(Ed. Note: With the start of the basketball season on hold, what better time to look back and celebrate some of the great players of the past. Here’s a countdown of the top 20 girls’ basketball players over the past 20 years (plus five honorable mentions), from the 2001-02 season through the present. This countdown takes in account play at the high school level and was put together with help from coaches and others, including a Twitter poll at twitter.com/foresports, but the final ranking was mine alone. We’ll countdown the boys’ top 20 players next week…)

While the process of narrowing this list down to the very best of the best was daunting to say the least, it did reinforce just how fortunate we’ve been to have so many tremendous players (and young women) in our midst over the past two decades.

These players, eight of whom were named Miss Maine Basketball, scored a ton of points, came through in the clutch, sparkled on the big stage and brought home Gold Balls (25 total among the group of 20), and they also made their teammates better with their unselfishness and leadership. We were all so lucky to get to witness their brilliance.

While no list of great players is finite, and is certainly never unanimously embraced, here’s one writer’s stab at getting the discussion started. Congratulations to the very best of the best.

Honorable mentions:
Brooke Flaherty, Cheverus (2010-2013)
Camille Clement, Greely (2018-2021)
Abby Young, Greely (2007-2010)
Nina Davenport, McAuley (2011), Freeport (2012-2014)
Abby Lesneski, South Portland (2000-2003)

20) Amanda Kabantu, Portland (2018-2021)

File photos

Kabantu has been living the dream since coming to the United States from the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a freshman and local fans have been the beneficiaries of her unique joie de vivre. Kabantu’s speed, athleticism and skill has featured her starring in countless big spots and leading Portland’s girls’ program to heights not seen in a couple of decades.

Kabantu made the Southwestern Maine Activities Association All-Rookie team as a freshman, averaged 14.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2 steals per contest during an All-Conference campaign as a sophomore, then, as a junior, helped the Bulldogs reach the regional final for the first time in 20 years by leading the league in rebounds (11.9) and also averaging 10.9 points, 2.5 steals and 2.3 assists. Kabantu scored 679 points in her first three years and if COVID-19 hadn’t delayed the 2020-21 season, she’d likely make a run at the 1,000 mark. Kabantu is still in the discussion for Miss Maine Basketball and will take her show to the next level next year at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Coach Gerry Corcoran: “Amanda was our heart and soul. She’s one of the most talented young players I’ve ever been blessed to coach at any level. She is a blessing to the entire PHS community. She is the complete player with the work ethic to match. She has a personal desire to be great and has a motor that never quits. She set the bar for all the Lady Bulldogs and is a big reason for our success.”

19) Claire Ramonas, Deering (2006-2009)

Ramonas epitomized hard work, grit, clutch play and perseverance and she was a big-time winner during her time with the Rams, capturing a pair of state titles and falling just short of a third.

Ramonas, who also played soccer and competed in track in high school, played varsity basketball all four years and was part of a championship team her sophomore and junior seasons, playing alongside standouts like Kayla Burchill, Nicole Garland and Diana Manduca (more on them below), while starring in her own right. As a senior, Ramonas was among league leaders in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals and often defended the opposition’s top player. While Deering’s quest for a three-peat ended with an agonizing regional final loss to Scarborough, Ramonas received an abundance of accolades, highlighted by being named a Miss Maine Basketball finalist. Ramonas went on to play at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts and has returned to her alma mater as a coach.

Coach Mike Murphy: “Claire was, I think, the foundation of success that Deering had for four years. She was the rock of our whole program. She was valuable on both ends of the floor. She always worked hard. She’s a unique individual. A pleasure to coach.”

18) Martha Veroneau, Waynflete (2010-2013)

Veroneau was a tenacious competitor without peer and a big-game performer for the ages. She debuted as a star as a freshman, only got better and lives on in Waynflete lore as a champion and the most decorated athlete in program history.

Veroneau, who could do it all, from handling the ball, to scoring, rebounding, setting up teammates and defending, followed in the footsteps of her older sister, Margaret, the first Waynflete girl to reach the 1,000-point plateau, then took the family name to a new level. Veroneau was an all-star each of her seasons, led the Western Maine Conference as scoring as a junior and led the Flyers to the tournament every year, but her first three seasons, they fell short of a Gold Ball. Then, as a senior, Veroneau reached the 1,000-point mark and didn’t stop there, leading Waynflete all the way to the state final. Veroneau’s finest hour was her final game, as the Flyers rallied to beat Calais in the Class C state final behind her 34-point, 13-rebound, 9-steal tour de force. Veroneau, a two-time regional tournament MVP, wound up scoring 1,465 points, then became the rare non-Class A player to earn the Miss Maine Basketball Award her senior season. Veroneau attended Boston College, but didn’t take part in athletics. She remains the Waynflete athlete that all others will be measured against.

