Medomak Valley of Waldoboro’s return to the upper reaches of the Class A North boys basketball rankings this season was expected to be predicated on the continuing play of 6-foot-7 inch senior center Cameron Allaire, an all-tournament choice last winter after helping the Panthers reach the regional championship game.
And Allaire has continued to deliver in a major way as coach Nick DePatsy’s club has maintained a grip on the No. 1 seed in the division with a 9-0 record at the midpoint of its schedule.
But another Panthers big man has elevated his play from a year ago, with 6-3 senior Kyle Donlin averaging 20 points and 6.6 rebounds entering Tuesday night’s game at Lincoln Academy of Newcastle.
“Kyle is the type of player that gets better every game,” said DePatsy. “He has worked hard over the past four years to become a well-rounded player and one of the top players in Class A.”
The combination of Allaire and Donlin brings to the minds of some fans familiar with Medomak Valley’s recent basketball success another big-man combo in John Murray and Ryan Ripley that led the Panthers to the 2013 Eastern Maine Class B championship.
“There are some similarities with Ripley and Murray,” said DePatsy. “Murray and Donlin can take their game to the perimeter and Ripley and Allaire can beat you in many ways from the high post and low post.”
Donlin averaged eight points and five rebounds per game during his first year as a starter last winter on a Medomak Valley team led by two-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine swingman Nicholas DePatsy, who is now playing at Maine Maritime Academy, and Allaire.
The Panthers advanced to the Class A North championship game before bowing to neighboring Oceanside of Rockland-Thomaston. Donlin earned all-tournament honorable mention status for his postseason contributions.
As one of just three veterans back for Medomak Valley this winter along with Allaire and senior guard Cale Gee, Donlin’s role has expanded — with significant results.
“Kyle and Cameron work well together in a high-low set and in a two-man game,” said DePatsy. “Kyle has always understood his role on the team, he strives to do the best that he can do because he wants to put his team in position to win.”