ELLSWORTH — Current and future members of the Mount Desert Island High School basketball teams spend two weeks in the summer getting in some practice competing four months ahead of the high school season.
“We have had 26 guys playing, so the turnout has been awesome,” coach Justin Norwood said. “The kids have worked extremely hard in our games.”
Per Maine Principal’s Association rules, coaches of high school sports teams are not allowed to work with their players outside of the season. The two-week summer league session is a special exception, and the players and Norwood take full advantage of the opportunity to build skills and teamwork.
“I have seen a ton of improvement over the course of the summer,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun; we have a really good group of kids.”
On July 2 at Ellsworth High School, the MDI “1” team fell to Sumner in a close 33-30 game.
Sumner built a lead early in the 40-minute game. The pace of play was fast as players on both sides kept up defensive pressure. Aaron Boumil had a string of offensive rebounds for MDI, but missed the shots that followed. Riley Swanson was a leader in scoring, making good use of assists by Taner Bickford and hitting free throws. Billy Laverdiere and Graham Good made great defensive rebounds and steals, but ran into some foul trouble.
In the final minutes, down 33-25, Laverdiere made a two-point shot on an Aaron Snurkowski assist. The score was 33-27. Swanson hit a three-pointer for the final score of 33-30.
The MDI “2” team, many of them incoming freshmen, took the court next. They fell to George Stevens Academy 54-19. But because GSA is only fielding one summer league team, it was effectively a varsity vs. JV game.
Dane Vanzura got MDI on the board with a lay-in. Mac Shea, Drew Rich and Russell Kropff added two-pointers in the first half. Kropff contributed two more points on foul shots. The score at the half was GSA 34 – MDI 10.
The Trojans added nine points in the second half on free throws by Nick Stanley, Andrew Phelps, Vanzura, Kropff and Alden Fournier. The final score was 54-19.
MDI “1” is set to take on Narraguagus Friday at 5 p.m. in Ellsworth, and MDI “2” faces Ellsworth “2” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, the Trojans take on Searsport, Ellsworth and GSA beginning at 5 p.m.
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