April 17, 2011

Boys' Basketball MVP: No doubt about it, Bowe elevated his game

Theo Bowe's knack for coming up big when it counts carried Cape Elizabeth to a state final.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Before the Class B boys' state championship basketball game against unbeaten Camden Hills, Cape Elizabeth Coach Jim Ray was talking to his assistant coaches, Aaron Spaulding and Mitch Ouellet.

click image to enlarge

Theo Bowe put up solid numbers for Cape Elizabeth in the regular season, but he saved the best for last with a 36-point dazzler against Camden Hills in the Class B state final.

2011 Telegram File/John Ewing


Nolan Allen, Windham, junior, forward

Allen led the SMAA in scoring at 24.8 points per game and was named the league's player of the year. He averaged 6.3 rebounds. Allen had 199 free-throw attempts, 101 more than the next-highest player in the SMAA.

Zach Blodgett, Bangor, senior, forward

Blodgett was Bangor's top player, averaging 13.1 points and 7.4 rebounds while leading the Rams to the Class A state championship. He was a semifinalist for Maine's Mr. Basketball.

Theo Bowe, Cape Elizabeth, senior, forward

Bowe is the Maine Sunday Telegram MVP. He averaged 25.2 points and 4.2 rebounds, and was a semifinalist for Mr. Basketball.

Chris Braley, Nokomis, junior, guard

Braley scored 43 points against Ellsworth in the Eastern Class B tournament. He averaged 25.6 points and 12.7 rebounds.

Louie DiStasio, Cheverus, junior, guard

DiStasio led the Stags with 14.3 points per game. He showed the ability to make shots under pressure and was outstanding on defense.

A.J. Harris, Lee Academy, senior, guard

Harris was named the MVP of the Eastern Class C tournament. He averaged 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists for the state-champion Pandas.

Bo Leary, Edward Little, senior, forward

Leary is a repeat All-State selection. He led the KVAC in scoring (23.1) and rebounding (10.9). Leary was a Mr. Basketball finalist.

Joey McCloskey, Penobscot Valley, senior, center

McCloskey averaged 23.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.9 blocks, and shot 60 percent from the floor. He was a semifinalist for Mr. Basketball.

Tyler McFarland, Camden Hills, senior, center

McFarland was selected as Maine's Mr. Basketball. He is a repeat All-State selection. McFarland sparked Camden Hills to the Class B state championship, averaging 24.1 points and 11.4 rebounds.

Keegan Pieri, Camden Hills, senior, guard

Pieri, at 6-foot-5, could play any position on the floor, which allowed the Windjammers to adapt to what the defense did. Pieri averaged 15.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

Graham Safford, Hampden Academy, senior, guard

Safford averaged 18.2 points and 5.6 assists. He was a Mr. Basketball finalist and a Spirit of the Game award winner by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches. 

Andrew Shaw, Thornton Academy, senior, forward

Shaw ranked second in the SMAA in scoring at 19.2 points per game and led in free-throw percentage at 86.4 percent. He is a repeat All-State selection and was a semifinalist for Mr. Basketball.

Coach of the Year

Phil Bourassa, Bonny Eagle

In only his second season as head coach, Bourassa directed the Scots to an overall record of 17-4. The Scots finished second in Western Class A, both in the rankings and in the tournament, losing to Cheverus in the regional final.

Ray felt his team was prepared, but as with most coaches, there's always an element of doubt.

"I said to them, 'These guys have worked so hard I don't think they will be overwhelmed,'" said Ray.

Ray also expressed something else.

"I hope Theo has a great game."

The Capers weren't overwhelmed. They led at halftime before losing by nine to the team that entered the season as a solid favorite to win it all.

And Theo Bowe had arguably the best single-game performance of the 2011 tournament. He scored 36 points to fuel the Capers' near upset bid.

"Theo always rises to the occasion," said Ray. "He missed his first couple of shots in the game, but he got into a rhythm. It was entertaining to watch Theo do his thing."

For his performance in the state game combined with an outstanding regular season, when he averaged 25.2 points, Bowe is the Maine Sunday Telegram MVP for boys' basketball.

Without Bowe, it's unlikely Cape would have won the Western Maine title or been the No. 2 seed. He was selected as the regional tournament's MVP. Bowe missed two games this season, and suffice it to say, the Capers weren't the same team.

"Theo just added another dimension to our team with his talent and leadership," said Ray. "He missed two games and we struggled. Obviously he was capable of doing what he did in the state final.

"Theo is not in it for himself. He's not at all selfish on how he approaches the game, but he's going to do what he needs to do without hesitation."

Cape trailed Camden Hills 8-0 before Bowe heated up. His first two baskets were 3-pointers, and he scored 12 of his team's 14 first-quarter points and 22 Cape's 34 in the first half. His 3-pointer just before the half made it 34-31.

"It was the first time this season that a team hadn't played a box-and-one (defense) on me or had someone face-guarding me," said Bowe.

"It felt good to face a regular man-to-man defense. It was one on one, which made things easier."

Bowe had a number of big games during the season, but in the biggest he stepped it up a few notches. All those hours spent playing one on one in the driveway against his brother, Alex, and in pickup games with his friends and his brother's friends honed his talent.

"We don't call fouls, so you learn to get your shot off," said Bowe. "It definitely served me well."

While many high school players turn to AAU basketball in the offseason, Bowe did not.

"It just wasn't something he wanted to do," said Ray. "Theo worked on his game in his driveway, practicing his spins and fakes.

"Playing against his brother and his friends, he learned how to create space and get his shot off. That's what's missing with a lot of players today."

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



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