Mount Desert Island’s Leah Carroll (second from left) looks for a pass from teammate Lexi Rich as Elizabeth Jones (right) and Molly Ritter (background) defend during a 2019 high school girls’ basketball practice in Bar Harbor in 2020. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

MDI girls beat WA, fall to Hampden 

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island girls’ basketball team is now three quarters of the way through the regular season after a win last Tuesday against Washington Academy and a loss to Hampden Academy over the weekend. 

Last Tuesday, MDI traveled to East Machias and claimed its fifth win of the season with a 54-44 victory over Washington Academy. The Trojans trailed early in the contest but fought back to take a four-point lead into halftime before leading by as many as 17 points in the second half. 

Leah Carroll (18 points) and Elizabeth Jones (12 points) both finished in double figures for MDI with Carroll adding five rebounds, two assists and three steals and Jones adding 10 rebounds. The Trojans also got eight points, three assists and three steals from Elena Alderman, six points and four rebounds from Emily Carter and three points and seven rebounds from Olivia Gray. 

“That’s a long trip out there,” MDI head coach Brent Barker said of his team’s jaunt to East Machias, the Trojans’ longest road trip this season. “[Washington Academy] is a well-coached team that plays hard, and if you don’t go there and seal the deal, that’s a long bus ride back home.”  

On Saturday, the Trojans made the trip to Hampden and fell to a 46-35 defeat to reigning Class A North champion Hampden Academy. MDI (5-4) trailed by just three points at halftime after a strong second quarter but couldn’t hold off a third-quarter surge from the Broncos. 

Carroll scored a team-high 10 points for MDI in the defeat, and Olivia Gray added nine. Jones (six points), Alderman (five points), Mollie Gray (three) and Carter (two) rounded out the scoring for the Trojans. 

The game against Hampden was just the latest of many contests against top-notch opposition for this year’s MDI squad. The Trojans previously faced Hampden on Feb. 1 and have also played contests against 2020 Class AA North semifinalist Bangor and Class B tournament regulars Ellsworth and John Bapst. 

“I like it that way,” Barker said. “One of the ways to get better is to play those good teams, and that’s what we’re doing this year. We’ve been playing hard and competing every game.” 

To date, the MDI girls are the only team in Hancock County to have reached the nine-game mark this season. The Trojans, who played eight contests in just a 15-day span from Jan. 26 to Feb. 9, began that stretch just eight days after returning from a two-week hiatus resulting from the school district’s transition to remote learning. 

“It’s a lot of games, but it’s an opportunity to play basketball,” Barker said. “There’s a lot that these kids haven’t been able to do during this pandemic, so we’re just grateful that we’re able to have that chance to get out and play.” 

MDI will return to action to host George Stevens Academy (0-2) at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 19. The Trojans will then play on the road against defending Class B North champion Hermon at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, before closing out the regular season against Ellsworth at that time next Thursday, Feb. 25. 

“Our goal every year is to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season, and even though we can’t go to the tournament this year, we still want to be doing that,” Barker said. “The girls want to finish the season strong and go into our PVC or regional tournament, whatever it is, and do what they can do there.” 

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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