Top Prospects in the MPA
Maine looks like the most talented state in northern New England this year, thanks in large part to a special senior class.
That 2019 group is both deep and talented with current stars of the high school game as well as prospects for all three levels of college basketball.
Matthew Fleming, Bangor – The only player in the state to already commit to a division I school, Fleming pledged to Army earlier this summer. A volume scorer who put up 45 points in a single game last year despite battling injuries, Fleming has size, skill, and a game that is only going to keep coming as he fills out his frame and evolves physically.
Ben Onek, Deering – The most physically imposing player in the state, the southpaw forward is powerful with a chiseled frame. He’s a man among boys in the state of Maine and as dominant rebounding the ball as he is scoring it. His game isn’t just brute force either as he’s dangerous off the bounce and has some developing face-up touch.
Nick Fiorillo, Scarborough – He had a breakout junior season last year, leading Scarborough to the state finals, but didn’t start making a name for himself beyond Maine’s borders until the months after. His combination of size and skill, specifically his ability to stretch the floor, is tailor made for the college game and he’s another one who will only continue to emerge as his body changes.
Wol Maiwen, Edward Little – An undersized big man who compensates with game changing athleticism and a high motor on both ends of the floor, Maiwen led Edward Little to their first state championship in over 70 seasons last year. While it remains to be seen just how well his game translates to the next level, there’s not a more impactful two-way athlete in the state right now.
Zach Brown, Greely – The senior guard has had an extremely decorated high school career to date, culminating with back-to-back championships for Greely. He’s a true stat stuffer who reportedly averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals per game last year in route to All-State honors. He also has a quality running mate in shot-maker Logan Bagshaw.
Trey Ballew & Pedro Fonseca, Portland – While there are a number of talented seniors in the state, there might not be another team that can match the trio of Ballew, Fonseca, and Simon Chadbourne. Ballew has the size to flourish inside but growing face-up skills while Fonseca is a versatile guard with a good feel for the game and Chadbourne a knockdown shooter from behind the arc.
Andrew Hartel, Cape Elizabeth – Hartel is a little bit of a sleeper. It’s not that he isn’t well known in Maine high school basketball, he is, but that he isn’t always mentioned with the top players in the state when his potential for the next level and fit for the college game may surpass some of theirs. At 6-foot-9 with a sturdy base, touch to develop, and a passing instinct, there’s a lot of long-term tools in place.
Cooper Wirkala, Oceanside – He’s headed to the NESCAC next year after his recent commitment to Colby College and already putting up big numbers to start his senior season. The well-built 6-foot-6 forward continues to get stronger and more versatile with his attack. There’s plenty of upside left here too as he’s almost a full year younger than most seniors.
Connor Robertson, Orono – After missing the tail end of his junior season with injury, Robertson made an early statement when he dropped 31 points in Orono’s opening game of the season. The senior has both the size and strength to be productive inside but is also an increasingly dangerous long-range shooter.
Jared Balser, Mt. Ararat – Some big men are better fits at the college level then they are in the high school game and that may well prove to be the case for Balser. Mt. Ararat has gotten off to a disappointing start this season, but the 6-foot-8 big man has tools that clearly translate with a strong build, physical style, and good footwork inside.
Cameron Lovejoy, Kennebunk – He put up 16 points per game last year as a junior and has also never shied away from taking on higher level competition outside the state’s borders in the spring and summer. A proven shot-maker and versatile scorer, Lovejoy leads a veteran laden Kennebunk team that is hoping to make a run this season.
Class of 2020
Isaac Varney, Hermon – The junior forward averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds last season but was a big reason why Hermon captured a state championship and had a combined 40-2 record over his first two seasons. He has all the tools to keep evolving too with good size, solid athleticism, and a foundation of skill to build off of.
Leyton Bickford, Sanford – The junior big man has the size and strength to impose his will inside the paint and he did so last year, putting up over 14 points and 9 rebounds per game as just a sophomore. He’s looking to take the next step this year and already off to a good start after putting up 22 points last night.
Zach Maturo, Bonney Eagle – One of the top 2020 guards in the state, Maturo is known for his ability to break down a defense and create for himself and others. What he may lack in overall height, he compensates for with his handle and creativity as he has the ball on a string.