First-year varsity boys basketball coach Dan Hallinan announced several awards and words of appreciation to his Boothbay Region Seahawks and team supporters during a Zoom meeting Thursday, March 25.
Seniors Ben Pearce and Sullivan Rice were named co-MVPs of this year’s team which went 5-6 in the Kno-Wal-Lin league. The league was formed after Maine Principals Association issued rules on restricted play and travel during the pandemic.
Pearce, the team’s center, was the team’s leading scorer (14.3 ppg) and rebounder (6.7 rpg), and was also second on the team with 2.4 assists per game. “Ben’s biggest accomplishment in my eyes since he has been part of the program was how he was able to adjust over the years to his approach recognizing the importance of team accolades over individual stats,” said Hallinan, who has been with the Seahawk program for eight years (freshman coach for one year and junior varsity for five years). Pearce was also named to the McDonald’s Class C/D Senior all-star team and was a Mountain Valley Conference all-star this season.
Rice, the team’s point guard, was the team’s second-leading scorer (12.7 ppg) and was third on the team in assists (1.8 apg). He shot 88% from the free throw line (35 for 40). “Sullivan is more of a quiet leader ... I have watched Sullivan since he was a little kid running around the Y. He has put his time in and his hard work showed,” said Hallinan. Rice was also named a Mountain Valley Conference all-star.
Hallinan awarded the most improved player plaque to junior Matthew Sullivan. “He struggled some parts last season whether it was play on the court or attitude; however, his maturity and way he conducted himself this year, it was like a whole new person,” said Hallinan.
The coaches award plaque was presented to junior Nase Lawless. “This award choice was by far the easiest for me to choose,” said Hallinan. “Nase showed up night in and night out, and just simply played the game of basketball the right way ... worked hard, wanted to learn, and was just an awesome teammate. He is one of the most unselfish players I have ever seen.”
Hallinan spoke about the rest of the players and their contributions to this year’s team, making special mention of the seniors, who included Kaleb Ames. Ames averaged 9 points per game and was third in rebounds with 4.9 per game. “Arguably our best defender, Kaleb led through his work ethic and determination to out compete anyone on the court,” said Hallinan. Ames was named a McDonald’s Class C/D Senior all-star this season and a Mountain Valley Conference all-star.
Other varsity players included junior Lucas Hardwick and sophomores Kayden Ames and Gryffin Kristan,
Hallinan thanked this year’s assistant and junior varsity coach Bruce Orne. “The junior varsity program had a great season. To say this group has heart is an understatement. Their willingness to learn and become better players was a joy for myself and Coach Orne to be around. I hope they continue with that same passion so we continue to build and get better,” said Hallinan. Orne recognized the following players who competed at the j.v. level: juniors Zach Rollins, Sam Page and Nase Lawless, sophomore Tyler Barter and freshmen Dominick Dow, Finn Harkins, Luke Morley and Otto Schoenthal.
Team manager was junior Gavin Carlson and Hallinan expressed his appreciation for his help during the season. “Gavin has been the team’s manager for the past three seasons and has done an excellent job for us whether it be recording stats, doing the shot chart, or keeping track of timeouts and fouls. He would always want to get involved in practice during water breaks shooting half court shots and is very good at them. Gavin is more than dedicated to us and we are more than dedicated to Gavin. He has a heart bigger than the basketball itself. I am glad I get another year with my man Gavin,” said Hallinan. Carlson was presented with a Seahawk jacket.
Others Hallinan recognized during the meeting were Coach I.J. Pinkham, the school committee, Boothbay Register editor Kevin Burnham, Channel 7 manager Jonne Trees and announcer Smith Climo, parents (parents of the seniors volunteered to help run the Channel 7 cameras for the home games), BRHS Athletic Director Allan Crocker, and the school staff and bus drivers.
“This was a season of many unknowns,” said Hallinan in recapping the season. “The unknown of us starting, the unknown of us continuing ... The team had to overcome not only the challenges of COVID-19, but the challenges of facing Class A and B schools well established in their conferences. This was all while having no summer program in a transition year from a coaching standpoint as well as younger players filling roles previously held by players that make huge impacts to our program. ... The silver lining of the pandemic was allowing a transition like my new role as a varsity coach and Coach Orne’s new role as JV coach to buy us time to get our feet wet at the new respective levels.”
The meeting concluded with Hallinan announcing his hope for a successful summer program.