Maddy Candage of the Mount Desert Island High School varsity girls' basketball team contributed 11 points to the team's Dec. 21 victory over visiting John Bapst. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

Girls perfect on season



BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School varsity girls’ basketball team started the 2018-19 season with four efficient games on offense. When shots weren’t falling for the Trojans in their latest contest, the team turned to its play on the other end of the floor.

MDI rode a strong defensive effort Friday to a 41-32 home victory over John Bapst. The win gave the Trojans a 5-0 start to the season and catapulted them to the top of the Class B North standings in the first game of a six-game home stand.

“We had some good opportunities on offense, but we weren’t able to convert them,” MDI head coach Brent Barker said. “We were hustling and playing just as hard as every game, but it was one of those nights that we just couldn’t get our shots to fall. That’s going to happen to you sometimes, and you’ve got to find other ways to win.”

Although MDI scored just seven points in the first quarter, that defensive effort kept the Trojans (5-0) in front as John Bapst scored just a single point on a free throw. Seniors Maddy Candage and Julia Watras combined for 10 points in the second quarter to give the home team a 22-13 lead at the break.

MDI produced another strong defensive showing in the third quarter, holding John Bapst (1-4) to just four points to extend its advantage to 32-17.

A 15-point effort from the Crusaders in the fourth wasn’t enough as the home team maintained its undefeated start to the 2018-19 season.

Watras finished with a game-high 18 points for MDI, and Candage added 11. MDI’s other scorers were Hannah Chamberlain with eight points and Alexis Clarito and Elizabeth Jones with two apiece.

Through MDI’s first five games, Watras and Candage have been the team’s top two scorers. Watras, who has averaged 16.6 points per game through the first five contests, was named the Big East Conference Girls’ Player of the Week for the first week of the 2018-19 season.

“Julia has definitely taken a big leap for us this year,” Barker said. “She’s playing a bit of a different role for us this year with the foul line extended and her using that quickness and length.”

With the win, MDI jumped from second place to first in the Class B North standings. The result came on the heels of a three-game road stretch in which Barker’s team earned comfortable wins over Foxcroft, Oceanside and Washington Academy.

“With those games against Foxcroft, Oceanside and W.A., we got three of our longest road trips out of the way early,” Barker said. “To go 3-0 that stretch and play well in all three wins is certainly what we wanted to do.”

The win over John Bapst marked the first of a six-game home stand for MDI, which will be back in action against Caribou (0-4) at 6 p.m. Dec. 27 and Presque Isle (2-1) at 1 p.m. Dec. 28. The Trojans will then open the 2019 slate with a rematch against Oceanside before taking on Ellsworth and Orono.

“You can’t be better than five wins in five games, obviously, and we’re happy with where we are,” Barker said. “Our goal is to keep improving with each game like we have so far, and these games against the County teams will be a good test for us to keep doing that.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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