Donato Among 16 MBHOF Class of ’19
The Maine Basketball Hall of Fame will open its doors to 16 new members, plus seven Legends of the Game and two special teams that will always be connected because of 1963. It is the MBHOF Class of 2019.
At press conferences in Bangor and Portland, MBHOF executive director Tony Hamlin announced the sixth class to be inducted into the hall. The Ceremony take place in August at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor
2019 MBHOF INDUCTEES
While Jim Beattie is best known for his baseball career, having pitched for, among others, the New York Yankees in an eight- year major league career. He was a phenomenal basketball player at South Portland High School and played as a walk on at Dartmouth College 1972 and ’73.
Jim led the 1971 Red Riots to the State Championship against Presque Isle and was named to the First Team All-State squad. He repeated this distinction his senior year in 1972. A 6’6”forward/center, Beattie was a dominant force inside for the Gene Hunter coached Red Riots and possessed a deft touch from the outside. Jim was a generational player and in two years at Dartmouth he averaged over 14 points per game, before deciding to concentrate full time on baseball.
Jeff graduated from South Portland High School in 1982 where he was a second team All-Maine selection. Following high school, this 6’ 6” guard/forward accepted a scholarship to Boston University. His basketball journey eventually brought him to USM and reunited him with coach Bob Brown. While at USM, Jeff was a two- time honorable mention All-American, Jeff averaged 20.3 points and 6.4 rebounds to help the Huskies win their only Little East Conference championship in 1989 and advance to the NCAA Final Four. He was selected the Little East Co-Player of the Year, the ECAC Division 3 New England Player of the Year, and earned first team all-star accolades from the LEC, ECAC, and UPI New England and Maine College Coaches and Writers Association. Jeff still ranks among USM’s career leaders in points ( 1257), scoring average ( 17.2), field goal percentage ( .524 ), and three point percentage ( .476 ), and free throw percentage at .855.
Stephanie Carter was a dominating basketball player for three years at Schenck High School, leading her East Millinocket school to three straight Class C State titles. She was a 5 foot-11 inch center who played with grace and determination, scoring 2167 points in her career. She was a three time All-State first team selection and in her senior year, 1989, she was named Miss Basketball.
Carter left Schenck for the Univ. of Maine to play but after two seasons and somewhat limited playing time, she transferred to St. Joe’s College for its nursing program and to play for Coach Mike McDevitt. She was an important cog in his successful efforts to build the Monk’s program into a perennial winner. She thrived in that environment and graduated with a degree in nursing.
John Conley is one of the winningest players in Maine history. His Morse High teams won three consecutive class A State Championships from 1987 to 1989. John was a third team All-State selection in 1988, and a first team selection in 1989. In winning program that produced a series of great players in the late 80’s, John established himself as the go to guy in coach Tom Maines’s high- octane offense.
John attend Dartmouth College and was a four- year starter for the Big Green; he currently is the owner of a successful financial planning company.
Donato was a three-sport athlete at Middleborough High School in Massachusetts and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. He went on to play baseball and basketball at the former Ricker College in Houlton.
However, it was in his role as basketball coach that John became a true legend of the game. His teams have won 11 Regional titles and 5 Gold Balls, his latest in 2015 at Lawrence High School. In addition, John is closing in on 550 career wins; an almost unfathomable number.
John started his coaching career at Houlton High School where his teams won 4 State Championships. John has coached at Mt. View, Messalonskee, Hall-Dale and Lawrence. He is currently coaching the Orono High School girls.
Following a brilliant basketball career at Mountain Valley High School that brought him All-state honors as well as being named Mr. Basketball in 1991, Matt made an immediate impact at Colby College. Matt was a tenacious defender and perfected the role of point guard, leading the Mules in assists form 1992-95. He shot an impressive 83 percent from the foul line. His Colby teams were a collective 85-16 and two NCAA tournament appearances. Matt scored 1487 points in his Colby career and he was a two- time Honorable Mention All-American and was Maine College Player of the Year in 1995. Colby bestowed the ultimate honor by retiring his number 22.
