Kennebunk High senior Emily Archibald is one of the top returning girls’ basketball players in the state. She’ll continue her basketball career at Providence College. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Emily Archibald ended her junior season at Kennebunk High with 941 career points and 858 career rebounds.

Now a senior, the only question is whether Archibald, the reigning Gatorade Maine Player of the Year, will play enough games to finish her Rams career with a 1,000 double-double. It’s going to be close.

Kennebunk had its first two games of the season canceled because the school was in full remote learning until this week. That leaves just eight games.

Kennebunk’s Emily Archibald could eclipse 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds this season. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

For someone who averaged 19.7 points a game last year, as Archibald did in leading the Rams to the Class A South quarterfinals, the points shouldn’t be an issue. Rebounds? That’s another story. Even if the 6-foot-2 Archibald repeats last year’s 13.1 rebounds per game, that will leave her short.

And that seems to be OK with Archibald, who has accepted a scholarship to play at Providence College in the Big East.

“I’m just really excited to get back on the court with my teammates and I’m super grateful to have my senior season,” she said. “I’m just going to try to help the team as best I can and enjoy the time no matter how much we have on the court. It’s all so uncertain.”

Archibald is among the high school seniors in southern Maine whose final season of girls’ basketball once seemed in jeopardy of being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Still, it will be a strange one, with all players wearing face masks and no fans in the stands. Teams are playing no more than 10 games, and there will be no postseason or playoffs. No regional or state champions will be crowned.

Rob Sullivan, in his 25th season as head coach of the Rams, said that from the time Archibald was elected as a team captain as a freshman, statistics have never mattered to her. She’s a point guard for Kennebunk, but has played every position on the court over the years.

“She’s got a unique skill set,” said Sullivan.

This year’s team will be very young. And he’s looking to Archibald to be a mentor to the underclassmen.

“As a young woman Emily has evolved into a tremendous leader by example,” said Sullivan. “She’s a stereotype – first in the gym, last to leave. She’s even helped her mom set up concessions in the past. The kids can’t help but notice what she does.”

“This is a fun group,” said Archibald, a two-time Varsity Maine All-State selection. “I’m definitely going to try to be a leader for this team and lead by example. Winning is always fun, but I think for us, we’re just excited to be able to compete and have fun and, hopefully, get a few wins along the way.”

Here are some of the other top seniors in southern Maine entering their final seasons:

Shani Plante has been a four-year starter for Old Orchard Beach and was a Western Maine Conference first-team all-star selection last season. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Emily Bartash, Bonny Eagle center: At 6-foot-5, Bartash is one of the most intimidating players in the SMAA. She is in her fourth season as a varsity player for the Scots and coming off a strong junior season in which she averaged 10.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game. She is also a very strong at the line, hitting 70 percent of her free throws.

Glory Blethen, Boothbay guard: At 6-foot-2, Blethen is able to play point guard for the Seahawks who also plays inside when needed. She entered her senior season needing 133 points for 1,000 in her career. A year ago she averaged 15.9 points, 3.3 assists, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 2.2 blocks per game. She has developed into a team leader and a mentor for the younger players.

Camille Clement, Greely guard: Bound for Northeastern University, Clement is one of the most dynamic outside shooters in the state. She is a two-time Varsity Maine all-state selection with 1,146 career points entering her senior year. In leading the Rangers to the Class A South title game last year, she averaged 19.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 steals.

Kayla Conley, Scarborough guard: A four-year varsity player for the Red Storm, Conley is a captain this year for Coach Mike Giordano and has been a leader during the pandemic where she has maintained a positive attitude off the court. Over the years, she has developed a strong game at both ends of the court and last year averaged 9.5 points and 1.9 steals a game.

Amanda Kabantu, Portland guard: A returning Varsity Maine All-State selection, Kabantu will next play at Bentley University, one of the top NCAA Division II programs in New England. She is one of the state’s top on-the-ball defenders and averaged 2.5 steals a game last year in leading the Bulldogs to the Class AA North finals. She also averaged 10.9 points and 11.9 rebounds often going against taller players.

Portland High’s Gemima Motema averaged 12.4 points,  7.0 rebounds and 5.0 steals last season for a team that advanced to the Class AA state championship game. Motema will continue her basketball career at Northeastern University. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Gemima Motema, Portland guard: A Varsity Maine all-state selection as freshman, Motema has been slowed a bit by injuries the last two years, but remains one of the most dynamic players in the state. She’ll next play at Northeastern University along with Greely’s Clement. Extremely athletic and quick, she is an exceptional defensive player who averaged 5.0 steals a game last year, along with 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds.

Adele Nadeau, Gorham guard/forward: A four-year starter and two-year captain for the Rams, Nadeau has developed into a well-rounded offensive player. Where once she was a spot-up shooter – she has 92 career 3-pointers – she now drives to the basket. She hit 83 percent of her free throws last year when she averaged 10.4 points per game,; she has started 60 of 62 games in her career.

Shani Plante, Old Orchard Beach guard: Plante has been a four-year starter and two-year captain for the Seagulls as well as a Western Maine Conference first-team all-star selection last year. A dangerous outside shooter, she averaged a team-leading 14.0 points a game last year and was second in assists. In her career, she is averaging 12.3 points per game.

Rachel Wall, Freeport guard: One of the most versatile players in the area, Wall has been a big reason behind Freeport’s rise to the top of Class B South. Last year she averaged 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds and provides outstanding defense and leadership on and off the court. Wall is also an outstanding soccer player and will play soccer and basketball and Division III Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.


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