BAR HARBOR — Saturday’s scrimmage against Brewer provided the Mount Desert Island High School varsity boys’ basketball team a taste of everything. There was enough success to be encouraging, and there were enough errors and missed chances to motivate hard work in practice.
The teams played one game and an extra quarter. Brewer won the game 68-58 after trailing for the first half. The score was re-set for the extra quarter, and MDI won 12-4.
Last season, the Trojans were a young team, mostly sophomores. They struggled in early games to get their offense inside the paint. By February, though, they had a well-coordinated game and were pulling off wins against top teams and a quarterfinal upset over Gardiner.
This year’s squad seems poised to build on that hard work and continue to improve. Two players graduated last year, center James O’Donnell and forward Jake Boumil. Returning players include Gus Reeves, Drew Rich, Graham Good, Aaron Snurkowski, Russell Kropff, Riley Swanson, Devin Parlatore, Andrew Phelps and Colby Lee. Faces new to the varsity squad include Isaiah Keene, Caleb Payson and Mac Shea.
In the first half Saturday, the Trojans had strong coordination on offense. There were long baseball passes and smart high-low plays that the Brewer defense didn’t seem ready for. Several players, including Keene and Shea, took a turn playing center. Kropff, Snurkowski and Swanson made impressive outside shots.
Good pulled down lots of rebounds and warded off attempted steals. Reeves brought the defensive energy that helped the team so much last year, but so did Rich, Good, Phelps and Lee. Coach Justin Norwood will want to see more closeouts and defenders using their voices to distract shooters.
“I thought that we looked really good on Saturday, in spurts,” Norwood said, “especially offensively and rebounding the ball. In the second half, I felt like we ran out of gas a little and didn’t take care of the ball as well as we had been. That slowed us down on the offensive end. Overall for only having two practices, I was pleased with how we played.”
Another preseason scrimmage was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 24. Following the tip-off tournament this weekend (see related story), the Trojans are set to play at Camden Hills Dec. 1 and officially open their season Saturday, Dec., 5 at Old Town.