MDI’s Olivia Gray possesses the ball against John Bapst’s Jayden Schoppee during the first half of a high school girls’ basketball game Feb. 4 in Bar Harbor. The Trojans beat the visiting Crusaders 54-44 to snap a two-game losing streak. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

MDI boys get 1st win; girls overpower Bapst, Sumner

MDI’s Henry Lester possesses the ball against Sumner’s Sam Bunch during the second half of a high school boys’ basketball game Feb. 6 in Bar Harbor. The Trojans, who were scheduled to play Washington Academy on Tuesday, have three upcoming home games.

BAR HARBOR — Mount Desert Island’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams continued their 2021 seasons with the boys claiming their first victory of the season and the girls claiming two double-digit wins. 

Last Wednesday, the MDI boys’ team fell to a 45-41 home defeat against John Bapst. Grady Wellman-Webster had a team-high 12 points in the loss for the Trojans, who also got seven points from Ethan Merchant, five each from Maddox Laurendeau, Kadin Reed and Brady Renault, three from Spencer Laurendeau and two apiece from Henry Lester and Walker St. Germain. 

On Saturday, though, MDI (1-4) got in the win column with an 80-25 victory over Sumner. The Trojans outscored the Tigers 27-5 in the second quarter to carry a 45-11 lead into halftime and breeze to victory in Bar Harbor.  

Wellman-Webster scored 16 points for MDI, which also got double figures from Renault (15 points) and Reed (10 points). Lester (eight points), Alex Gray (seven points), Merchant (six) and Joey Minutolo (six points; first varsity points) were among the other scorers for the Trojans. 

Wellman-Webster, who swung between MDI’s varsity and junior varsity teams this year, has seen an increase in playing time in 2021. The senior has taken advantage of the opportunity by emerging as one of the Trojans’ top players on both ends of the floor. 

“He played great tonight,” MDI head coach Justin Norwood said. “It started for him on the defensive end, and then he came down, hit a 3 and really got going. He works really hard and brings us a lot of great energy. I’m really happy for Grady.” 

MDI begins the season a bit “behind the 8-ball,” as Norwood put it, after missing two weeks of practice following the school’s two-week transition to remote learning. The Trojans did not have an opportunity to go over zone defense until very recently, which hurt them against John Bapst. 

“In our first three games, we were up against teams that played us all man, which is what we had been working on, but John Bapst played us zone, which we had not had a chance to talk about,” Norwood said. “We had a couple practices in which we were able to talk about zone after that, and tonight, the kids came out and executed.” 

On the girls’ side, MDI snapped a two-games losing streak last Thursday with a 54-44 home win against John Bapst. The Trojans led by as many as 20 points in the second half and easily withstood a late charge from the visiting Crusaders to claim their third win of the season. 

Emily Carter and Olivia Gray had 11 points apiece to lead the Trojans. MDI also got eight points each from Leah Carroll, Mollie Gray and Elizabeth Jones, four points from Grace Witham, three points from Elena Alderman and one from Ella Joyce. 

MDI returned for another home Saturday and notched a 52-15 victory over Sumner (1-4). The Trojans took a 26-6 lead into halftime after scoring the Tigers scoreless in the quarter and later held the visitors to a single basket in the fourth to punctuate a lopsided victory. 

Carroll finished with a game-high 11 points for MDI, and Witham and Molly Ritter added eight apiece. Abbie Farley (five points), Olivia Gray (five points), Jones (four), Taber Allen (three), Alderman (two) Mollie Gray (two), Sophia Brophy (two) and Bella Brown (two) rounded out the scoring for the Trojans. 

Playing on the road Monday, MDI (4-3) fell to a 53-46 defeat against rival Ellsworth (3-2) at Ellsworth High School. The Trojans got nine points from Carter, eight apiece from Farley and Olivia Gray, seven from Witham, six from Jones and four each from Carroll and Mollie Gray. 

Both MDI teams were scheduled to face Washington Academy on Tuesday in East Machias. The boys have upcoming home games at 7 p.m. today, Feb. 11, against Ellsworth, 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, against Hampden Academy, and 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, against Bucksport. The girls will play on the road against Hampden at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.  

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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