February 20, 2013

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UMF's Johnson named NAC Player of the Year

Morning Sentinel Staff

STAFF REPORT

University of Maine at Farmington junior Ben Johnson was named the North Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Johnson, a Maranacook Community School graduate, was a dominant force this season at center for the Beavers. He leads the conference in scoring with 21.8 points per game and rebounds with 11.2 per game in 18 conference games. Johnson earned player of the week honors four times during the season and led UMF to the top seed in the conference tournament.

He shot better than 60 percent from the field and blocked 20 shots.

Johnson's coach, Dick Meader, was named the NAC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year. Meader led the Beavers to a 15-3 mark in conference play and the top seed in the NAC tournament.

Johnson was joined on the first team by 2012 player of the year Mark Comstock of Castleton, Mark Dias of Colby-Sawyer, Jason Gray of Lyndon State College and Logan White of Castleton.

Johnson's teammate Andrew Dickey, as well as Thomas's Jarrad DeVaughn and Husson's Marc Zaharchuk (a Richmond graduate) were named to the second team.

Skowhegan Area High School graduate Levi Barnes, a freshman guard at Thomas College, was named the NAC Rookie of the Year. Barnes was named the rookie of the week six times this season and ranked fourth in the conference in scoring with 17.2 points per game. he was also fifth in field goals made (111) and third in 3-pointers made (38). He shot a conference best 87.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Women's basketball

Messalonskee High School graduate Megan Pelletier was named the North Atlantic Conference Women's Basketball Rookie of the Year on Wednesday.

Pelletier was second in the conference in scoring with 16.2 points per game and field goals made with 98. She led the league in field goals made with 91 and was a four-time recipient of the rookie of the week award.

Mt. Abram graduate Kenni Norton, a senior forward at the University of Maine at Farmington was named to the first team. Norton, a first-time honoree, averaged 13.4 points per game this season.

Colby-Sawyer senior Taylor DeSanty was named the NAC Player of the Year. She led the league in scoring with 19.3 points per game.

She is joined on the first team by Norton, Colby-Sawyer's Cailin Bullett, Castleton's Alyssa Leonard and Meghan Sullivan.

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