Coaches Riley Swanson and Randy Merchant and players and fans celebrate the Acadia Basketball Association Green team win in the junior high boys’ division of the Great Harbor Shoot-Out Sunday at Mount Desert Island High School. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Acadian boys are junior high champs at annual Great Harbor Shoot-Out

BAR HARBOR — A buzzer-beater 3-point shot from Caidin Lunt Sunday clinched the 44-43 Great Harbor Shoot-Out championship for the middle school Acadia Basketball Association boys’ Green team. The MDI varsity girls’ and boys’ high school teams were runners-up in their divisions.

The three-day tournament included 140 games, 84 teams and six locations, organizers said. The annual Shoot-Out is a fundraiser for the Harbor House Community Center. Most middle school games, including the finals, were played at Mount Desert Island High School.

Julia Watras of the varsity MDI girls team Island Magic fights through defense Sunday during the Great Harbor Shoot-Out championship game. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

The hard-fought middle school boys’ championship game capped a long weekend of basketball for the ABA Green and runners-up from Brewer. Lunt led the scoring for the Acadians with 20 points, Ethan Merchant poured in nine, Brady Renault had six, Porter Isaacs had five, and Marshall Reiff had four. The team also included Wilder Noyes, Ben Lipski, Emris Miller, Aiden Butler, Joey Minutolo and Sam Mitchell. They were coached by Randy Merchant and Josh Mitchell during the season and Merchant and Riley Swanson during the Shoot-Out.

The tournament ended the season for the ABA teams, said Kyle McKim, Acadia Youth Sports director. The ABA boys’ White team beat Deer Isle-Stonington Friday night 44-35 but fell to Lincoln Saturday morning.

The ABA girls defeated Bucksport 37-12 and held off County Blizzard 21-18 in Friday action, but fell to Dexter 40-34 on Saturday afternoon.

High school divisions played at other schools and the YMCA, converging on Pemetic Elementary Sunday afternoon for boys’ and girls’ finals. Before the games, Harbor House board member Tony McKim acknowledged several community members who played a role in the founding and growth of the tournament: Marty Lyons, Skip Chapelle, Guy Dunbar and the late Scott Phelps.

The MDI varsity girls were coached for the tournament by brothers Mike and Peter Swanson. Mike Swanson had worked with the sophomores in this group before, coaching their ABA team two years ago to a state championship title.

Andrew Phelps of the MDI varsity boys’ team shoots during the Great Harbor Shoot-Out championship game Sunday at Pemetic Elementary. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

The girls won four games in a row Friday and Saturday before being tripped up by Hermon 53-40 on Sunday morning. Because that was their first loss, they played a rematch with Hermon and won 47-37. But in the finals, they came up against the phenomenal outside shooting (17 3-pointers) of the team from Lawrence and lost 78-48.

The MDI varsity boys are a whole different group without this year’s graduating seniors, who don’t play in the postseason tournament. They were coached by Andy Shea. They won most of the weekend’s games with comfortable leads, playing in the southern division against unfamiliar clubs.

MDI met their rivals from Hermon in the finals. The game was close through the first half, which ended with MDI up by three, 34-37, but Hermon went on a run in the fourth quarter to win 70-55.

Money raised goes towards Harbor House’s year-round youth sports programs, including afterschool and summer camp programs. The Great Harbor Shoot-Out is underwritten by The First and sponsored by several area businesses.

See more photos of the ABA boys and MDI girls championship games here.


Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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