SOUTHWEST HARBOR — With the varsity season now in the rearview mirror, Mount Desert Island is set to host another edition of one of Maine’s biggest basketball tournaments.
This year’s edition of the Great Harbor Shootout will begin Friday, March 15, and conclude with the championship games Sunday, March 17. The tournament is a fundraiser for the Harbor House Community Service Center and began 27 years ago.
More than1,000 basketball players and their families come to MDI for the weekend for the tournament that will crown six champions among 80-plus teams. Scores of volunteers, some of whom are students, at each venue help make the event possible, serving as ticket takers, setting up and managing food shacks, running the clock and as referees.
Locally, MDI enjoyed plenty of success last with the Acadian Youth Sports (AYS) team beating Old Town 32-29 for the junior high school title and the boys reaching the varsity championship game.
MDI will send AYS A and B teams to both the boys’ and girls’ junior high divisions this year as well as fielding two high school boys’ teams and one high school girls’ team.
The junior high school girls’ tournament will begin Friday with games being played at MDI and Ellsworth high schools. The AYS A team will face Oceanside at 4 p.m. on MDI Court A with the B team facing the Jonesport-Beals Junior Royals at 6 p.m. Other teams in the field include Down East Family YMCA (DEFY), Glenburn, Houlton and Narraguagus.
MDI Court B will be host to the junior high school boys’ tournament Friday. AYS A will take on Narraguagus at 4 p.m. with the B team taking on Camden-Rockport at 7 p.m. Other teams in the field include DEFY A and B teams, Fort Kent, Lincoln Academy, Oceanside and Skowhegan.
In the High School South division, the MDI girls will take on George Stevens Academy at 4 p.m. Friday at Pemetic Elementary. The Trojans, who would go on to face Caribou at 9 p.m. Friday night with a victory, will be in a bracket that includes Ellsworth, Deer Isle-Stonington, Calais, Dexter, Medomak Valley, Oceanside, Old Town, Presque Isle, Team County Blizzard, Washington Academy and the Lawrence JV squad.
On the boys’ side, the High School South division will pit the MDI JV squad against Machias at 5 p.m. Friday at the MDI YMCA. The Trojans will be in a bracket that will pit them against a field with Ellsworth, Bucksport, Deer Isle-Stonington, Sumner, Brewer, Houlton, Mattanawcook Academy, Medomak Valley, Oceanside, Orono and Presque Isle.
The MDI varsity boys’ team will play in the High School North bracket and will take the court at 5 p.m. Friday against Winslow at Mount Desert Elementary. Other teams in the Trojans’ division are GSA, Belfast, Calais, Camden Hills, Dexter, Erskine Academy, Fort Kent, Lincoln Academy, Mount View, Narraguagus, Old Town and Washington Academy.
No MDI girls’ teams will be playing in the High School North division. That bracket will feature Camden Hills, Central, Hampden Academy, Hermon, Houlton, John Bapst, Jonesport-Beals, Lawrence, Lincoln Academy, Mattanawcook, Narraguagus, Orono and the Presque Isle JV squad with games set to be played at Trenton Elementary School.
Sponsors for this year’s tournament include First National Bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Darling’s, Dead River Company, Emera Maine, Greenway Equipment, Hannaford, Marsh Cove Lobster, PCT Communications, Stanley Electric, Stanley Subaru, Witham Family Hotels and W.S. Emerson.