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UMFK Bengal basketball players receive honors

May 20, 2005

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Two University of Maine at Fort Kent men's basketball players were recently recognized by the Maine College Basketball Coaches and Writers Association (MCBCWA) for their outstanding performance during the 2005 basketball season.

The MCBCWA announced its 2004-2005 men's basketball awards May 11. The state's thirteen men's head coaches selected the Coach of the Year, Player and Rookie of the Year and all-State teams.

Bartas Samaitis, a senior of Vilnius, Lithuania has been named to the Second Team All-State and Billy Russo, a sophomore from Farmington, Maine, made the All- Rookie Team.

Samaitis averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds in his final season for the Bengal men's basketball team. He was also named to the Sunrise Conference First Team in January 2005 and was a finalist for player of the year.

Eric Werntgen, UMFK's assistant athletic director and head basketball coach says that Samaitis ended his career with just below 1,500 points placing him in the top ten all-time scores for the university.

Russo, who missed his freshmen season due to a wrist injury, made up for lost time this season by leading the Sunrise Conference, State of Maine and all NAIA Division II schools in rebounds per game at 11.9 this year. Russo was also second on the Bengal team in scoring at 13 per points contest.

Russo was named the Sunrise Conference Rookie of the Year in February 2005.

Other state schools with players considered by in the MCBCWA include Bowdoin, Maine Maritime, Bates, Colby, Husson, University of Southern Maine, University of Maine at Machias, University of Maine at Presque Isle and Saint Joseph's College.