Max Good is one of Maine’s most successful coaches; he has over 600 wins in his career which included stops at UNLV, Loyola Marymount University, Eastern Kentucky, Bryant College, Pratt Community College, and of course MCI. While at Maine Central Institute for 10 seasons (1989-1999), he won 90.2 percent of his games and won five New England Prep School Athletic Conference Championships. He is also a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Gail Jackson was a standout player for the Westbrook High School, graduating in 1980 after leading her team to three straight Gold Balls. During her high school career, Gail was named second team All-State her sophomore and junior seasons and gained first team honors her senior year. Along with teammate Lisa Blais, the Blue Blazes dominated Class A basketball for four seasons.
Gail accepted a scholarship to UNH after high school; she help lead the Wildcats to one of their most productive eras and in the process, became a dominate inside player, leading her team in rebounds each year. Gail sits third in UNH history for rebounds in a season.
Doug Lisherness is one of the most successful basketball player/coaches in Maine history. As a standout player at Strong High School in the 1960s; he scored over 2000 points in an era without a three- point shot. He set Class D tournament records with 19 free throws in a game and 33 in a tournament. Doug coach the Mt. Abram High School women’s program for 26 years, winning two State Championships, in 1991 and 2007. Along the way, Doug has won over 300 games !
Becky Moholland, of Calais, was a standout 5’ 11” forward who scored 1056 points while helping the Blue Devils win over 80 percent of their games. She was a three time all- tourney selection and MVP of tournament her senior year . In 1991 Becky was a third team All-State selection, All-Tourney, and a McDonald’s All-Star.
Becky spent her first two years of college at UMaine at Machias where she led the country in rebounds per game her sophomore year with 19 caroms. After her sophomore season, she transferred to Husson College where she played two seasons for coach Kissy Walker. She finished her college career with 1221 points and 946 rebounds.
Mark Reed has made his mark on Maine basketball in a relative short period of time.
The son of longtime Bangor coach Roger Reed, Mark Reed was a four-year starter for his father in the early 1990s, leading the Rams to the 1992 Eastern Maine Class A Championship and the 1993 Class A State title. He was a Bangor Daily News first-team All-Maine choice in both 1992 and ‘ 93.
Mark went on the play Division I college basketball at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia where he was a prominent starter. After graduation, he came home to coach high school basketball. He has coached at Brewer and Hermon High Schools. His Hermon team last year went undefeated at 22-0, and won the State Championship.
Scott Saft was an inside force for Waterville High School in 1985 as he led his team to the Class A State Championship. He was first team, All-tourney, All- KVAC, and first team All-State selection. Scott’s intelligence, athleticism, and ability to hit from everywhere on the court, was a major factor in the Panther’s success.
Scott enrolled at Amherst College after graduation, where he was twice All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-American in 1988. He scored 1004 points in leading his team to the NESCAC Championship in 1988 and one D3 ECAC Championship.
Coach Simonds has spent virtually his entire life involved with basketball. After playing at Waldoboro High School and Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine, he attended USM where he earned 9 letters as well as MVP awards in both basketball and baseball.
After a sting in the Army with the Maine National Guard, he began his coaching career at Bristol Consolidated School and from there he went to Ellsworth High School where he compiled an 80-30 record in his five years there and led the Eagles to four tournament appearances and twice reached the Eastern Maine finals.
Simonds is best known for his outstanding career at St. Joseph College for 23 years where he compiled a 466-176 (.726 ) record with 11 conference titles and 6 national tournament appearances. Simonds never suffered a losing season and ranks as the most successful head coach in Saint Joseph’s College Athletics history.
Simonds’ crowning achievement came in 1987 when the Monks astounded the basketball world at the NAIA National Championship in Kansas City by upsetting Biola College, which was ranked third in the country with a 29-1 record at the time. The national tourney win was the first of its kind for an NAIA New England program.
One of the most decorated Maine collegiate players to hit the basketball hardwood, Derek was a four-year starter for the Westbrook College Wildcats. He finished his career with an astounding total of 3,050 points, a Maine college record that still stands today. In fact, Derek led the nation in scoring his senior season, totaling just under 1,000 points.
A two-time Mayflower Conference Player of the Year, Derek held the NAIA career scoring record for several years. He made a splash on the New England basketball scene in 1993 when he was selected NAIA District Rookie of the Year and went on to earn four all-conference selections. He still holds the men’s basketball program’s record for points in a single game with 45.
A native of nearby Cumberland, Maine, Derek went on to basketball stardom after graduation, playing nine seasons of professional basketball. His professional career included stints in England, Russia, Yugoslavia and Germany, as well as a tryout with the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA.
