In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Nicole Boudreau of Andover High School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Boudreau is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Andover High School.
The 5-foot-8 senior guard has led the Warriors to a 23-0 record and a berth in the Division 1 North Sectional semifinals against Central Catholic High, scheduled for March 6. The 2010-11 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Boudreau averaged 22.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.0 steals, 4.9 assists and 2.6 blocks through 23 games. ESPNBoston’s 2011 Miss Basketball selection, she has scored a school-record 2,099 points in her prep basketball career.
Boudreau has maintained a 3.96 weighted GPA in the classroom. A standout golfer as the 2010 junior champion at Andover Country Club, she has volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and referee.
“Nicole Boudreau’s athleticism was superior on both ends of the court,” said Jimmy Cardaci, head coach at Lowell High. “Her ability to handle the ball and create her own shot placed her into a different category on the high school level. Her team is undefeated largely in part to her contributions each game.”
Boudreau has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at Boston College this fall.
Two time Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball Players of the Year Nicole Boudreau joins Lauren Battista (2009-10, Oliver Ames), Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir (2008-09, New Leadership), Felicia Barron (2007-08, Springfield Central), Carolyn Swords (2006–07, Lincoln-Sudbury), Laura Lokitis (2003-04, Tabor Academy), and Shannon Kirwan (2002-03, Melrose) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Here are the winners from the other five New England states:
CONNECTICUT: KRISTIN SCHATZLEIN, TOLLAND
The 6-foot senior guard has led the Eagles to a 22-3 record and a berth in the Class M state semifinals against Ellington, scheduled for March 9. Through 25 games, Schatzlein was averaging 20.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 5.5 steals and 2.1 blocks. A four-time All-Conference selection, she was named All-State by the New Haven Register and the Hartford Courant as a junior.
Schatzlein has maintained a B average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of youth basketball programs and has raised funds to benefit diabetes research.
“Schatzlein never gets rattled on the floor and always wants the ball when the game is on the line,” said Dan Matthews, head coach at Bloomfield High. “She shoots the ball extremely well from beyond the arc, but she also handles the ball well.”
Schatzlein has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at Fairfield University this fall.
RHODE ISLAND: KAILEY FUGERE, WOONSOCKET
The 5-foot-9 senior forward averaged 21.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, 2.4 steals and 1.5 assists per game this past season, leading the Lady Novans (16-9) to the Division I state quarterfinals. A 2011 Second Team All-State selection, Fugere shot 59.7 percent from the field and 69.8 percent from the free throw line. The state’s leading scorer as a senior, she concluded her prep basketball career with 1,360 points and 849 rebounds.
Fugere has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of a literacy-outreach program, as a volleyball and bowling coach for physically and intellectually challenged youth and with the Respite Program, serving families with special-needs children.
“Kailey Fugere can really play,” said Gary Martinelli, head coach at Ponaganset High. “She is difficult to match up with because she is so smart and strong. She is very active and has good footwork and great hands.”
Fugere will attend Rhode Island College, where she will play basketball, beginning this fall.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: KIRSTEN O'NEIL, WINNACUNNET
The 5-foot-7 senior point guard has led the Warriors to a 21-1 record and a berth in the Division I state semifinals against Londonderry High, scheduled for March 7. O’Neil averaged 15.6 points, 10.2 assists, 4.0 steals, 3.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game entering the state final four as Winnacunnet chases its sixth straight state title. The Warriors own a 70-1 record with the 2011 Division I Second Team All-State selection and three-year starter in the lineup.
O’Neil has maintained a 3.02 GPA in the classroom. A two-time Division I First Team All-State forward on the Winnacunnet girls soccer team, she has volunteered locally as a youth basketball and youth soccer instructor and as a peer leader for Winnacunnet High freshmen.
“Kirsten O’Neil is a smart player from the guard position,” said Dan Casey, head coach at Dover High. “I have seen her have a big impact on games when she is not shooting well by distributing the ball and creating havoc with her perimeter defensive pressure. She has a great understanding of what her team needs from her in order to win games.”
O’Neil has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at San Diego State University this fall.
MAINE: MEGHAN GRIBBON, WINDHAM
The 5-foot-5 senior point guard averaged 20.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.5 steals this past season, leading the Eagles to the Class A Western Conference semifinals. The 2012 Southern Maine Athletic Association Player of the Year, Gribbin is a 2012 Maine Miss Basketball finalist.
Gribbin has maintained a 95 average in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society, she has volunteered locally as an elementary school tutor and as a youth soccer and basketball coach.
“Meghan Gribbin was the catalyst for all of her team’s success,” said Laughn Berthiaume, head coach at Gorham High. “She was able to control the game’s tempo and she knew how to score in multiple ways. If Windham was up late in the game, she was able to dictate how the game would end.”
Gribbin remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
VERMONT: SARAH ILLINGWORTH, HARTFORD
The 6-foot-1 senior center led the Hurricanes to a 15-5 record and a berth in the Division 2 playoffs against Otter Valley, scheduled for March 7. Illingworth averaged 12.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game entering the postseason. She is a First Team All-Marble Valley honoree and a member of the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen.
Illingworth has maintained a 4.02 GPA in the classroom and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade Award’s broad criteria. She has volunteered locally on behalf of a community food shelf for the needy and youth basketball programs.
“Illingworth works really hard and she’s tough on the inside,” said Terry Merrow, head coach at Burr and Burton Academy. “She rebounds well, scores in the low post and can hit that little elbow shot too. She’s a real student of the game.”
Illingworth has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell this fall.