BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island varsity girls’ basketball team took down the Old Town Coyotes 54-34 at home on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
Senior forward Kelsey Shaw led all scorers with 17 points. Athena Laurendeau contributed nine.
Shaw controlled the tip-off for MDI, scoring the first points for the team from the free-throw line just over a minute into the quarter.
Junior forward Mariah Hamor added a jump shot for the Trojans off an assist from Maya Watras.
The Coyotes had success at the foul line, but MDI’s Keeley McConomy and Maddy Candage replied with layups to build an 11-3 lead.
The Trojans looked strong on defense, allowing less than a half-dozen points to the Coyotes in the quarter. Just before the buzzer went off, Laurendeau added a field goal to finish the period with a lead of 18-5.
“We got out, and our pressure full court really hurt them [Old Town] in that first half,” said MDI Coach Brent Barker. The Coyotes were looking for their first win of the season. Barker said he expected their team to “come in and play really hard.”
The early lead helped Barker’s squad as the Coyotes “came in and played diamond and one on Kelsey to try to slow us down a little bit.” But the Trojans were able to work the ball around. “I was very happy with that effort,” the coach said.
Junior guard Abbe Miller of MDI began the scoring in the second quarter after a rebound from Cassidy Parady.
Shaw and Hamor racked up points. With over six minutes left till halftime, the team led 25-7.
Shaw quickly extended that lead, running coast-to-coast for a layup.
Old Town put up a fight, rebounding and stealing the ball away from the Trojans, but were unable to convert that success into baskets.
In the final minutes leading up to halftime, McConomy sank a layup off a steal from Shaw. The Coyotes attempted to narrow the gap with a 3-pointer, but the Trojans prevailed; up 31-12 at halftime.
Sophomore guard Laurendeau scored the first points of the second half with a layup for the Trojans. Shaw added a field goal and layups to put the team up 41-14.
Old Town quickly replied with a jump shot. But Miller dripped in a three-pointer. Junior guard Julia Watras contributed to the lead and put MDI up 46-19 at the end of the quarter.
The Coyotes managed to add 15 points in the final quarter, with field goals and successful 3-pointers. But for the better part of the half, the Trojans held a more-than-20-point lead.
In the final minutes of the game, Barker subbed-in Hannah Chamberlain and Alexis Clarito from the junior varsity squad.
With the Trojan’s senior guard Sierra Tapley out for the season due to injury, Barker said he “brought up a couple kids” to give the team some added depth.
Chamberlain added her first basket as a varsity player off an assist from Miller to seal a 54-34 win for MDI.
“They both did a good job in there,” noted Barker. “I see good things out of a lot of our younger players [who are] trying to step up and understand the effort, energy level and aggressiveness it takes to play on varsity level.”
MDI was 4-for-7 from the free-throw line.
MDI 46 – Orono 44
In Orono, the Lady Trojans defeated the Red Riots in a 46-44 overtime victory on Friday, Jan. 15.
Orono built an 11-4 early lead over MDI in the first quarter. However, the Trojans chipped away, racking up 18 more points before halftime while allowing only six.
At half, the score was 22-17, MDI on top.
The Trojans held on to the lead, adding 10 more points in the third quarter to take the team to 32-28.
The Red Riots came on strong in the final period, racking up 11 points and evening the final score at 39-39 at the buzzer to take the game into overtime.
In the additional minutes, Shaw contributed a field goal, and McConomy sank free throws for the win. The final score was 46-44.
MDI was led in scoring by Shaw with 25 points. McConomy chipped in 10.
The Trojans were 7-for-12 from the free-throw line.
MDI 54 – Central 51
On Monday night, the Trojan team battled Central High School and emerged with a 54-51 victory over the Red Devils. They improved to 12-1 on the season.
Shaw paced the team in scoring with 18 points. Miller chipped in 12.
The Trojans took a 12-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Central outscored them in the second, racking up 20 more points before halftime and taking a 28-24 lead.
MDI gained momentum after the half to reverse the lead to 40-35 and held on to it, winning 54-51.
Barker said that with the majority of the regular season behind them, he expects the opposing teams to “come in and try to improve their play-off standings.” But his squad “played hard” and stood their ground to notch the wins.
The sole loss for the Trojans this season was to Presque Isle. The team is set to take them on again in a home game on Friday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m.
“We’re looking forward to that game to avenge our loss the best we can.”
MDI also is slated to play Caribou High School on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 1 p.m.