Coach Brandon Salway: “Martha was a once-in-a-lifetime player. She shined the brightest with the money on the table. That’s a testament to her work ethic. Her skill and offensive prowess were unmatched, but her heart put her over the top. When you combine athleticism, character and performance, I believe she is the single greatest player ever at our school. Any sport, any gender.”

17) Maggie Whitmore, South Portland (2017-2020)

Whitmore was one of the finest players in South Portland history, one who did it all for the Red Riots, who reached the state final her senior senior.

Whitmore, the granddaughter of legendary coach Dick Whitmore, first turned heads as a freshman, averaging 12.7 points and 6.8 rebounds as the Red Riots got to the regional final and lost to Gorham. As a sophomore, she was a first-team all-star, but South Portland again lost to the Rams in the playoffs, this time in the semifinals. As a junior, Whitmore again was a first-team all-star, averaging 14 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals, but in the regional final, the Red Riots were upset by Scarborough. Her senior year was stellar, as Whitmore averaged 16.9 points (first in the league), 6.8 rebounds (tied for fourth), 3.9 steals (second), 3.4 assists (fourth) and 1.1 blocks (second), leading South Portland to the Class AA state final, which the Red Riots lost to Oxford Hills (despite 16 points from Whitmore). Along the way, Whitmore was named the regional tournament MVP and she was a finalist for the Miss Maine Basketball award. Whitmore is now playing at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Coach Lynne Hasson: “We looked to Maggie to score and we wanted the ball in her hands since she was our best player. The confidence the other kids and coaches had in her was huge. She’s going to find a way, get great shots, she’s fast and creates great scoring opportunities for the other players. She was determined to win big games. That’s what being one of the best players in the state is all about.”

16) Rebecca Knight, McAuley (2008-2011)

Knight helped guide McAuley through some challenging years before playing a pivotal role on a state champion as a senior.

Knight, a 5-foot-10 slashing guard/forward, made her presence felt as a freshman and although the Lions lost to Massabesic in the preliminary round of the Western A tournament, Knight scored 22 points in defeat. In her sophomore season, McAuley beat Cheverus in the preliminary round of the tournament (Knight scored 10 points), then lost to Deering in the quarterfinals. Junior season was one of frustration, however, as Knight was hindered by an ankle injury, missing 10 games (but still averaging 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds) and again, the Lions lost to Deering, this time in the semifinals. Knight saved her best for her senior year, however, reaching double figures in 15 of 18 regular season games, then putting up huge numbers in McAuley’s run to its first Class A title in eight years. Knight scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a quarterfinal round win over South Portland, scored 12 points and added five boards versus Gorham in the semis, then added 10 points, five rebounds and a block in an epic regional final victory over Deering. In the state final against Hampden Academy, Knight closed her high school career in style, scoring 10 points (giving her 962 for her career), while grabbing a whopping 16 rebounds and dishing out five assists. Knight was a Miss Maine Basketball finalist, then went on to play college basketball at the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine.

Coach Amy Vachon: “Becca’s phenomenal. When I met her, her first words were, ‘I want to win a state championship.’ She did everything for us. She was a great leader. Such a hard worker. I can’t say enough positive things about her. She led our team and has been fantastic.”

15) Nicole Garland, Deering (2005-08)

Garland boasted one of the best 3-point shots you’ll ever see and played a key role in returning Deering to the Class A pinnacle.

Garland, a 5-foot-7 forward, who also played soccer and tennis in high school, burst on to the scene as a freshman, averaging 15 points a game, hitting shots from deep, while also setting up teammates and pilfering the ball from the opposition. Garland played at an all-star level as a sophomore and junior, then helped a loaded Deering team win its second Gold Ball in 2008, where she bowed out with 11 points in a victory over Oxford Hills. Garland then went on to star at the University of Southern Maine.

