BANGOR — The No. 8 Mount Desert Island High School varsity girls’ basketball team gave No. 1 seed Houlton High School a run for its money in the quarterfinal round of the Class B state tournament Saturday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Center.
Ultimately, the Shiretowners defeated the Trojans 47-39.
The Trojans knew they were heading into a defensive battle from the get-go, because the Shires boasted one of the best shooters in the state, Kolleen Bouchard.
MDI stuck to Bouchard often, putting two or three guards on her to keep her away from the basket. And an offensive surge by the Trojans in the second half threw Houlton for a loop.
The Shires controlled the first quarter, with Bouchard scoring seven points. Rylee Warman put up three points, and Emma Peterson had one point.
For MDI, Julia Watras and Maddy Good each scored two points for a first quarter score of 11-4.
The Trojans’ offense strengthened in the second quarter, with Mariah Hamor sinking four points and Abbe Miller shooting two for two from the foul line. Julia Watras and Alexis Clarito each put up one point.
The Shiretowners put up 11 points for a halftime score of 22-12.
The Trojans came out in full force early in the third quarter and shifted the momentum in their favor, putting pressure on the Houlton offense and holding Bouchard to just two points.
“She’s a good player, but we wanted to make all of her touches and looks difficult and contested,” Barker said. “That was one of the keys for us, and she was frustrated with our pressure.”
In the third frame, MDI outscored Houlton with 18 points to the Shires’ 13 points for a score of 35-30 heading into the fourth quarter.
For MDI, Maddy Candage scored nine points, while Julia Watras sank a 3-pointer. Maya Watras, Miller and Hamor each had two points.
Warman scored five points, while Kristen Brewer, Aspen Flewelling and Makala Watson each scored two points for the Shires.
In the final eight minutes of the game, the Trojans inched closer to the Shires, and at one point in the fourth quarter, they were behind by just one.
Even though the Trojans played their hearts out and put up another nine points in the fourth quarter, Houlton’s offense bounced back with three minutes remaining, putting MDI behind for a final scored of 47-39.
Maya Watras scored four points in the fourth quarter, while Julia Watras scored three points, and Good put up two points.
Candage and Julia Watras led the scoring with nine points, followed by Maya Watras with six points.
Bouchard led with 18 points for Houlton, and Warman had 13 points.
Despite the loss, the MDI girls can end the season knowing that they played their hardest.
“It’s been the trait of our team all year long that we fight to the end and we don’t give up,” said Barker. “I am so proud of our kids and the fight they put on and the effort they showed all season long.”
The girls showed that spirit and camaraderie on and off the court, which helped the Trojans earn the Big East Conference Sportsmanship Award.
The coach said recording a loss during the last game of the season is always an emotional time, especially for the seniors.
“It’s a tough moment, but I thought this senior group came a long way and provided leadership throughout this season and played really well, especially in the tournament,” said Barker. “But I told them after the game, once a Trojan, always a Trojan, and I can’t thank them enough for their effort.”