JACK FIORINI, Senior-Basketball

* Southern AA tournament MVP

* SMAA all-star, second-team

* SMAA Senior All-Star

* Captain

Fiorini proved that he’s pretty good at his “second” sport, coming up huge on the big stage and leading the Red Riots to within a whisker of an improbable state championship.

Fiorini has long been a presence at South Portland High School, spending time on the sidelines as on oversized middle schooler during lacrosse games coached by his father, Tom. Fiorini has been a lacrosse standout in the spring and has already committed to attending and playing lacrosse at the most storied college program in the land, Syracuse University, but he’s pretty formidable on the hardwood as well.

Fiorini joined the varsity team as a sophomore and made the All-Rookie team and as a junior, Fiorini was a second-team all-star, averaging 13.2 points and 6.5 rebounds. This winter, with his future settled, Fiorini, who stands 6-foot-6, but was equally adept shooting from the outside as he was getting the job done in the paint, elevated his basketball game even further, averaging 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Highlights included 20 points in a season-opening loss to Portland, 14 points in a win over Bonny Eagle, 13 more in a victory over Noble, 19 in a romp at Scarborough, 13 in a win over Lewiston, 14 points in a second win over Scarborough, 16 in a loss to Massabesic, 16 more in a win at Windham and 19 in a loss to Cheverus.

Like his team, Fiorini saved his best for last.

In the quarterfinals, he went off for 21 points and nine rebounds as South Portland ousted Sanford, serving notice of bigger things to come. In the Red Riots’ semifinal round upset of top-ranked Thornton Academy, Fiorini had 13 points and five rebounds. He was even better in a palpitating regional final win over Massabesic, scoring 18 points, grabbing eight rebounds, pitching in three assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots.

South Portland went on to face Portland in the inaugural Class AA state final and while the Red Riots were expected to get blown out, they took the Bulldogs to double overtime before falling by two points. Fiorini did all he could to lead South Portland to victory, producing 12 points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. 

“We knew all along we were a completely different team from the regular season,” Fiorini sad. “We kept shocking people. We shocked people when we beat Thornton Academy. We shocked people when we beat Massabesic. We shocked everyone by sending (the state game) to two overtimes. Everything each of those teams threw at us, we answered and we answered quite well.” 

Fiorini will look to lead South Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team to a third straight state final and bow out as a champion before moving on to play college lacrosse on the biggest stage of all.

If anyone is poised to excel in that setting, it’s Jack Fiorini, South Portland’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year. The lacrosse star stepped up on the hardwood this season and almost helped the Red Riots pen an unexpected championship story.

Coach Kevin Millington’s comment: “Jack was really the catalyst that led to our tournament run. In addition to carrying us offensively at times, he also saved his best defensive and rebounding games for the tournament. He was a force on both sides of the ball. Like I have said many times about him, he plays best on the biggest stage. That was certainly true through the season and during the tournament.”

Previous winners:

2014-15 Andrew Whipple (hockey)

2013-14 Andrew Whipple (hockey)

2012-13 Tanner Hyland (basketball)

2011-12 Chad MacWhinnie (swimming)

2010-11 Tommy Ellis (hockey)

2009-10 Zach Horton (hockey)

2008-09 Keegan Hyland (basketball)

2007-08 Nick Wright (basketball)

2006-07 Coleman Findlay (basketball)

2005-06 Tim Clark (hockey)

2004-05 Andrew Cousins (basketball)

2003-04 Max Ludwig (track)

2002-03 Ethan Gato (track)

2001-02 Jesse Ludwig (track)


MADDIE HASSON, Senior-Basketball

* Miss Maine Basketball finalist

* SMAA Player of the Year

* Lisa Blais-Manning SMAA Student-Athlete of the Year

* SMAA All-Star, first-team

* SMAA All-Defensive team

* SMAA All-Academic team

* SMAA Senior All-Star

* Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star

* Captain

Hasson put the Red Riots on her back, led them to their best season in a decade and earned deserved acclaim from all corners of the state for her efforts.

