By Jessica Bloch of the Bangor Daily News - MAINE - On the basketball court, nobody looms larger than Dexter's Mallory Ames.
Not only is the 6-foot-6 senior a big presence, she puts up big numbers. Thanks to Ames, the Tigers also got big results this year.
Two days after leading Dexter to its fifth straight Eastern Maine Class C championship, Ames was unanimously voted the 2007 Bangor Daily News Owen O. Osborne Most Valuable Player for the EM Class C tournament.
Ames is joined by Lee Academy junior Aarika Ritchie in Class D, Waterville sophomore Morgan Frame in Class B, and Cony of Augusta senior Kristi Violette in Class A as MVP winners.
The MVP award was established in 1994 in memory of Osborne, a former NEWS sports editor and reporter. The award and all-tourney teams, which are listed below by classification, are selected by a vote of media, tourney officials and representatives of the Maine Principals' Association.
This year's all-tourney team is loaded with new faces. Of the 20 girls named all-tournament, only five were on last year's teams and two moved from honorable mention into the top five.
Ames was joined by Lindsey Mingo of Calais, Penobscot Valley of Howland's Kelsy Lavertu, and Fort Kent players Marissa Albert and Emily Pelletier.
Ames, an all-tourney member last year, had a double-double in each of the Tigers' three games, averaging 25 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocked shots per game.
Ames is the third different MVP from Dexter since 2003. Her sister, Ashley Ames, was the 2003-05 MVP and Sabrina Cote won last year. The Ames sisters are the first sister duo to win MVPs since Sandi Carver (1994) and Tricia Carver (2000) of Jonesport-Beals.
Mingo led the Blue Devils with 12 ppg and 8.6 rpg in helping No. 8 Calais knock off top-seeded Washington Academy of East Machias.
An all-tourney honorable mention last year, Albert had an all-tourney team best scoring average of 25.5 ppg. She poured in 30 points in the quarterfinals.
Pelletier also had a big quarterfinal with 14 points. The sophomore guard is a dangerous 3-point shooter but in that game she did much of her damage at the free-throw line, hitting 8 of 10 foul shots.
Lavertu had her best game in the semifinals with 10 points and 12 rebounds. She averaged 9.5 rpg in two games.
In Class D, the well-rounded Pandas had several MVP candidates, but Ritchie edged the rest. Teammate Amanda Gifford joined Ritchie on the all-tourney team with Washburn's Erica McDougall, Greater Houlton Christian Academy's Megan Korhonen and Lauren Redmond of Limestone Community School/Maine School of Science and Mathematics.
Ritchie guided the Pandas with 12.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg while hitting 15-for-25 (60 percent) from the floor in three games. She had 14 points and nine rebounds the semis.
Gifford, an honorable mention last year, had a stellar EM final in which she poured in 24 points on 12-for-18 shooting to go with four rebounds, five assists and three steals.
McDougall averaged 11.3 ppg and led the Beavers in their semifinal with 22 points and eight rebounds. Korhonen averaged 16.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg, while Redmond tossed in 15 ppg and grabbed 8.0 rpg. Redmond was a tough matchup at 5-foot-10, going 5-for-12 from 3-point range.
In Class B, Frame was one of three Waterville players to gain an MVP vote. Her teammate, Stephanie Whitten, wound up on the all-tourney team with John Bapst of Bangor's Hillary Laferriere, Amethyst Cousins of Mount Desert Island and Mattanawcook of Lincoln's Michelle Paul.
Frame's double-double average — 17.6 ppg and 12.6 rpg — put her over the top. She hit 24 of 42 field-goal attempts (57.1 percent). She had nine of her 14 points and seven of her 16 rebounds in the first half of the regional final.
Whitten averaged 9.6 ppg while shooting a fine 12-for-19 from the floor. She scored 11 points in the final.
Laferriere is the only returning Class B all-tourney team member. She was the most consistent of the Crusaders' scorers last week, averaging 9 ppg and 9 rpg.
Cousins averaged 14.5 points and five rebounds in two games. She scored 18 points, four in overtime, in a 65-60 quarterfinal win.
Paul kept the Lynx alive thanks to her clutch 3-point shooting. She tied the EM Class B tourney record with six 3-pointers in a semifinal loss to Waterville.
In Class A, Violette led a trio of Rams, including Cassie Cooper and Rachael Mack, on the all-tourney team along with Messalonskee of Oakland twin sisters Chelsea Barker and Amanda Barker.
Violette had a stellar final with 26 points and 18 rebounds. Mack was Cony's high scorer for the tournament with a 17.0 ppg average while 2006 MVP Cooper added 11.6 ppg.
Chelsea Barker hit the shot of the tournament when her 3-pointer with one second left in regulation sent the regional final into overtime. She
had a game-high 28 points in the final and wound up with a 20 ppg average. Amanda Barker contributed 10 ppg.
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