The home scrimmage was divided into seven periods to give teams extra opportunity to practice. Players on both sides showed signs of preseason jitters, with play in the first periods moving slowly and ending in a scoring deadlock. The third period began 19-19.
At first, Fryeburg kept up a small lead in points by capitalizing on quick transitions and foul shots given up by MDI players. As the game progressed, the quick hands of Trojan players disrupted these transitions and gave their team a lead that grew as the game continued.
“I think defensively we played better,” said Justin Norwood, head coach of the MDI team. “We’ve got some guys that can really play defense.”
When the third period ended, MDI had gained a significant 36-24 lead, with their shooting markedly improving along with their defensive positioning.
While MDI players continued to give up points to foul shots, players Steven Hanscome and Abe Philbrook racked up points with shots on the fly and a few layups that were surprisingly smooth for preseason play.
When the buzzer brought the fourth period to an end, MDI had kept its lead with a score of 51-41. As the scrimmage continued, that lead grew slowly to 55-49 at the end of the 6th eight-minute period and 75-59 by the end of the scrimmage.
The Fryeburg players showed signs of tiring in later rounds, making fewer shots and transitioning less quickly. While MDI players also showed signs of tiring, their play remained crisp.
Their coach attributed that consistent play later on to the first few practices and greater team cohesion than past seasons. “This has been some of the best beginning-of-the-season practicing I’ve ever seen,” coach Norwood said.
That came from the players “just having fun,” he said.
The varsity boys’ team was scheduled to scrimmage against Belfast Area High School on Nov. 27 (away) and against Brewer High School at home on Nov. 30.