Kelsey Shaw, senior forward on the Mount Desert Island High School girls’ varsity basketball team, charges towards the basket during Friday's tournament quarterfinal at the Cross Center in Bangor. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

Hawks upset MDI girls



BANGOR — In the end, a torn ACL, a concussion and a broken finger were more than the Mount Desert Island High School girls’ varsity basketball team could overcome.

The injury-riddled Lady Trojans ended their near-perfect season in a 49-39 loss to the Hermon High School Hawks in Friday’s Class B North quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center.

The Trojans lost their point guard earlier in the season to a knee injury. Senior forward Kelly McConomy was sidelined when she suffered a broken finger last week. A concussion in a snowboarding accident took Athena Laurendeau out of the Trojan lineup.

“I feel bad for the kids more than anything else, because of the battles we had to do all year long just to get here and then to lose two more players just a week before the tournament and not be able to go at full strength, that just really hurt us,” MDI Coach Brent Barker said. “I’m proud of the kids who played and the effort they put in, they did a lot of good things.”

MDI’s leading scorer Kelsey Shaw contributed 13 points in the game but couldn’t match the intensity of the Hawks.

“The injury bug hit us at the wrong time. I guess there isn’t any good time for that, but just losing Keely [McConomy] and Athena [Laurendeau] one week before the tournament made us lose a lot of our depth.”

After his squad lost senior point guard Tapley, one of the team’s “leaders” and a player that has contributed to the program for four years, Barker said the team “responded and battled back from that.”

The senior players on the team contributed, he said, each in a different way.

“They did a great job of being good leaders and really showing the other kids what it took to play at the varsity level.”

Shaw controlled the tip-off for the quarterfinal game and converted foul shots to take a 4-0 lead a minute in. Green-and-white clad Trojans supporters roared as Maddy Candage sank a layup to add two more to their lead.

The Hermon girls began scoring with a jump shot and free-throw conversions from junior forward Emi Higgins and inched closer to MDI when a layup from Lauren Plissey put them a single point behind.

With just three minutes left in the opening quarter, Shaw took charge and netted a layup. Maya Watras added points, and MDI entered the next period with a 10-7 lead.

The scales tipped in favor of the Hawks in the second quarter when they first tied the score at 10-10 and then took a 12-11 lead with six minutes left in the half.

Alex Allain opened the period for Hermon with a layup and field goal. A jump shot from the team strengthened their lead to 16-11.

Shaw rebounded with three minutes until halftime and hit a layup. Mariah Hamor sank a jump shot to allow the Trojans to chip away at the lead. They trailed only 20-17 in the last minutes of the half.

It was the closest MDI would get, as the Hawks forced them to stop the clock with fouls and added a 3-pointer at the sound of the buzzer. Hermon entered the second half with a 26-18 lead.

The Lady Trojans racked up 29 fouls in the game.

Allain opened the period with a shot from the foul line, and Hamor replied for MDI with a field goal. Three minutes in, Shaw ran coast-to-coast to sink a layup. But additional fouls from MDI helped the Hawks to take a comfortable 10-point lead to enter the final period up 36-26.

The Trojans cut that lead to six in the last period, but Shaw got into early foul trouble, ending their comeback with just over three minutes left in the game.

The Hawks matched the Trojans 13-13 in scoring in the final period, and their substantial lead helped them to seal a 49-39 victory.

Candage had eight points and three assists in the game. Miller and Hamor netted five points each.

MDI players were 7-for-12 from the free-throw line.

The 2015-16 varsity girls’ team included freshmen Julia Watras and Maddy Candage, sophomore Athena Laurendeau, juniors Maya Watras, Abbe Miller, Emma Watras and Mariah Hamor, and seniors Kelsey Shaw, Sierra Tapley, Cassidy Parady and Keely McConomy.

Seniors Kyle Lamson and Julianna Cleaves are the team managers.

“I am very proud of the season we had. Every season’s always a kind of a roller coaster, you have your high and lows, and every season, every team, every coach has that,” said Barker. “I really thought our kids from day one to the tournament game have made a significant improvement and have gained a lot of experience to keep MDI basketball going.”

 

Amanat Khullar

Amanat Khullar

Amanat Khullar is a sports reporter for the Mount Desert Islander. She comes from New Delhi, the capital city of India and graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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