This could be a very big milestone week for the basketball programs at St. Joseph’s College.

On Monday, center Morgan Cahill passed the 1,000-point mark in the Monks’ 78-53 victory over Mt. Ida College, becoming the 22nd member of the women’s program to reach that, the sixth in her junior season. That same night, senior guard Steve Simonds threw in 40 points to help beat Mt. Ida, 75-64. He was the first Monk to score at least 40 in a game since Carl Howell it 1998. It also gave him 944 career points.

And with three home games in the next six days, Simonds has a good shot at hitting the 1,000-point milestone as well.

When you talk to their coaches, one thing is clear about these players: They’re more interested in helping the team than individual achievements.

“Morgan is very low-key and unassuming,” said Mike McDevitt, the women’s coach. “She’s more concerned with what the team is doing than what she is doing.”

“Points are going to get the headlines,” said Rob Sanicola, the men’s coach. “But what impressed me more was that he grabbed 11 rebounds and had seven assists. That’s what I think is lost a little bit. He knows it’s a team game.”

Maybe that’s because of Simonds’ genes. His dad is Rick Simonds, the former coach at St. Joe’s. Steve Simonds grew up running around the old Chamber of Horrors gym at St. Joe’s, starred at nearby Bonny Eagle High and has blossomed into one of the Monks’ stars.

“He’s turned himself into a great player,” said Sanicola. “I hope the people who come and watch him appreciate the fact that he played (about six minutes a game) as a freshman. He didn’t get discouraged. He kept working and now he’s in a position to not only make himself successful, but the team successful.”

Steve Simonds, a nursing major (he will begin an internship next week at Maine Medical Center), said his father never pushed him into basketball, but certainly influenced him.

“He influenced me without influencing me,” said Steve Simonds. “He never told me to do this, do that; he never made me feel I had to be successful at this. But he was there when I wanted to shoot, when I wanted to play. And by association, I was enthralled with the atmosphere here and the tradition of the program.”

Sanicola said Steve Simonds got on a roll Monday night and never stopped.

“I don’t know,” said Simonds. “The first shot went in. The second shot went in. I was getting real good passes from my teammates and (the shots) just kept falling.”

The 6-foot-3 Steve Simonds leads the Monks in scoring (20.4 points), rebounding (8.0) and steals (18) while second in assists (44). Scoring 1,000 points would be special for him.

“Being so closely tied to (the program), it does mean something to me,” he said. “Because of my father, it is more special to me. It’s like I get to keep a legacy of my own here.”

McDevitt, meanwhile, tried to stay on low-key regarding Cahill’s pursuit of 1,000 points. He knew coming into the game that she was 14 points away.

“I tried to silently track it and not make too big a deal of it,” he said. “I have found over the years that when players are aware of it and start thinking about it, very good players can turn into average players very quickly.”

The 6-foot tall Cahill knew – her family and friends had kept tabs; after all, she had scored 1,000 at Yarmouth High as well – but also tried to downplay it.

After she scored a basket with 13:51 remaining in the second half, McDevitt immediately called timeout. The announcer at Mt. Ida proclaimed her milestone and Cahill was taken out of the lineup. She finished with 15 points, giving her 1,001 in 68 career games. She also has 541 rebounds, 136 blocked shots, 75 assists and 61 steals.

“She made an immediate impact as a freshman,” said McDevitt. “She contributed right away, which is unusual for a freshman.”

Cahill, also a nursing major, said she was fortunate. “I happened to join the team when they needed someone like me,” she said. “And the people I play with make it a lot easier. I’ve had a lot of talented guards who can get me the ball.”

Playing inside and often drawing double or triple-teams, she still leads St. Joe’s in scoring (16.6 points), rebounds (7.8) and blocked shots (17).

Her next goal?

“Probably to win the conference championship again,” she said. “That’s the bigger goal.”


University of New England junior guard Alanna Vose of Cushing (Medomak Valley) was named Commonwealth Coast Conference women’s player of the week and was also named to team of the week. She averaged 20.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists as the Nor’easters won three games. She scored a career-high 29 points in a 65-47 victory over Western New England.

 Sophomore guard Kristi Willey of Topsham (Mt. Ararat) is averaging 7.8 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds for Maine Maritime Academy (5-10) Junior guard Maggie McConkey of Fryeburg Academy is averaging 6.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and a team-high 3.6 assists.

 Curry College senior center Matt Russell of South Portland scored 15 points with 10 rebounds in a recent 80-75 win over UNE. He is averaging 7.6 points, a team-high 6.2 rebounds and team-best 1.3 blocked shots for the Colonels (4-14).


Ally Fuehrer, a senior attack from Freeport, was named one of the four captains for Maine Maritime Academy’s first NCAA Division III women’s team. Haley Turnbull of Kittery (Traip Academy) is a goalie for the Mariners while Morgan Maxwell of Windham (Westbrook) is a defender and Victoria Cooper of Saco (Thornton Academy) is an attacker. MMA competed at the club level last year. Its first home game will be March 9 against St. Joseph’s College at Thornton Academy in Saco.

 Bronson Guimond of Portland, Brady Harrison of Alfred (Massabesic) and Jack Tragert of Naples (Lake Region) are among the four captains for Maine Maritime Academy’s men’s team. Guimond, an attacker/midfielder, had 31 goals and nine assists last year. Harrison, a midfielder, had 35 goals and 15 assists. Tragert, a midfielder, had one goal and two assists with a team-high 86 groundballs in 2014.


Saint Michael’s College senior Nathan Paluso of Windham was named to the Northeast-10 Conference honor roll. Paluso won the 200-yard individual relay (2:11.25), swam a leg on the winning 400-yard individual medley relay and took third in the 100-yard breaststroke in a meet at St. Lawrence University. He is second on the Purple Knights with seven individual and 10 total wins for the season.


University of Southern Maine junior Sabrina Sodders of Alstead, New Hampshire, was named Little East Conference women’s field athlete of the week for the second consecutive week. She won the shot put at the Bates College Invitational with a career-best throw of 40 feet, 7 inches (which qualified her for the New England Division III and ECAC Division III championships). She also scored in the weight throw.

 USM freshman Rachel Ingram of Winthrop was named LEC women’s field rookie athlete of the week. She was second in the triple jump with a season-best 34-4 (qualifying for the New England Div. III championships) and fourth in the long jump.

 USM freshman Ron Helderman of Madison was named LEC men’s field rookie athlete of the week. He won the high jump at the Bates College Invitational by clearing 6-2 and finished third in the pole vault with a height of 13-91/4. Helderman qualified in both events for the New England Division III championships. USM placed third among five teams.