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MHS boys basketball senior Matt Parent

The pandemic has deflated people and often their production in what is arguably record numbers across the globe. Messalonskee High School senior Matt Parent is an exception to that rule. His production on the basketball court exploded this season to such an extent that he’s now one of the candidates for Mr. Maine Basketball.

Parent, a guard, tops the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North in 3-pointers made with 33 in leading the Eagles to a 6-3 record. His numbers (22 ppg, 4.3 rebounds, 4 assists) speak to the high quality of his all-around offensive game. 

“I know he has dedicated a lot of time to basketball,” Messalonskee athletic director Chad Foye said. “I know he plays year-round.” Messalonskee coach Jay Dangler confirms this. He said Parent made a particular effort to work in the off-season to increase his strength. “This year I bet he put on 15 pounds in muscle,” Dangler said. Dangler said that added strength has helped Parent stay effective in the late stages of a game when many other players are fading. It’s also made him a better defender against bigger opponents, he said. `

Apart from the physical improvements, Dangler said Parent excels in regard to leadership as well. “I call him the floor general,” he said. “He’s a coach on the court.” Parent is one of 10 semifinalists selected for Mr. Maine Basketball, the most prestigious individual honor the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches awards to a schoolboy player each year. 

The only other candidates from central Maine are Parker Desjardins of Forest Hills High School in Jackman and Cash McClure of Maranacook Community School in Readfield. 

In previous years, the association honored the winner during a banquet that followed the Maine McDonald’s High School Senior All-Star games. No all-star games will be held this year and the awards ceremony will be held virtually on March 19.

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