BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School varsity girls’ basketball team edged closer to the No. 1 seed in the Class B North playoffs with recent wins over Orono and Foxcroft. The team’s Senior Night win against the latter marked the final home game for a senior class that has been instrumental to the program’s success over the past few years.
“It’s a weird feeling when you coach a group of kids for so many years and then it just suddenly ends like that,” coach Brent Barker said. “They’re just a great group of kids, and it’s been awesome to coach them.”
The team followed up its win last Tuesday over then-No. 1 Hermon with a 49-35 road victory against Orono on Thursday. Hannah Chamberlain led the Trojans with 17 points against the Red Riots as Maddy Candage and Julia Watras scored nine apiece, Alexis Clarito scored eight and Olivia Gray and Rachelle Swanson scored three apiece.
On Monday, MDI faced a Foxcroft team that was fighting for the final playoff spot in its last regular season game. Despite dealing with the emotions of Senior Night and the offensive abilities of Foxcroft’s Mackenzie Beaudry, the Big East Conference’s No. 1 rebounder and No. 2 scorer, the Trojans came away with a 47-35 win over the Ponies (6-12).
Fittingly, the team’s seniors scored all 49 points in the victory. Candage led the way with 18 points as Chamberlain scored 14 points, Watras scored 10 and Clarito scored the remaining five.
“I think we did a great job considering what the night meant and what we were up against with a team facing a great player like that and a team that really needs to beat you to get into the playoffs,” Barker said. “We played really good defense in those second and third quarters, and that made the difference.”
Candage, Chamberlain, Clarito, Watras, Lindsey McEachern and Zoe Parker were honored as part of Senior Night festivities prior to the game. That group has won consistently at the high school, but Barker knew it had the chance to be a special one long before that.
“As a coach, you sometimes identify a group at a young age that really gets it and plays for each other,” Barker said. “I’ve always seen that with this group, and now that they’re here as seniors, their experience and ability to gel with each other is something that can make a huge difference.”
MDI was scheduled to face Ellsworth (13-4) on the road Wednesday.
“We know what’s at stake from here on out, and we’re ready for it,” Barker said.