and later at Colby College and her mother, Carolyn, played basketball, field hockey and later was a high jump standout. Her aunt, Joanne Palombo McCallie, has enjoyed some success in the sport as well (to say the least), going from being a star player to coaching at the University of Maine and now at Duke. Allie is the eldest of three talented sisters (Sarah was a freshman for the Lions this past season and fourth grader Camille might be the best of them all).

Clement, a Falmouth native, played for the Firecrackers AAU team and came to McAuley as a freshman, where she made an immediate impact with her ability to rise to the occasion in clutch spots and play whatever role was necessary. Clement won state titles as a freshman and sophomore, but truly stepped into a leadership role this winter and continued to elevate her game, despite her physical challenges.

Clement had 21 points and five steals in the opener, a win over Noble, and was off and running (which she does better than just about anyone). She had 16 points apiece against Kennebunk and Portland, 24 points, six rebounds and three steals in a win over Marshwood, 22 points versus Bonny Eagle, 21 against Windham, 17 versus Deering (which for the first time in her three years against the Rams didn't include a late game-tying 3), 26 against Massabesic, 20 versus Thornton Academy, 18 against Cheverus, 16 (with six boards and six steals) versus Scarborough, 17 against Gorham, 15 versus Sanford, 24 against South Portland, 15 versus Westbrook and 14 in a regular season-ending win over South Portland.

For the regular year, Clement averaged 18.9 points (first in the league), 4.6 rebounds, 4 steals (tied for second) and 3 assists (10th), while shooting at 53 percent from the floor (second) and making 30 3-pointers (third).

McAuley, which barely broke a sweat during its 18 regular season victories, was pushed in the playoffs, but Clement helped the Lions reach the pinnacle with 12 points in a quarterfinal round victory over Gorham (a game in which her pain almost proved to be too much to overcome), nine more against Scarborough in the semifinals, 15 points and a team-high eight boards versus Cheverus in the regional final and 13 points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds in a state game victory over Bangor, which gave Clement her third Gold Ball and an overall record of 64-2 in her high school career.

“It was painful this year, but it was special to be part of so much success,” Clement said. “I owe a lot to my coaches. I love to win, I love the game and I love my teammates. I want to them be as successful as I've been myself.”

After the season, Clement was honored at the conference level and was also named Maine's Gatorade Player of the Year.

Clement, who has also won an AAU national championship, is nursing her injury, but is itching to return to the floor with the Firecrackers. She also belongs to National Honor Society, Varsity Club, Ambassador Club and Spanish Club at McAuley. She plans to play at the next level and is still in the decision making process, with Holy Cross and Marist leading the list at press time.

First, she has a chance to enter rarefied air and join the likes of Lisa Blais and Cindy Blodgett by winning four state championships. She also hopes to win the Maine Miss Basketball award.

If she's aiming for it, it's likely she'll get it. Whether on one foot or two, Allie Clement is simply sensational and has been a joy to watch.

Coach Billy Goodman’s comment: “Allie is simply the best around. She did whatever it took to get on the court and play. It doesn't hurt to have her leading the charge for us. She handled the pressure great. She's a winner. What a champion she is. There's a reason we have three in a row and she's a big part of it.”

2011-12 winner: Alexa Coulombe (Basketball)

2010-11 winner: Rebecca Knight (Basketball)

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)

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