Coach Mike D’Andrea: “Nicole was the best pure shooter I encountered. She knocked down shots that barely touched the net. She was smart, skilled, mentally tough and could also defend. Her basketball IQ was very high. She was very coachable. She’s a fun kid, good with her teammates, good on the court and she’s very consistent.”

14) Christy Manning, Scarborough (2007-2010)

Manning doesn’t just have great basketball genes, she etched her own name in lore in helping the Red Storm make an undefeated run to their only state championship.

Manning, the daughter of the legendary Lisa Blais (Manning), who won four straight championships at Westbrook High School and was part of a national collegiate champion at Old Dominion University, made an immediate impact with the Scarborough program as a freshman, immediately became the team’s leading scorer (a distinction she retained all four of her high school seasons) and it was no coincidence that the Red Storm got better in each of her four years. As a junior, Manning averaged 17.2 points and 10.3 rebounds. Scarborough didn’t lose a game Manning’s senior year, as she averaged 14.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.7 blocked shots. Manning scored the winning basket in a palpitating, come-from-behind regional final victory over two-time state champion Deering in the regional final, then tallied 12 points as the Red Storm beat Skowhegan to cap a perfect season and win the 2010 Class A state title. She was then named Miss Maine Basketball and went on to compete in track and field at Holy Cross.

Coach Jim Seavey: “Christy was a very good all-around player who did a little bit of everything for us. It’s incredible how she developed. She came in here as a freshman and was very shy, she wouldn’t say ‘boo.’ She’s gained a ton of confidence and her game speaks for itself. She’s the consummate teammate. She’s one of those athletes who come along once in a while.”

13) Stephanie Ramonas, Deering (2001-2004)

Ramonas was best known for her lockdown defense, but she scored an abundance of big baskets and played an integral role in Deering’s first championship.

Ramonas, a 6-foot forward, who also ran cross country in high school, averaged 10 points per game as a junior, then really impressed her final season, leading the league in assists (4.7), while also averaging 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds. In the Rams’ victory over four-time regional champion McAuley in the Western A Final, Ramonas scored 12 points and helped stymie the Lions’ attack en route to being named the regional tournament’s MVP. In the state game win over Cony, Ramonas had 14 points, six steals and five rebounds and Deering went on to make history with a win over Cony. Ramonas went on to play college basketball at Concordia University in Montreal.

Coach Mike D’Andrea: “Stephanie was our toughest and most determined player. She could defend a point guard or a center and that made us incredibly tough to match up with. She was still getting better every day and played her best basketball at the end. She added toughness to our team. Her size, speed and desire set her apart. We would not have gone anywhere without her. She was a girl who came out and said in the playoffs, ‘We are not going to lose and I’ll make sure of it.'”

12) Diana Manduca, Deering (2006-2009)

Manduca, a tenacious 5-foot-6 guard, was tough as nails, came up huge on the big stage, excelled on offense and defense and through it all, was unassuming and happy to defer to her teammates.

Manduca, who also ran cross country in high school, was named Deering’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year by the Forecaster on two occasions (2008 and 2009), twice won the Red McMann Award as the Western A tournament MVP (2008 and 2009) scored 11 points in a state game victory over Oxford Hills her junior season, then scored 14 points in a state game win over Messalonskee her senior year. Manduca won her final 35 high school games and was a finalist for Miss Maine Basketball. She went on to play at Colby College and later became a coach.

Coach Mike D’Andrea: “Diana had athleticism and toughness. She was a great team player who got as much pleasure out of dishing off for a layup as scoring herself. She was a complete player. She was my most unselfish player who could have easily scored high numbers if she was selfish, but she put the team first.”

11) Megan Urban, Deering (2001-2004)

Urban, a 6-foot-1 center, was formidable initially due to her size, then she developed into a skilled player who was much more than just a scorer, and by her senior season, there were few better as she led Deering to its first Class A state championship.

Urban was also an imposing field hockey goalie and a thrower in outdoor track. She was always the focal point of the opposition, but still managed to reach the 1,000-point plateau. After three strong years, Urban’s senior season saw her average a double-double (21.1 points, 10.4 rebounds) and also block nearly five shots per game. Urban scored 13 points in a semifinal round tournament win over Portland, scored 13 points and excelled on defense in a regional final victory over two-time state champion McAuley, then led the Rams with 19 points in a state final win over Cony, despite sitting out long stretches with foul trouble. Urban went on to play at Assumption University in Worcester. Deering has boasted plenty of stars and has won more Gold Balls since she departed, but Urban’s place in program lore is secure.

