Colby Lee of the Mount Desert Island High School boys' basketball team faces down Griffin Guerrette of Presque Isle Wednesday in the Class B North semifinal tournament game at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

MDI boys dispatch Presque Isle to reach Class B North title game

BANGOR — The Mount Desert Island High School varsity boys’ basketball team advanced to the Class B North championship game for the second year in a row Wednesday night with a 72-60 victory over Presque Isle at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The win has the Trojans 32 minutes away from playing for a second straight Gold Ball.

“I’m really proud of our guys because of how they’ve worked their way here,” MDI Head Coach Justin Norwood said. “We’ve had a lot of good basketball players who haven’t gotten as much playing time because of the guys who’ve been in front of them, and they’re getting their chance to shine.”

Mount Desert Island High School basketball player Derek Collin led the team in scoring Wednesday in the semifinal game against Presque Isle. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

MDI started the game with a 4-0 run, but Presque Isle answered with a pair of 3-pointers from Class B’s leading scorer, Griffin Guerrette. The first quarter ended with the score tied at 15 with Drew Shea and Andrew Phelps leading the way for MDI.

The Trojans started the second quarter with a Colby Lee layup and extended its lead to 26-20 with 3 minutes, 50 seconds left in the second half with a series of baskets from Derek Collin. After forcing Presque Isle to commit several untimely turnovers and fouls, the Trojans went into halftime with a 37-26 advantage.

Presque Isle cut its deficit to eight points inside the first two minutes of the second half, but the Trojans (17-3) took over from there. With a balanced scoring effort, MDI extended its lead to 50-32 with 2:36 left in the third quarter before settling for a 52-37 advantage entering the fourth.

Although MDI didn’t pull away from Presque Isle in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats (14-6) weren’t able to cut the Trojans’ lead to single digits until 1:11 remained in the game. That proved to be too little, too late, and MDI advanced to the regional title game for the second year in a row.

Collin led MDI with 20 points, and Phelps and Dane Vanzura added 11 each. Collin’s shooting and tenacity around the basket particularly impressed Norwood.

“If there wasn’t a player like Graham Good last year, Derek would’ve been one of those guys who would have gotten a lot more time,” Norwood said. “This year, he’s stepped up and played a big role for us.”

MDI will face Hermon (19-0) in the regional title game at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Updated on Feb. 26 at 12:43 p.m.

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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