CUMBERLAND — In a recent basketball game for Greely High, Anna DeWolfe brought the ball up the left side of the court. As a defender closed in, DeWolfe used a crossover dribble to break to the middle of the court, drawing defenders as a teammate slid into the left corner. Suddenly, DeWolfe whipped a behind-the-back pass to her now-open teammate, who hit a 3-pointer.

In another game, she beat a double-team by dribbling left-handed through her legs and splitting the defenders.

Plays like that are a staple of DeWolfe’s game. They are also why the 14-year-old freshman is being touted as Maine’s next big thing for high school girls’ basketball.

At least 11 Division I schools already are actively recruiting DeWolfe, with Villanova the first to offer a scholarship, according to her AAU coach. Maine is among the schools who have scouted her.

“She has a certain flair about her, the way she bounces on the floor,” said Don Briggs, a coach with the AAU Maine Firecrackers. “She makes the exciting play, whether it’s a behind-the-back pass or crazy shot. She’s a great kid, has a good personality and has great skills. She’s the whole package.”

DeWolfe leads the Rangers (5-2) with 21 points per game, and is averaging close to five assists and three steals. At 5-foot-6, she’s also grabbing five rebounds a game while averaging about 30 minutes of the 32-minute game.


“I thought we had a good plan to slow her down,” said York Coach Rick Clark after DeWolfe scored 25 against the Wildcats. “We knew about her. We had scouted them. She was a lot more impressive in person.”

Already she has been compared to Cindy Blodgett, regarded as the greatest high school player in Maine history. Her coach at Greely, Joel Rogers, has another: “If Pistol Pete (Maravich) had a daughter, it would be her,” he said before the season.

Brian Clement, a Firecrackers coach who has watched DeWolfe play since the fourth grade, cautions against comparisons. But he agrees she has a chance to be special.

“I have been fortunate to be around the game for a long time, as a spectator and a coach,” he said. “It’s too early to judge where she will stack up against the better players. Only time will tell. But she will be one of the most exciting players around.”

DeWolfe was a point guard on the Firecrackers’ 14U Division II team that won a national championship last spring.

She’s a shooting guard for Greely.


“She has a pull-up jump shot in transition, she’ll hit her 3s when she’s open and she can score on penetration,” said Mari Warner, the Falmouth coach who watched DeWolfe drop 34 points on her team on Dec. 19.

And that’s just part of her game.

“It’s not about her scoring 20 points a game,” said Rogers. “It’s about all the other things she does.”

Such as her court vision and defensive anticipation.

“That piece of her game, seeing the floor, gets overshadowed by her (scoring),” said Warner. “That’s the other piece of the game where she is above where a ninth-grader would be.”

Warner, a former Division I coach at Albany, can see why DeWolfe is being recruited.


“Any time that you’re good with the ball like that, seeing the floor like she does, and have the kind of composure that she maintains and sustains throughout the game, absolutely she should get looks,” said Warner.

“If I was still (coaching) at any (collegiate) level she would have been on our radar early on.”

That DeWolfe is so good at basketball isn’t entirely surprising. “It’s kind of just in the family,” she said.

Her father, Frank, was a star player at Greely. One of her aunts played on two state championship teams there. Her brother, Shane, is on Greely’s varsity as a sophomore.

And she has an incredible work ethic. She’s been known to call friends to practice with her at 7 a.m. on Sundays. Those who know her well or have played with her also talk about her humility and maturity.

“You’d never know she was this crazy good athlete,” said Greely senior Izzy Hutnak. “She’s so humble and caring and kind. She puts other people ahead of herself.”


Hutnak, the Maine Sunday Telegram girls’ soccer player of the year on Greely’s Class B state championship team, said they met on the first day of soccer preseason.

“I didn’t know she was a basketball player and just thought that she was truly the best soccer player I ever saw,” said Hutnak. “She was just so talented. Then people started talking about her on the basketball court. I thought she’d be good but I didn’t think she’d be better than she is in soccer.”

Hutnak said DeWolfe has become “my best friend this year.”

And, Rogers said, that says a lot about DeWolfe. Any time you have a freshman stepping into a starting position – especially on a team that returns five of the top seven players from last year’s Class B state champions – there are concerns about how she’ll fit in. DeWolfe has dispelled them.

“I think the fact that she played on a state championship soccer team and that her closest friend is Izzy speaks volumes about her ability to embrace all her teammates,” said Rogers. “She really played a supportive role on the soccer team. She scored some goals, but her impact came when she fed the ball to (Jocelyn) Mitiguy and Izzy.

“She is clearly well respected by the student body. She has a big personality, but she never talks about herself and generally enjoys just being out there.”


DeWolfe simply wants to play. She wants to push the tempo, make exciting plays, score when she needs to and find an open teammate when she sees one.

“I was a little nervous walking in as a freshman and having all this exposure from colleges,” she said. “But I have great teammates that care about me. And I definitely care a lot about them. It’s been amazing, actually. My teammates have been awesome.”

She knows she doesn’t have to carry this team. Isabel Porter, Moira Train, Molly Chapin, Sarah Felkel and Lexi Faietta can all step up at any time.

“I’ve got five kids who won a state championship, so they know how to get the job done,” said Rogers. “And they want to do it again. They don’t look at Anna as the answer but as another piece of the puzzle.”

As good as she is, DeWolfe can get better. She will grow, become stronger and quicker, and develop all aspects of her game. “There is a maturation process she has to go through,” said Briggs. “And that’s the exciting thing. She’s really good, but she has four years to get even better.”


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