BAR HARBOR — Preparing to play high school basketball at the highest level is job one for a junior varsity team. Throughout the 2017-18 season, the Mount Desert Island High School girls’ JV squad did just that.
Despite playing just 15 games, the Trojans showed that a new generation of talented MDI basketball players is just around the corner. The Trojans finished the season with an 8-7 record and showed significant improvement from the start of the season to the end.
“I had a really great time coaching these girls,” Head Coach May Dow said. “They showed they’re very coachable and expressed a desire to learn more and improve, and that’s what you should be looking for.”
Team members were Cassie Craig, Katelyn Osborne, Madi Jones, Rena LeClair, Cadi Howell, Katie Smith, Mei Cook, Ella Hubbard, Abbie Farley, Olivia Gray, Lexi Rich, Kate Hoff, Sophia Picard, Acadia Jones and Julia Perconti. Craig also served as a stringer for the varsity team, for which she scored a game-high 12 points against Washington Academy on Dec. 18.
Successful JV teams manage to replicate the culture present in successful varsity programs. For the Trojans, that meant following one of varsity Head Coach Brent Barker’s rules: Make no excuses.
“There was a time when he had to play six games in eight days, but that’s not something I once heard any of them complain about,” Dow said. “They did what was expected of them and always worked hard.”
Winning games also is something the Trojans do at the varsity level, and this year’s JV team accomplished that as well. At the end-of-season JV tournament at Sumner Memorial High School last month, the Trojans went to the championship game in an eight-team field before finishing as the runner-up.
“It was a great effort in a tournament that had some good teams,” Dow said. “It showed that we had really taken the next step by the end of the season.”
Some players will join the varsity team next year, but others will be back. Regardless, the Trojans will continue to build a strong foundation for one of the state’s elite basketball programs.
“We had a good group this year, and it will be fun to see where next year will take us,” Dow said. “There’s a lot to be excited about.”