BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School JV girls’ basketball team never lost a game at home this season, which helped them to a 12-4 record.
“One of the things I always talked about before each home game was protecting each other, protecting the basket and protecting our home court,” said Head Coach May Dow.
The team, which was made up of 11 freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors, improved visibly with each game.
“The girls made huge improvements from beginning to end,” said Dow. “You’re working on things like your defense in practice, ball passes and fakes, and when you see that click during a game, that’s what makes coaching fun.”
The coach said the girls were a group of unselfish players who would rather help each other than showboat. “They were happy for each other on the court and on the bench, and you don’t always see that,” Dow said. “I always said, especially with away games, you have to be your own fans, and they did a great job of that.”
Each player valued teamwork, and that showed each day during “hold the rope.” Dow created the post-game and post-practice tradition in which one teammate is chosen to hold the rope either for their game stats or leadership. The girl who held the rope on Tuesday then decided who would hold the rope on Wednesday and explain to the team why she was chosen.
“It was really neat hearing what the team had to say about each other and how happy the others were for their teammate who was receiving the rope,” said Dow.
On the court, the players helped one another improve.
Dow recalled a game when the girls showed growth from earlier in the season. The Trojans were defeated during their first matchup with Hermon High School. But the coach and players knew that they had the ability to beat that team.
“After [the game], I said we can beat them next time, they agreed, and that was one of the games we were looking forward to,” Dow said.
When it came time to host Hermon later in the season, “everything seemed to click on all cylinders.”
“When we were in the game, everyone did their own jobs together,” Dow said. The Trojans ended up defeating Hermon that night.
Ultimately, the season wasn’t about winning but having fun and improving one’s skills.
“I really enjoyed this team. They were fun to be around,” said Dow. “They would cheer and support each other. They are a great group of girls who worked hard and really came together throughout the season to help improve not only themselves as individuals but as a team.”