Mari Warner, a Saco native and Thornton Academy graduate, was an outstanding high school player. She was named to the very first All-State women’s team by the Bangor Daily News in 1977. After graduation, Mari attended the Univ. of Maine where she played four seasons for the Lady Black Bears.
She coached for 20 years at the University of Albany, overseeing the Great Danes’ rise from the Division III ranks to Division II and then Division I. Warner left Albany after the 2001-02 season with a career record of 289-203, three years after the Danes moved to Division I. She was inducted into the University of Albany Hall of Fame in 2010.
Shortly after leaving Albany, Mari became the head coach at Lansingburgh High in Troy, N.Y., taking over a program that was rebuilding and eventually leading it to the sectional finals. She moved back to Maine and coached at Falmouth High School from 2010 to 2016.
Linda Whitney was a modern- era pioneer in women’s basketball in Maine. She served as a role model to young girls in a time of gender inequality; and she was an ambassador or her sport in the pre-Title nine years. Her generosity and love of athletics made Linda a highly respected member of Maine’s basketball community.
Linda Whitney spent her professional career at Lake Region High School where she led her team to the first women’s State Championship in 1975 as they defeated Van Buren. Linda accumulated 314 wins in her career before retiring in 2000.
Linda, along with her husband Ken, formed a dynamic coaching duo with Ken leading the boys’ program while his wife led the girls. She was a inducted into the Lake Region High School Hall of Fame with its first class.
LEGENDS OF THE GAME
Bouchard, a product of Katahdin High School in 1979 was a dominant 6’-8” big man who led his team to back to back state championship games, winning the Gold Ball in 1977. He was a first team All-State selection in 1979 and a second team member in 1978.
There are a few memorable performances in tournament competition in Maine that stand above all others. Bill Burney’s 53 points against Presque Isle in the 1969 tournament, which included 19 foul shots, is one of those performances. Bill went on to play freshman basketball at Boston University after high school.
Leigh Campbell is an institution at Bates College. A 1964 alum of Bates, Leigh returned to his alma mater in 1973 as head of the Financial Aid Dept. However, it was his role as Bate’s official basketball scorer for nearly 50 years that brought Leigh the most pleasure. He also served the MPA in that capacity for decades at their annual tournament. Leigh Campbell represents the hundreds of unsung heroes that make basketball special in Maine.
Hank Madore, a native of Millinocket, was one of the toughest players ever to come out of Stearns High School. After graduating in 1948, Hank played the next twenty years for the Millinocket Pills, a semi-pro team. The Pills took on all comers and Hank was one person no one wanted to guard. Quick, tough, strong, and tenacious were words his competitors used to describe Hank. George Wentworth relied on him to show his young players how basketball should be played. He passed away in 2018.
JOHN 'JEDDY' NEWMAN
Jeddy Newman was a true Maine basketball legend. He graduated Cheverus High School in 1961, the same year he helped the Stags win the State Championship. Jeddy started his coaching career at Bonny Eagle High School and led them to the 1970 Gold Ball. He joined Thornton Academy and coached for the next two decades. Jeddy was a true original, leaving behind a record of helping kids in all facets of life when he passed in 2009.
Jay Ramsdell fell in love with basketball growing up in Bar Harbor and as a student at MDI. He found a home with the Bangor entry into the CBA, the Maine Windjammers, volunteering for any chore needed to breathe life into this small- town professional team. Jay served as the General Manager of the Maine Windjammers from 1985/86 before the team folded.
His talents impressed the older guard and Jay became the youngest commissioner in any professional sport when he was named the Commissioner of the CBA in 1988 at the age of 24.
The CBA named their Championship Trophy after Jay. In 1989, at the age of 25, Jay passed away in a plane crash in Iowa.
Dick Sturgeon played for Old Town High School and continued his play at the University of Maine where he gained All-Yankee honors in 1959. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, a knee injury ended his playing days. Dick stayed involved with hoops by coaching the freshmen team and following graduation he coached at Madison and Cony High Schools. Dick then found his way to Gorham where he coached USM for 11 years.
Morse High School – Stearns High School 1963
The 1963 Morse and Stearns teams will be forever part of Maine folklore for their duels in the Class A State Championship which Morse won and for the New England Championship at the Boston Garden, which Stearns won in overtime. These two storied schools were the toast of Maine and it is fitting that the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame honor the teams and players who wrote such a glorious chapter in Maine basketball history.