Coach Mike D’Andrea: “Megan was a very underrated player. She was brilliant against the press as she could handle the ball and see over people. On offense, our option 1, 2, 3 and 4 was to get the ball to Megan. She kept producing, even when she was double-teamed. By her senior year, she was automatic. She was an outstanding player.”

10) Whitney Morrow, South Portland (2002-2005)

Morrow, a 5-foot-10 guard, never backed down from a challenge and her natural athleticism and will to win spelled a memorable high school career, which included an undefeated regular season her senior year.

Morrow, who also ran cross country and track in high school, left defenders in her wake, knocked down shots with abandon and helped South Portland reach the tournament in each of her four seasons. As a senior, Morrow came big time and again as the Red Riots made an undefeated run which ended in the semifinals with an upset loss to Sanford. Along the way, Morrow eclipsed the 1,000-point mark and graduated as the program’s all-time top scorer. She was named Gatorade Player of the Year that winter and was a finalist for the Miss Maine Basketball award. Morrow went on to play at the University of Richmond and the University of Maine.

Coach Mike Giordano: “Whitney was athletically the best player I coached. Nothing she did surprised us. She had a great shot. We knew we could hang our hat on Whitney if we needed a basket. She had swagger. She was just the real deal on the floor. Maybe once or twice in a coaching career, you’ll get a kid like that.”

9) Ashley Cimino, McAuley (2004-2007)

Cimino dominated at both ends of the floor and became McAuley’s first Miss Maine Basketball winner before taking her talents to the Division I level.

Cimino, who played at 6-foot-3, started out as a point guard her freshman season, then became a force in the post. After being upset by Deering in the regional final her freshman year, Cimino helped the Lions return to the state final as a sophomore, where they lost to Cony. Along the way, Cimino averaged 16.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. McAuley lost to South Portland in the semifinals her junior year (she averaged 17.4 points, nine rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots), but as a senior, Cimino averaged 15.4 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.6 blocked shots and the Lions returned to states, only to again lose to Cony. Cimino eclipsed the 1,000-point (1,162) and 600-rebound plateau for her career. She wasn’t just named Miss Maine Basketball in 2007, but was also selected as just the second Mainer to be chosen a Parade Magazine All-American as one of the nation’s top 30 players (joining Joanne Palombo, Brunswick, 1983). Cimino went on to play at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Coach Wil Smith: “Ashley deserved the honors that came her way. She’s been our anchor in her high school career. She was very selfless to play out of position for us. That made us a better team, but it was a huge sacrifice for her individually.”

8) Justine Pouravelis, McAuley (1999-2002)

Pouravelis, as much as anyone, was responsible for turning McAuley into a basketball juggernaut. She was on a team that won once her freshman year, but she made it to the state final each of the next three seasons and as a senior, finally won an elusive state title, capping a fairy tale high school career.

Pouravelis, a 6-foot forward, who could run the floor and score inside and out, and Coach Liz Rickett came to McAuley the same year and after suffering through a 1-17 campaign in 1998-99, the tandem, with plenty of assistance, turned the Lions around the following year and unheralded, 10th-seeded McAuley, with Pouravelis averaging a double-double (16.1 points, 12.1 rebounds), made a storied, spirited and thoroughly unexpected run all the way to the Class A state final, which it lost to Mt. Blue. In Pouravelis’ junior season (when she averaged 16 points per contest), with Sarah Marshall now in tow, the Lions were a powerhouse throughout, but again stumbled on the big stage, losing to Nokomis in the state final. Pouravelis and her teammates wouldn’t be denied in 2001-02, however, as she averaged 11 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots and McAuley beat Cony in a thrilling state final to serve as the ideal punctuation mark on Pouravelis’ high school career. Pouravelis made the All-State team her final three seasons, then went on to star at Bowdoin College. The Lions captured five Gold Balls after Pouravelis departed, but there never would have been a McAuley Dynasty without her.

Coach Liz Rickett: “Justine is just a naturally gifted player. People don’t appreciate her until they see her play. She’s a huge competitor. When the game is on the line, she picks up the pace. She has wonderful instincts and is very unselfish.”

7) Maddie Hasson, South Portland (2013-2016)

Hasson is a basketball standout from a basketball family who never shied from a challenge. She showed promise early in her high school career and just got better and better, to the point she was one of the state’s premier players by the time she graduated, a trend which followed her well beyond her time at South Portland.

