Portland Bulldogs Winter Athletes of the Year

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Male:

AMIR MOSS, Senior—Basketball

  • Mr. Maine Basketball semifinalist

  • SMAA MVP

  • SMAA Senior All-Star

  • Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star

  • Captain

Moss was the straw that stirred the drink and when the Bulldogs’ championship quest was on the line, he was the player who stepped up and delivered a Gold Ball.

Moss was more of a football player growing up, but by middle school, his allegiance had shifted to basketball and by the end of his freshman year, he was part of the Portland varsity. Moss served as a key reserve during the Bulldogs’ title run in 2014 and as a junior, he became a starter and first showed his eagerness to have the ball in his hands in the clutch, converting a storied, last-second three-point play to help Portland edge rival Deering in the semifinals. The Bulldogs would fall short of a championship, however, losing to Hampden Academy in the state game, and Moss (who averaged 11.7 points) was an honorable mention all-star selection.

Nothing would stop Moss or his teammates this winter.

Moss started the year by scoring a team-high 20 points in a victory over South Portland. Moss had 20 more points in a win at Bonny Eagle, had 18 at Oxford Hills, 29 in a home win over Edward Little, 29 more against Noble, 19 in a home victory against Bangor, 20 in a win at Scarborough, 15 in the Bulldogs’ lone loss, at home to Gorham, 24 at Sanford, 24 points and 13 rebounds in a key win at Deering, 18 points and six boards in a home victory over Cheverus, 23 points at Windham, 20 versus Massabesic, 20 in a second win over Deering and 16 in a regular-season ending victory at Cheverus.

In all, Moss averaged 18.8 points per game in the regular season and for good measure, averaged 7.7 rebounds as well.

He remained top-notch in the playoffs as well as Portland won three more games to take home the state title.

In the semifinals versus Edward Little, Moss had 14 points. In the Bulldogs’ decisive win over Deering in the Class AA North Final, Moss had 19 points and 10 rebounds. That set the stage for the state final, where Portland was expected to have little trouble with South Portland, but instead had to go double overtime before surviving, 52-50. In that one, Moss had a game-high 27 points, including his team’s only points in the first overtime and the winning basket in the second OT. He also had 11 rebounds for his second double-double in three postseason games.

“I was motivated by my competitiveness,” Moss said. “Losing isn’t fun. I’ll do whatever I can to help my team win. I’m confident in myself. Playing for Portland has been great. It’s been really fun being part of wins and great moments. I love the excitement of the game and the competitiveness of the sport.”

Moss graduates ranked sixth all-time in program history in points (790), seventh in points in a season (405 this year), sixth in most career baskets (311), fourth in most baskets in a season (162 this winter), 16th in career free throws made (137), 17th in scoring average (12.5) and tied for 21st in games played (65). He’s also second to program legend Robert Pillsbury in baskets made in the tournament (60).

Moss also plays AAU basketball for the Blue Wave program. He’s a longtime member of the Portland Boys’ and Girls’ Club and hopes to study sports management and play basketball in college.

He’ll certainly have a lot of schools interested in his services. Amir Moss, Portland’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, defined the phrase, “big-game player” and the word, ‘champion.”

Coach Joe Russo’s comment: “Amir’s a very good basketball player and a seasoned veteran. He’s in perpetual motion. He’s 6-feet, but he plays like a big man. “He did everything for us this year. He rebounded, he played great D and scored points. He’s a team leader.”

Previous winners:

2014-15 Steve Alex (basketball)

2013-14 Ben Allen (Nordic skiing)

2012-13 Kidayer Albujyly (wrestling)

2011-12 Ben Allen (Nordic skiing)

2010-11 Mike Herrick (basketball)

2009-10 Imadhi Zagon (track)

2008-09 Sam Guimond (hockey)

2007-08 Imadhi Zagon (track)

2006-07 Ryan Carmichael (basketball)

2005-06 Andrew Duncanson (basketball)

2004-05 Connor Cushman (Nordic skiing)

2003-04 Eric Shone (basketball)

Female:

LAUREN MCINTYRE, Senior-Hockey

  • South Region all-star, second-team

  • Captain 

McIntyre capped her solid high school career serving as a solid offensive-minded defender and in the process, she helped her team return to competitiveness.

McIntyre has long made her mark in field hockey, starring for four years on the Portland varsity, but she didn’t start playing ice hockey until her freshman season.

“I liked it right away,” McIntyre said. “I like skating and hockey was new and different. Coach (Tim Murphy) is awesome. He’s helped me so much. I liked playing all over and scoring goals.”

On the ice, McIntyre debuted on defense, but always had a nose for the goal. By her sophomore season, she was an alternate captain and led the team in scoring. Portland/Deering failed to win a single game that year, but last winter, the co-op squad won twice, as McIntyre assisted on all the goals in the victories and again led the team in scoring.

This winter, Portland/Deering made a run at a playoff berth, as McIntyre, who served as a co-captain with Deering’s Mia Thurston, again came up big on several occasions, scoring six goals and adding six assists.

She had two goals in a loss to Cheverus and scored in a key win over Biddeford. Entering the regular season finale against York, Portland/Deering was clinging to playoff hopes, but McIntyre suffered a knee injury, ending her high school career ,and those postseason dreams were dashed.

Still, it was quite a ride, one which McIntyre said many people made possible.

“My parents did whatever they could for me in every sport I played,” said McIntyre, who also plays premier field hockey with the Maine Elite program and is a member of academic decathlon. “I strived to be good and they helped me. I had the support of my friends, coaches and (athletic director) Rob (O’Leary). Sports helped me stay focused.”

McIntyre, who played two years of softball and one of lacrosse, won’t play a sport this spring as she’s recovering from her injury, but we haven’t heard the last from her. She’s planning to attend and play field hockey at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, where she’ll study athletic training (a major that interested her prior to her injury, but took on added meaning once she got hurt).

She will certainly leave a big void in her wake. Lauren McIntyre, Portland’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, was a natural on the ice and played a huge role in a program’s rebirth.

Coach Tim Murphy’s comment: “Lauren’s defense, offense, hard work and leadership kept the team in a lot more games than we won, but it’s Lauren’s relationship with her teammates, her passion for the sport and her awareness on the ice that make her special. She held our defense together. She comes to every game, practice and off-ice workout with fire in her belly and eyes. She wants to do her best and wants her teammates to do their best and wants to work with her teammates to help them do their best. We know that we can ask her to do more than other players and without question or comment, she would give it her all. I feel that Lauren has helped turn Portland/Deering’s hockey program around. Her attitude, her team leadership, her dedication to her teammates and coaches, her undying love of the game and her comedic timing in the locker room helped make Lauren a great hockey player.”

Previous winners:

2014-15 Gabby Wagabaza (basketball)

2013-14 Brianna Holdren (basketball)

2012-13 Abby Popenoe (Nordic skiing)

2011-12 Kylie Dalbec (hockey)

2010-11 Nicollette Kapothanasis (basketball)

2009-10 Raechel Allen (hockey)

2008-09 Nyachuol Biliew (basketball)

2007-08 Nyachuol Biliew (basketball)

2006-07 Alex Perdomo (hockey)

2005-06 Regina Roberts (track)

2004-05 Ashley Anderson (basketball)

2003-04 Ashley Brownlee (basketball)

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

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