BAR HARBOR — When the Mount Desert Island High School boys’ varsity basketball team stepped onto the court to battle the Hermon Hawks for a slot in the tournament, their coach had one piece of advice for them, “win the moment.”
Coach Justin Norwood cautioned his fifth-seeded squad, “If you start worrying about losing, you’re not focused on what’s happening right now,” he said. “It’s just another game. Just do the things you’ve been doing all year long and just get better. That’s all we can do.”
His squad responded and with a second half surge took down Hermon High School 60-38 to earn a Class B North preliminary victory.
“It was a great game, the kids played really hard,” added Norwood. “We got ourselves into the quarterfinals and we’re pretty fired up.”
Isaiah Keene controlled the tip-off for MDI. The Hawks began scoring with a jump shot and a layup, seconds into the game.
Riley Swanson opened scoring for the Trojan side with a 3-pointer and MDI took a 6-4 lead when Graham Good sank a jump shot off a steal by Andrew Phelps. He followed by making a free throw.
Both teams went neck and neck for next several minutes, with Devin Parlatore and Drew Rich adding points for MDI. The Trojans ended the quarter just three points ahead of the Hawks at 19-16.
MDI quickly extended the lead as Parlatore added a jump shot and Swanson drained free throws.
With less than three minutes remaining in the half Aaron Snurkowski converted a 3-pointer from beyond the arc to give MDI a 10 point lead at 26-16.
Keenan Marseille responded for the Hawks, stealing the ball midcourt and adding a layup to begin scoring for the team for the second quarter.
The Trojan offense began to waiver when, after successfully rebounding the ball, they missed nearly half a dozen layups.
Just before the buzzer sounded for halftime, Jordan Bishop rebounded for Hermon and ran coast-to-coast to convert a layup. Score at halftime was 28-22 Trojans.
The Trojans came roaring into the next half, adding 13 points in the third period to Hermon’s 7 to extend a 41-29 lead going into the fourth.
The Hawks began the final quarter trailing 10 points behind the Trojans. It was the closest they would get for the rest of the game. Good drained points from the foul line and Phelps converted a layup off an assist from Snurkowski to take MDI up 44-32 with over five minutes left in the game.
The Trojans further tightened their defense, allowing six more points to their opponents, while they went on a 16-point scoring run to seal a 60-38 win and their ticket into the quarterfinal tournament.
“Defensively I thought we did a good job, we sputtered a little bit in the first half and didn’t take great shots. But in the second half we fixed that,” added Norwood. “We showed a lot of composure to allow us to pull away there.
Trojans were led in scoring by Swanson with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Good netted 13 and Snurkowski contributed 10.
MDI players were 13-for-19 from the free throw line.
The MDI Trojan boys are now set to hit the road for a quarterfinal matchup against Orono High School at Bangor’s Cross Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 1:35 p.m.