Hasson, who also played field hockey and lacrosse at a high level in high school, played basketball for her mother, Lynne, and debuted as a freshman by making the league’s All-Rookie team. Hasson’s scoring touch and ability to crash the boards set her apart, as did her willingness to lead and set up her teammates, even at a young age. As a senior, Hasson posted a stat line of 21.7 points, 13.1 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 3.5 assists. She nearly willed the Red Riots to a state title too, but South Portland dropped an overtime heartbreaker to defending/eventual repeat champion Gorham in the Class AA South Final. Hasson did her part, however, scoring 15 points and grabbing 18 rebounds against the Rams. Hasson finished with 1,111 points and for her career, averaged 14.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.4 steals. She was a finalist for Miss Maine Basketball and went on to blossom into a star of stars at Bowdoin College, where last year, she was named the top Division III player in the country. Hasson, who is hoping to play in Ireland as soon as COVID-19 restrictions lift, has gone on to reach unthinkable heights.

Coach Lynne Hasson: “I was very fortunate to coach Maddie. 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. I had to have her on the floor.”

6) Ashley Storey, Greely (2012-2015)

Storey was a superstar totally devoid of ego, an absolute force at both ends of the floor, came up huge in big spots and graduated as a champion and the winner of the state’s most prestigious award.

Storey joined her older sister, Jaclyn, on the Greely varsity as a freshman and quickly made an impact standing as 6-foot-3-inch matchup nightmare. Ashley Storey was a league all-star each of her high school seasons and as a senior, anchored a powerhouse that won the Rangers’ first championship in 11 years. In her final campaign, Storey averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds during the regular season, then had double-doubles in both a regional final win over Cape Elizabeth and a state game victory over Presque Isle. Storey, who graduated with a program-record 1,123 points and 743 rebounds, went on to play at the University of New Hampshire and will be remembered as one of the greatest players in Greely program history.

Coach Joel Rogers: “The most impressive part of Ashley was her demeanor. Winning a Gold Ball meant more to her than anything. She was willing to do the heavy lifting. She trusted her teammates and met all the challenges. She made herself a better player both mentally and physically. I think she can be in the conversation of best college players at the Division I level to ever come out of Maine.”

5) Alexa Coulombe, McAuley (2009-2012)

Coulombe altered games like no one else, doing a lot more than just scoring, and played an integral role in McAuley’s return to the pinnacle.

Standing over 6-feet, Coulombe got her share of easy baskets while serving as a nightmare for the opposition. Double-doubles and even triple-doubles were common and after her freshman and sophomore seasons ended with playoff disappointments, Coulombe led the Lions to their first championship in seven years as a junior. As a senior, Coulombe averaged 12.1 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 assists and 3 steals per game and after leading McAuley to another Gold Ball, she was named Miss Maine Basketball. Coulombe went on to play Division I basketball at Boston College where she was eventually was named a captain.

Coach Billy Goodman: “Alexa’s a champion. She could have scored more, but she chose to be a great teammate. She became a great passer and shooter. Her leadership and wanting to win and wanting to get every kid involved, I really haven’t experienced that as a coach. She’s very mature and she cares about everybody on the team. Her legacy is that she was a great captain and she was a great champion.”

4) Kayla Burchill, Deering (2008-2011)

Burchill joined a dominant, championship-bound Deering team as a freshman and played an integral role in the Rams’ two state titles and two other trips to the regional final. While her prolific scoring ability rightly got much of the attention from hoops fans, Burchill was also a premier rebounder, defender and never hesitated to set up her teammates for easy hoops. Soft-spoken off the floor, Burchill’s play on the court spoke volumes as she led her team to great heights.

Burchill could dominate in the post, or score from the outside. She went 79-7 during her high school career, eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau, averaged nearly 23 points a game her senior season, when she was named the top player in the Southwestern Maine Activities Association, and won state titles her freshman and sophomore seasons (scoring 14 points in a win over Oxford Hills the first year and 13 in a victory over Messalonskee the second). Had a couple plays gone differently in regional final losses to Scarborough her junior year and McAuley her senior campaign, Burchill easily could have captured four Gold Balls. Following her senior campaign, Burchill  became the first and to date, only Deering player to be named Miss Maine Basketball. Burchill went on to play at the University of Vermont.

