BANGOR — One wasn’t there because of illness. The other thanked several people in his acceptance speech, including his coach, who taught him as a freshman what to expect over four seasons playing for one of the state’s top programs.

At the end of a night of awards, Kayla Burchill of Deering and Tyler McFarland of Camden Hills came away with the Miss and Mr. Basketball honors Friday at the annual Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star basketball banquet at Husson University.

Burchill was home with the flu but her coach, Mike Murphy, accepted the award and spoke for her. Murphy called Burchill moments later.

“Kayla was thrilled when I told her,” said Murphy. “She really wanted to be here but she was just too sick.”

Deering lost to McAuley in overtime for the Western Class A championship.

“This award should take some of the sting out of the regional final for her,” said Murphy. “She deserves this award. Kayla has been an outstanding player for us for four seasons. The last two regional finals were tough for Kayla and her teammates. That’s life. You have to accept it and move on.”

Deering also lost the 2010 regional final, to Scarborough.

Burchill will move on to the University of Vermont on scholarship.

“She played the position (shooting guard) in high school that I think she will play in college,” said Murphy.

Burchill, a 6-footer, led the SMAA with 22.6 points per game. He was second in the league in rebounds at 9.4 per game, and also averaged 2.3 assists and one block per game.

Burchill showed she could score inside as well as outside. She shot 58 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the line. She was second in the SMAA with 33 3-pointers.

In four seasons, Burchill helped Deering compile a 79-7 record with two state championships and four regional finals.

The other finalists for Miss Basketball were Rebecca Knight of state champion McAuley and Nicole Taylor of York, who recently won her second straight Gatorade Player of the Year award.

McFarland led Camden Hills to its second Class B state title in three seasons, averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds for the 22-0 Windjammers. He scored 24 points in the state final against Cape Elizabeth.

McFarland beat out Bo Leary of Edward Little and Graham Safford of Hampden Academy. Safford played for Camden Hills when it won the state title in 2009 before transferring.

“I didn’t know what to expect my freshman year when I went to my first practice,” said McFarland. “Coach (Jeff) Hart taught me about what it meant to play for Camden Hills. Winning the state title put the cap on the season, but this award is extra special.”

McFarland, who also won his second consecutive KVAC Class B player of the year award, said he will attend prep school next year.

“I want to improve my basketball and get stronger. The extra year can only help me improve my overall game,” he said.


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

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