BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School varsity boys’ basketball team defeated both Caribou and Presque Isle in close games in vacation week play at home.
On Thursday evening against Caribou, the Trojans gave up an early lead and had to claw their way back to a 67-65 victory with a shot at the final buzzer by Drew Shea.
Shea, who so far this season is in the top ten in the Big East conference for points scored, rebounds, steals and two-point field goal percentage, scored 20 points against Caribou. Derek Collin led with 27 points.
What had been a 15-point lead for MDI in the first quarter shrank to a 18-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. Caribou pulled ahead at the end of the second quarter, 33-30.
The Vikings kept the momentum and protected their lead for most of the second half, but MDI continued to fight. Erik Merchant blocked shots and forced turnovers and crucial moments.
With a minute and a half left in the game, MDI down by two points, Shea was fouled and went to the free throw line. He sank both free throws to tie the game, and neither team scored in the following minute.
Coach Justin Norwood called a time out. When play resumed, Shea sank the two-point shot at the buzzer to give the Trojans the win.
MDI 48 – PI 42
On Friday afternoon, the Trojans were not willing to hand Presque Isle a win to celebrate on the bus ride home.
After trailing most of the game, the MDI boys defeated the Wildcats 48-42, pulling ahead with less than three minutes left on the clock and not letting go of the lead until the buzzer sounded.
Presque Isle’s tight defense didn’t allow MDI inside for many shots, outside of the few openings Eli Parady found. When he was able to get open, he made more than he missed.
“Their game plan was to take away the inside,” said coach Justin Norwood. “Eli played really well. He figured out the adjustments we needed to make.”
Efforts from a couple of non-starters infused life into the game to help the Trojans pull ahead on the scoreboard. A key three-point-shot by Steven Pierce tied the game at 36-36 a short time into the fourth quarter and fueled the Trojan’s fire for victory.
“When he got his opportunity, he took it and ran,” said Norwood about Pierce.
Even though the Wildcats answered the basket with a two point shot by Carter Rice, Parady put up another two points with a lay up on a breakaway pass from Shea.
After Presque Isle put in another basket to put the score at 40-42, Parady laid another one in from underneath to tie it. Brett Duley sunk a three-point shot to put MDI in the lead and they were able to keep the Wildcats from scoring again.
Presque Isle poured on the defense a bit too aggressively when MDI pulled ahead and ended up with a slew of fouls. MDI was about 50 percent from the foul line, which was enough to secure the win.
Next up, the Trojans travel to take on Oceanside, Friday, Jan. 4.