Hasson grew up in a basketball family in South Portland and has steadily gotten better.

“Basketball has always been my love,” Hasson said. “It’s been fun to share that with my family. I wanted to be on the kind of team I saw growing up.”

Hasson, who also plays field hockey and lacrosse, made the Red Riots varsity as a freshman and was named to the SMAA’s All-Rookie team. As a sophomore, she was seventh in the league in scoring and was named an SMAA second-team all-star. As a junior, Hasson averaged 16.8 points (fourth in the league) and 7.3 rebounds and was a first-team all-star and South Portland’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year.

This winter, Hasson was arguably the state’s finest female player, averaging 21.7 points, 13.1 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 3.5 assists for a regional finalist.

Highlights included 28 points (70 percent of her team’s total) in a win over Deering, 29 points (half her team’s total) in a victory over Cheverus, 21 in a win over Sanford, 17 in a victory over Scarborough, 32 in a romp at Lewiston, 22 in a second win over Cheverus and 19 in a victory at Noble.

Hasson’s finest hour might have come in a 57-45 home win over perennial powerhouse McAuley Jan. 12, as South Portland snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Lions, as Hasson had 22 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

Hasson also had 17 points in a win at Portland, 23 in a victory over Falmouth, 30 (half her team’s total) in a home win over Windham, 19 in a victory over Bonny Eagle and 18 in a regular season-ending win over Westbrook.

As hard as it might be to believe, Hasson was even better in the playoffs.

She had 14 points and 12 rebounds to help South Portland hold off upset-minded Scarborough in the Class AA South quarterfinals. That set up another showdown with McAuley in the semifinals, where Hasson had a double-double of 21 points (including the game-winning three-point play) and 10 rebounds to help the Red Riots reach the regional final for the first time in a decade. There, South Portland lost to eventual champion Gorham, but Hasson bowed out with 15 points, a whopping 18 rebounds and four steals.

“It was the most fun athletic experience I’ve had,” Hasson said, of the 2015-16 season. “I’ll never forget games like beating McAuley, scoring my 1,000th point, beating McAuley at the Civic Center and even losing in the regional final. I knew this year was my last chance. I’m glad we finished so strong.”

Hasson, who earned multiple postseason honors, including being named a finalist for the prestigious Miss Maine Basketball Award, eclipsed the 1,000-point mark (she wound up with 1,111) and for her career, averaged 14.24 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.4 steals.

Hasson also belongs to South Portland’s Internet Club, History Club, Spanish Club and National Honor Society. She’ll matriculate at Bowdoin College next year where she’ll be a key cog on a perennially strong women’s basketball team.

Whatever happens at the next level, Maddie Hasson, South Portland’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, will have a hard time eclipsing what she accomplished her senior year of high school. She elevated her game to an unmatched level and was at her best in the biggest games.

Coach Lynne Hasson’s comment: “I was very fortunate to coach Maddie. When push came to shove, it was her senior year and she was going to do what she had to do to help us win. She has an uncanny ability to get through people and to the rim. She’s a solid perimeter shooter and was also able to create and pull up off the dribble. She could defend the best perimeter or best post player on the other team. She’s extremely hardworking, competitive, unselfish, is extremely coachable and was a good leader.”

Previous winners:

2014-15 Maddie Hasson (basketball)

2013-14 Brianne Maloney (basketball)

2012-13 Danica Gleason (basketball)

2011-12 Nyajock Pan (track)

2010-11 Abby Hasson (basketball)

2009-10 Danielle DiBiase (basketball)

2008-09 Brianna Hawkins (basketball)

2007-08 Curry Girr (diving)

2006-07 Kelsey Flaherty (basketball)

2005-06 Christina Aceto (basketball)

2004-05 Whitney Morrow (basketball)

2003-04 Courtney Albin (track)

2002-03 Abby Lesneski (basketball)

2001-02 Abby Lesneski (basketball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter:@foresports.

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