MDI’s A.J. Lozano drives past the defender during a high school boys’ basketball game against Caribou on Jan. 28 in Bar Harbor. MDI picked up a vital win Friday as it topped Caribou 61-38 to notch its third victory of the season. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

Basketball: MDI girls, boys notch key wins

Mount Desert Island’s Leah Carroll drives to the hoop during a high school girls’ basketball game against Caribou on Jan. 28 in Bar Harbor. The MDI girls improved to 11-4 with wins last Thursday against Presque Isle and Friday against Caribou.

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island boys’ and girls’ basketball teams entered the final stretch of the season with some of their biggest wins to date. 

The MDI girls’ team posted wins last Thursday against Presque Isle and Friday against Caribou. On the boys’ side, the Trojans turned in one of their best performances of the season with a lopsided win in Friday’s matchup with the Vikings. 

Last Thursday, the MDI girls avenged one of their earlier losses this season with a 58-48 win over Presque Isle in Aroostook County. The Trojans trailed the Wildcats by a point entering the fourth quarter but outscored the host team 24-13 over the final frame to get payback for a 54-46 loss in the matchup Dec. 23 in Bar Harbor. 

Olivia and Mollie Gray led the way in the win for MDI as both players eclipsed the 20-point mark. Olivia Gray, the Big East Girls’ Player of the Week, sank four 3-pointers en route to a team-high 21 points for the Trojans, and Mollie Gray bullied Presque Isle inside in a 20-point effort. 

“We went up there trying to see what we could take advantage of, and that was something that just kind of unfolded,” MDI head coach Brent Barker said. “Olivia is a great shooter, and Mollie was able to capitalize really well by getting rebounds and shooting the ball well inside. We also made our foul shots down the stretch.” 

The following day, MDI (11-4) notched a 43-35 home victory over Caribou. Olivia Gray scored 11 points to mark a team-high once again from the Trojans, who also got nine points from Leah Carroll, six points each from Mollie Gray and Emily Carter, four from Elizabeth Jones, three from Soren Hopkins-Goff and two each from Elena Alderman and Grace Witham. 

The wins over Presque Isle and Caribou followed a major win last Tuesday against Hermon. Like Presque Isle, Hermon was also a team that had beaten MDI earlier in the year, and Barker attributed those wins as well as that against Caribou to stout defense. 

“It starts on the defensive end, and I thought our defense was really good in all three of those games,” Barker said. “We held those guys to the point totals we wanted to in order to give ourselves a chance to win, and then offensively, we had some solid performances.” 

On the boys’ side, MDI lost 53-41 to Hermon last Wednesday and suffered a tough loss the following day as it fell to a 77-73 double-overtime loss against Presque Isle. Yet the Trojans bounced back Friday as they notched a 61-38 win over Caribou for their third win of the season. 

Charlie Parker led the way with 12 points for MDI against Hermon. Spencer Laurendeau had a team-high 23 points against Presque Isle for the Trojans, who also got double figures from Kadin Reed (11 points), Alex Gray (10 points) and A.J. Lozano (10 points). 

Parker and Reed led a balanced effort against Caribou as both players scored 11 points each. The Trojans also got nine points from Laurendeau, eight points apiece from Gray and Jack Hodgdon, seven from Joey Minutolo, four from Lozano and three from Ethan Sosa. 

The MDI boys, who fell to 3-12 with a 58-40 loss to Bucksport (3-9) in Tuesday’s game at Bucksport High School were scheduled to play Wednesday at Hermon (8-7). The Trojans will host Washington Academy at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, before closing out the regular season at home against undefeated and top-ranked Ellsworth at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9. 

The MDI girls were scheduled to face Bucksport (2-11) on Wednesday at Bucksport High School. The Trojans will host Washington Academy Friday, Feb. 4, and Ellsworth on Tuesday, Feb. 8. Both of those games are scheduled for 7 p.m. tip-offs. 

“We want to be a team, and I feel like we’re there right now, but I still think we can get better,” Barker said. “We’ve got two weeks to be peaking, and then we have a prelim game and a chance to go to the Cross Insurance Center, and I know we’re all psyched for that.” 

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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