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High school basketball

A-plus athletes: Midcoast trio makes grade as McDonald's academic All-State

Panthers Murphy, Cohen, Windjammer O'Connell serve excellent performances on court, in classroom
By Staff | Mar 23, 2020
Courtesy of: McDonald's

Bangor — Medomak Valley's Carson Murphy and Sadie Cohen, along with Camden Hills' Grace O'Connell, performed well on the basketball court in 2019-20 and helped their teams secure regular-season and, in Murphy's case, playoff success.

Additionally, as well as the senior trio performed on the court, it was in the classroom, and with their overall school work, where they really shone and that educational dedication and intellectual prowess was rewarded as the Midcoast student-athletes were selected to the Maine McDonald’s High School Senior Basketball All-Star Basketball Games academic All-State teams.

Being chosen for one of the McDonald's academic teams is one of the most difficult — and prestigious — high school achievements in Maine.

Along with the selected senior basketball players, coaches and event contributors, the area all-academic trio was recognized on Friday, March 6 at a banquet at the Shrine Temple. The games were played on Saturday, March 7 at Husson University.

The 40th annual hoop event, a significant fundraiser for Maine McDonald's House, continued to be connected with the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches.

Unlike the McDonald's basketball teams, which include 10 chosen players per team per class and gender (80 total for the eight teams of players in five classes); however, there were just 12 boys and 12 girls chosen statewide, regardless of class, as all-academic.

The seniors needed to qualify to be nominated by their coach, and then the field of 65 girls and 48 boys was narrowed to 12 boys and 12 girls for academic All-State recognition.

Murphy, a 6-foot 4-inch forward, averaged four points and three rebounds and played all 20 Panther games this winter. He has excelled for the Panthers in basketball, baseball and golf. On the links, he has been a multi-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference all-conference selection and is the president of the Medomak Valley chapter of National Honor Society. He plans to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. or Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Mass. to study aerospace engineering.

"Carson has been very instrumental in the success of the boys basketball program during his four years at Medomak Valley," said Panther coach Nick DePatsy. "Carson always welcomes a challenge with a smile, he is a very unselfish player that only cares about the success of the team. His praise, guidance and leadership on and off the court has helped his teammates become more productive as players and well-rounded citizens … He is a fine young man, that has defined his goals at an early age. Well-deserved honor for Carson."

Anderson made two key 3-pointers in the closing seconds of the team's quarterfinal playoff game with Skowhegan, shots that tied the game and allowed Medomak Valley to be victorious in overtime.

Cohen, a 5-10 forward, averaged 10 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. At Medomak Valley, she has excelled in basketball, soccer, softball and tennis, and has been a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference all-conference basketball and soccer selection and Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame female athlete of the year finalist. She is the MVHS Class of 2020 president, vice president of National Honor Society and will attend Boston College to study political science and international studies.

"Sadie has been a valuable member of our team for a few years now," said Panther coach Ryan McNelly. "Along with being valuable to our team, Sadie has been a valued member of the high school as a whole. She is highly involved in student activities and is currently one of the top in her class. She has always been highly motivated on the court as well as in the classroom."

O'Connell, a 5-7 shooting guard, averaged six points, four rebounds and two assists. For the Windjammers, she has excelled in basketball and softball. She has been a member of the National Honor Society and a Maine Senator Honors Recognition recipient. O'Connell plans to play softball in college.

"Grace O’Connell has one of the best jump shots," said Windjammer coach Kim Kuhn. "She’s such a great teammate and a competitor. She likes to take the challenge guarding the other team's top player. What I am most proud of Grace is not what she did on the hardwood this season but in the classroom. Her being named to McDonald’s All-Academic in Maine is such an honor. I am really going to miss her competitive spirit next season."

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at or by phone at 594-4401.

Medomak Valley's Carson Murphy. (Courtesy of: John Bernard)
Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen. (Courtesy of: John Bernard)
Camden Hills' Grace O'Connell. (Courtesy of: John Bernard)
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