Todd Flaherty immediately noticed a difference in Anna DeWolfe when preseason practice for his Greely High girls’ basketball team began last November.

“She was physically stronger,” said Flaherty. “You could see that on a daily basis. She was not getting knocked around so much anymore. And her leadership expanded. She took control when she needed to.”

DeWolfe, a senior point guard, finished a storied basketball career by leading the Rangers to back-to-back Class A state championships. A dynamic player at both ends of the court, DeWolfe is the Varsity Maine girls’ basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.

The Rangers lost only eight games in her four years, winning the last 38. She averaged 27 points, 6.1 assists and 4.9 steals this season, and finished her career with 1,948 points. She will next play at Fordham.

Sam Farrell, whose Brunswick team faced Greely in the South regional final each of the last three years, said DeWolfe set a very high standard: “Anna can do it all – score, pass, handle, defend. Some years you can debate who the best player is. But not this year. She showed it all this year, especially in the tourney.”

She scored 32 points in Greely’s 54-33 win over Brunswick in the regional final, then had 28 in a 54-42 win over Hampden Academy in the state championship game.

“What sets her apart from everyone I have seen play the last couple of years is her ability to rise up and play her best basketball in the biggest moments, when her team really needs her and it matters most,” said Nick Winchester, whose Hampden team lost to Greely in the last two state title games.

“Every time we made a run to get the game close, Anna just made play after play after play on both ends of the floor to stop our run and extend their lead.”

DeWolfe said she was simply trying to be a leader. “I needed to be accountable,” she said. “If I didn’t come in with that mindset, that every game, every second of every practice, was important, how could I expect my teammates to be accountable?”

Coaches never really figured out a way to stop DeWolfe, who could dribble through a press, throw a behind-the-back pass to a cutting teammate on the break, hit a 3-pointer, pull up to take a 12-foot jumper or anticipate a pass and intercept it.

South Portland Coach Lynne Hasson said of DeWolfe, “We didn’t have an answer for Anna, the way she defends, the way she passes, the way she scores.”

For all the accolades, honors and championships, DeWolfe will remember her high school career for her teammates. “We made some unique bonds,” she said. “And the memories of winning together on the court and having fun on and off the court, those are the things I’ll never forget.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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