Two Horse Race in Maine
Cheverus' Matt Cimino and Jonesport-Beals' Garet Beal turned in two of the most impressive individual performances at last month's New England Elite 75 Showcase - Frosh/Soph Edition, showing themselves to be the top prospects in Maine's sophomore class as a result.
Cimino continued to do what he had done throughout the AAU season, showing a great combination of size, mobility, and skill by running the floor, scoring and rebounding around the paint, but also drilling three-pointers from the perimeter.
For Beal the showcase was an opportunity to prove himself against a higher level of competition, and he certainly did that as he used his strong body and smooth skill set to create his own shot and score in various ways.
In our mind the duo had set themselves apart from the rest of the state with the only fair question now being who should be ranked one and who should be ranked two. While Beal could very well be the best sophomore in the state of Maine right now, the fact that Cimino recently sprouted up another two inches to 6'9" gives him unique upside as a skilled step-out four-man at the next level and was ultimately the difference maker in our minds.
Coming in at number three is Will Cartwright, a true post player who we continue to think highly of. He has the one thing you can't teach and that's size and we also love the fact that he knows he is a big man and embraces playing with his back to the basket, showing good dexterity around the rim and the potential to be one of the few low post scorers in New England.
Fourth ranked Tanner Hyland has missed some time this fall with injury but impressed us this season on the AAU circuit as a pure point guard who can also make shots and score the ball.
Rounding out the top five is another pure point guard in Adam Ek. Thornton Academy's young floor general has good ball skills, a high basketball I.Q., and an innate understanding of the game.
Just on the outside looking in is Lee Academy's Arturas Makovskis, a Lithuanian import likely to crack the top five as he gets adjusted to the American game.