Mount Desert Island High School’s Brady Renault possesses the ball as Caribou’s Isaac Marker defends during the first half of a high school boys’ basketball playoff game Feb. 15 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. MDI’s season came to an end with a 61-48 loss. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

MDI boys fall to Caribou in Northern Maine quarterfinals



BANGOR — The Mount Desert Island High School boys’ basketball team’s 2019-20 season came to an end in the Class B North quarterfinals Saturday afternoon as the Trojans fell to a 61-48 loss to Caribou at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Eighth-ranked MDI (9-11) got off to an excellent start to the game as 3-pointers from Jack DaCorte and Brady Renault powered the Trojans to a 10-2 lead through the first two and a half minutes. Yet Caribou woke up in the ensuing minutes to outscore MDI 17-6 over the remainder of the first quarter and take a 19-16 lead into the second.

MDI got a basket from Porter Isaacs to begin the second quarter before Caribou nailed back-to-back shots to stretch the lead to five. The teams then exchanged baskets three times as the top-ranked Vikings (18-1) took a 30-25 lead into the half.

MDI pulled back within one early in the second half after baskets from Charlie Parker and Nate Philbrook, but Caribou fought back with an 8-0 run to take its largest lead of the game. The Vikings then pushed their lead to as many as 15 points and didn’t let the Trojans get back within single digits until less than a minute remained to win for the 34th time in the past 35 games.

DaCorte had 16 points to lead MDI, and Brady Renault joined him in double figures with 13. The Trojans’ other scorers were Nate Philbrook with nine points, Charlie Parker with six and Porter Isaacs and Ethan Merchant with two apiece. The game was the last in an MDI uniform for seniors DaCorte, Philbrook, Jeremy French, William Hodgdon and Erik Merchant. Although DaCorte and Philbrook were the only seniors to register points Saturday afternoon, head coach Justin Norwood spoke highly of his five-member senior class as whole for its contributions this season.

“I think all of our seniors had a great year,” Norwood said. “No matter what their roles were, they played them to the best of their abilities to help us be successful. That’s what the name of the game is.”

Even as they were down 11 points with less than a minute to play, the Trojans were hustling after every loose ball. In a season that’s seen few teams challenge Caribou, MDI, which was competing in the regional quarterfinals for the 10th consecutive year, did so better than just about anyone.

“Our guys were still out there giving everything they have and making plays at full speed,” Norwood said. “That’s what you have to be proudest of as a coach.”

Trojans top Mount View in prelims

MDI’s loss to Caribou came three days after the Trojans came back from a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat Mount View 57-47 in the Class B North preliminary round.

After trailing 28-19 at the break, MDI outscored ninth-ranked Mount View (9-10) 15-8 in the third quarter to pull within two points of the Mustangs. The Trojans then overwhelmed the visitors in the final period to earn a victory and secure a trip to the Cross Insurance Center.

DaCorte and Philbrook led MDI with 16 points apiece, and Isaacs and Renault added eight apiece. Ethan Merchant (four points), Parker (three points) and Maddox Laurendeau (two) rounded out the rest of the scoring for the Trojans.

 

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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