Coach Mike Murphy: “I’ll harp forever on what Kayla meant to us. She meant the world. She always, always performed. She knocked down jumpers and played great defense. She took the ball to the basket and hit big shots. Kayla’s a great kid. I’m happy for her. She’s very coachable. Humble.”

3) Sarah Marshall, Falmouth (2000), McAuley (2001-2003)

Marshall is on the short list of the most revered girls’ players from Maine, right up there with Cindy Blodgett and Lisa Blais, and her popularity was well deserved, as she dazzled on the floor and helped take the McAuley program to the next level.

Marshall, who was also a soccer standout, played her freshman year at Falmouth, then came to McAuley to join a program which had made a stirring and stunning run to the state final the year before. The Lions would fall again in the state final Marshall’s sophomore season, but they wouldn’t be stopped from there, capturing Gold Balls in each of the next two years. Marshall, who is still the only girl to win the regional tournament MVP three straight years, wound up scoring 1,519 points and was a point guard extraordinaire, getting the ball to teammates in optimal positions. She also stuffed the stat sheet in regards to rebounds and steals. McAuley wasn’t her last hurrah either, as Marshall went on to excel at Boston College, then married BC quarterback Matt Ryan, the longtime signal caller for the Atlanta Falcons. It’s safe to say that Sarah Marshall and McAuley will forever be synonymous.

Coach Liz Rickett: “I think the kids respected Sarah so much. Her and her ability. She just took over the team and worked hard every day. She doesn’t like to lose at anything and when the game is on the line, she really steps up and carries us. She just worked so hard on every aspect of her game.”

2) Anna DeWolfe, Greely (2016-2019)

A star and fan favorite from the moment she took the floor as a freshman, DeWolfe’s athleticism, scoring touch and selflessness set her apart. She was one of the most potent scorers the state has ever seen and captured a pair of Gold Balls before she was through. She remains very popular to this day:

DeWolfe, who also scored some highlight reel goals playing soccer her first two years in high school, was a matchup nightmare on the hardwood and won a lot of games, but the Rangers couldn’t get past the regional final her first two seasons. Despite being hindered by an ankle injury, DeWolfe led Greely to the Class A crown her junior year, then the Rangers went undefeated and repeated her final campaign. DeWolfe was a captain three years running, made the All-Western Maine Conference team in all four of her high school seasons, thrice was nominated for the Gatorade Player of the Year award and in addition to winning two state titles, was named Miss Maine Basketball. DeWolfe, who wound up scoring 1,948 points in high school (a Greely record) is now starring at Fordham University in New York. Suffice it to say that her legend in Cumberland/North Yarmouth will never fade.

Coach Todd Flaherty: “It’s not just Anna the player, and she does something every day I’ve never seen before so it’s always exciting and fun, but she’s such a kind person, a good soul, It’s been a pleasure being around her. Anna’s one of the players in Maine girls’ basketball history who changed the game. Our girls want to play like her, fast and full of skill. Every coach should have the opportunity to work with a young person of Anna’s quality.”

1) Allie Clement,McAuley (2011-2014)

Clement did so many things exceedingly well and from the moment she put on a McAuley uniform as a freshman, was clearly transcendent. The only player on this list to win four (or even three) state championships, Clement was not only a top scorer, but she could rebound, share the ball and was a staunch defender. She was also clutch, as evidenced by her countless big shots in big situations, starting that freshman season.

Clement went 88-3 during her high school career and won 65 of 66 games after her freshman campaign. That one loss, a one-point setback at Thornton Academy in her senior year was followed by the quintessential Clement moment, as she asked Coach Billy Goodman to keep the gym open for an hour to allow her to practice her shot and work off her frustration/disappointment. All soon was right with the world again, as the Lions went on to a fourth straight title and Clement, fittingly, capped her high school career by winning both the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year and Miss Maine Basketball awards. She enjoyed great success in college as well, at Marist College, in Poughkeepsie, New York. We’ll be talking about her exploits for decades.

Coach Billy Goodman: “I think Allie was one of the top three high school players to ever play in Maine. She was a four-time champion and what a champion she was. She has it all: reach, a great shot, she knows how to attack and plays great defense. Her biggest strength is her mental makeup. When things get tough, she gets it in another gear. At the end of the day, she’s a just a very humble girl. She’s all about the team.”

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

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