April 14, 2013

Telegram All-State Boys' Basketball: Motivated by memory, elevated by plenty of talent

Garet Beal of Jonesport-Beals had a season that would have delighted his dad, who died last July.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Garet Beal of Jonesport-Beals High is looking forward to his next level of basketball at the University of Maine.

click image to enlarge

Garet Beal, who averaged 34 points and 10.8 rebounds this season for Jonesport-Beals, will fulfill a goal by taking his prowess to the University of Maine in the fall.

Courtesy Photo

Labson Abwoch, Deering, senior, center

Abwoch, a 6-foot-6 senior, helped the Rams win the Class A state title his junior year, and as a senior enabled Deering to finish second in the Western Class A Heal point standings with a 15-3 regular-season record.

Garet Beal, Jonesport-Beals, senior, guard/forward

Beal averaged 34.0 points and 10.8 rebounds this season and finished his career with a school-record 1,686 points. He scored a season-record 612 points.

Isaiah Bess, Penquis Valley, junior, guard

Bess is a two-time all PVCC selection who surpassed 1,000 career points Feb. 1. He scored 27 points in the 61-54 win over Boothbay for the Class C state title.

Ryan Camire, Sanford, senior, guard

The 6-foot-2 Camire was the second-leading scorer in the SMAA at 23.1 points per game while averaging 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals.

Dustin Cole, Bonny Eagle, junior, guard

Cole, a 5-foot-9 standout, is a repeat All-State selection. He was named the MVP of the SMAA. Cole averaged 28.2 points to lead the SMAA in scoring.

Zach Gilpin, Hampden Academy, junior, forward

The 6-foot-5 Gilpin scored a game-high 23 points in the Class A state final to spark the Broncos to the title. Gilpin averaged 15.3 points, third in the KVAC.

Tanner Hyland, South Portland, senior, guard

Hyland scored 30 points in the final to spark the Red Riots to their first Western Class A title in 20 years. He won the Vinall Trophy as tourney MVP.

John Murray, Medomak Valley, senior, center

The 6-foot-8 Murray averaged 18.6 points, 12 rebounds and 2.0 assists in leading the Panthers (19-3) to the Eastern Class B title. He was a Mr. Basketball finalist.

Jack Simonds, Falmouth, sophomore, forward

Simonds showed his big-game ability in the regional and state finals. The 6-foot-5 left-hander with the smooth stroke scored 19 points against York in the Western Class B final and 21 points in the win over Medomak Valley in the state final.

Aaron Todd, York, senior, center

Todd, at 6-foot-7, averaged 17.3 points, fourth in the Western Maine Conference. He ranked second in the league in rebounding with 9.7 a game. He averaged 2.5 blocks and 2.0 steals. "Aaron was the focal point of our team for three years," said Coach Randy Small.

Mitchell Worcester, Washburn, senior, guard

Worcester, a 6-foot-3 guard, put up gaudy numbers in his four years as a starter. He finished with 2,322 career points. Worcester averged 35.1 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. He scored 53 points against Van Buren and 50 against Fort Kent.

Evan Worster, Forest Hills, senior, forward

Worster averaged 19.1 points for the 20-2 Class D state champion Tigers. He is the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,555 points. He played in three Western Maine finals and two state finals.

Coach of the Year

Phil Conley, South Portland

In his sixth year as head coach, Conley restored the pride to Red Riots basketball by coaching the team to its first regional title since 1993. South Portland fell by four points to Hampden Academy in the Class A state final. Prior to becoming head coach, Conley was a South Portland assistant coach for 12 years. He believes in adapting the team's style of play to the talent. He works as the physical education coordinator for grades K-12 in South Portland.

 

Being named the state's Mr. Basketball capped his high school career. The honors have poured in for the 6-foot-5 standout. He was named Gatorade player of the year and can add Maine Sunday Telegram player of the year to the list.

When the season began, Beal was coping with the death of his father, Lindell, who died last July of a heart attack at 43.

"It was a struggle, obviously," said Beal.

Beal said the support of his family and teammates helped.

Beal used to talk basketball with his father, who had been a standout at Jonesport-Beals. His father had been the school's all-time leading scorer. They used to kid each other with the son telling the father he was going to break his record.

"Garet and Lindell had a close relationship," said Pam Beal, Garet's mother. "Lindell was his biggest fan in anything he did. They would evaluate every game Garet played in and Lindell would point out the things he did well and the things he needed to work on.

"When Garet fell in love with basketball, he and Lindell often went to a gym to put up shots. Garet shot and Lindell rebounded. I think he has dealt with his dad's passing the best way he knows how. He now uses the memory of his dad to motivate him in achieving his next goal."

Beal holds the school record of 1,686 career points. He also set a single-season mark of 612. Beal averaged 34.0 points and 10.8 rebounds this season for the Royals (18-1).

"I think my dad would have been pleased," said Beal. "We didn't win the big prize but we had a good season."

Top-seeded Jonesport-Beals was upset by Easton in an Eastern Class D quarterfinal. Beal scored 38 points despite being double-teamed. A year ago the Royals won the state title.

Beal played golf in the fall and for the first time since the eighth grade, is playing baseball.

He is already preparing for the next phase of his basketball career, although he took time off to give his body a rest.

"Coach (Ted) Woodward has sent me a couple of workouts," said Beal. "I'm not playing in any AAU tournaments this spring. I'm working out and practicing with the team but not playing. I want to improve my overall game. I have to get stronger and quicker."

Since he started playing in high school, Beal's goal was to play for Maine.

"It's our only Division I school in the state," he said. "Playing for our state university is a big deal for people around here. It's going to be exciting. I've never played with a lot of bigger guys who want it as much as I do."

His coach, Gordon Faulkingham, is confident Beal will be able to play at Maine.

"I think he's going to surprise people," he said. "Garet is a competitor. He worked hard for Mr. Basketball. I'm glad he got it. He's definitely the best in the state. Garet is very unselfish. As talented as he is as a player, he's an even better person."

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

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