SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The final championship game of the Great Harbor Shootout between the “MDI Varsity” and “MDI Junior Varsity” boys united spectators from all over the island at the Pemetic Elementary School on Sunday afternoon.
Bleachers in the gymnasium were packed with fans cheering for every basket, steal, turnover and rebound, irrespective of which side it came from. The hall echoed with cheers and shouts of “MDI! MDI!” in the final seconds of the game. The varsity team won 82-63.
The scoreboard however displayed a final score of 82-83, which according to event coordinator Diana Novella, captured the spirit of the annual tournament started by The Harbor House Community Service Center 24 years ago.
“I think it speaks to the level of sportsmanship that we have in the community,” she said. “They’re having fun out there, and that’s what it really is about for them – just a fun tournament to get some more basketball in.”
The tournament brought together 83 girls’ and boys’ teams for more than 150 games on seven basketball courts in six gyms over three days.
For the championship game of the high school boys’ division, the junior varsity team of MDI, coached by Keegan McKim, entered the court clad in bright yellow T-shirts and black shorts. They had played – and won – five other games earlier that day.
The first points on the board were by Russell Kropff from the varsity team. They were ahead 23-12 at the end of the first quarter after Devin Parlatore netted a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Working the defensive side, the junior varsity boys added over a dozen points in the second quarter and trailed 43-28 at halftime.
Jimmy Carroll drained free throws and jump shots for the junior varsity team to battle back in the second half. At the end of the third quarter, varsity still was ahead 67-37. The varsity team, coached by Aaron Gray, maintained a substantial lead and won 82-63 to become the boys’ high school division champions.
“They were unbelievable today,” said Tony McKim, awards presenter, acknowledging the hard work of the junior varsity team. “There is so much to be proud of here.”
The Houlton High School Shiretowners defeated the Hampden Academy Broncos 62-60 to take home the high school girls’ champion title Sunday at Pemetic Elementary.
In the middle school girls’ division, Medomak Valley was on top with a 47-25 victory over Camden Hills.
Glenburn defeated Houlton 63-24 to earn the middle school boys’ championship title.
All proceeds from the weekend will go to the Harbor House Community Service Center’s youth sports programming.
“Yes, it is fundraiser, but we’ve come to realize how important it is for the Mount Desert Island community as a whole,” said Novella. “It’s definitely a community event, one that the community looks forward to on an annual basis.”
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