Members of the Acadian Youth Sports fifth/sixth-grade girls’ basketball team show off their individual and team trophies following the Atlantic Youth Sports Madness tournament March 13 at the Augusta Civic Center. PHOTO COURTESY OF PAULA DOWSLAND

AYS 5th/6th girls close out remarkable 2021-22 season

BAR HARBOR — The future of girls’ basketball on Mount Desert Island appears to be in good hands. 

The Acadian Youth Sports fifth/sixth-grade girls’ team closed out an impressive 2021-22 campaign over the weekend with a win in the Atlantic Youth Sports Madness tournament in Augusta. It marked the fourth postseason tournament championship for the AYS team, which had previously won the Eastern Maine Basketball League crown. 

On Feb. 12, AYS concluded an undefeated league season by defeating Hampden for the Eastern Maine Basketball League title. The team began a postseason tour the very next day with a win in the Young Bucks Madness tournament in Bucksport. 

That Young Bucks Madness tournament win would be the first in a spree of tournament championship game appearances for AYS. The team closed out February with wins in the Junior Coyote Classic and Maine Hoops Silver tournament before beginning March with a runner-up finish in the David Gray Memorial Tournament. 

That led to Saturday’s Atlantic Youth Sports Madness tournament, where AYS defeated Norridgewock 33-27 in the championship game. Although Norridgewock fought back after trailing by double digits for most of the game, AYS was able to hang on for the season-ending win. 

The AYS fifth/sixth-grade team was coached by head coach Jeff Watson and assistant coaches Lucas Dunbar and Tiffany Hanf. That trio previously coached many of the same girls to multiple tournament championship wins as third and fourth graders in 2020. 

“The majority of this team has been going since November,” Watson said of the AYS team, which finished the long season with an impressive 30-6 overall record. “[This was] a group of amazing young ladies.” 

Members of this year’s AYS fifth/sixth-grade girls’ basketball team were Kemy Cistone, Addy Dowsland, Cassidy Dunbar, Rosie Ellis, Lilli Hanf, Gigi Lapointe, Lanaia McDaniels, Avery Norwood, Helayna Savage, Blake Thieken, Lily Walton, Ella Watson and Jolene Williams. 

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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