BAR HARBOR — The Ellsworth Eagles had the Mount Desert Island High School varsity girls’ basketball team fighting for every point they scored Tuesday night. But the Lady Trojans refused to back down and pulled away with a 41-34 victory.
Senior Sierra Tapley scored a game high 15 points for the Trojans. Kelsey Shaw contributed nine. “It’s always a battle when we play each other, so it’s always fun” MDI Coach Brent Barker said. The Trojans now stand at 7-1 on the season.
The Eagles began the scoring for the game and took an early lead, but the Trojans quickly netted points, trailing closely behind just until the end of the quarter when MDI’s Maya Watras banked a 3-pointer to take the team to an 11-8 lead.
The Trojan defense came on strong in the second quarter, allowing eight points to the Eagles, half of what they themselves netted. Tapley added 13 points in the quarter, including a 3-pointer, and at halftime, they were up 29-17.
After MDI’s loss to Presque Isle last week, Barker said the team’s focus was on improving their defense. “I really thought we had a good defensive intensity tonight,” he said. “[We] kind of made them give everything they got.”
The second half of the game saw a tough fight from the Eagles when they outscored MDI 10-6 in the third quarter.
Kate Whitney racked up eight points for Ellsworth, including a 3-pointer.
Barker commended Ellsworth Coach Andy Pooler for building the Eagles into a tournament contender. “He does an unbelievable job with them.”
The intensity built up in the final quarter when Ellsworth’s Caitlin Bean began the scoring, and the team trailed just three points behind. “The league is tough. Everyone looks at this game and says who is going be the better one,” said Pooler. “We’re proud of the way we battled back and got it to where we had a chance to win the game.”
Even though the Eagles led in scoring in the final quarter, it wasn’t enough to fill the gap. With Shaw’s 3-pointer for MDI and Maddy Candage contributing points, the Trojans sealed a 41-34 victory.
“It’s one of those rivalry games, both teams are very good coming in [and] we just hope to compete,” added Pooler. “Overall [it was] an excellent game, nothing to be ashamed about.”
MDI 71 – Caribou 50
In Aroostook County, the Trojan girls took on Caribou last week and went on an 18-4 run midway through the first quarter to break open a close game. MDI defeated the Vikings 71-50. MDI was led in scoring by Kelsey Shaw with 19 points. Sierra Tapley chipped in 16 points, including four 3-pointers, five assists and six rebounds.
The Trojan girls took an early lead, and the Vikings trailed close behind at 24-18 at the end of first quarter. Abbe Miller and Tapley each contributed 3-pointers.
MDI’s defense came on strong in the second quarter, allowing just three points by Caribou compared to their 12. Emma Watras added two points in the quarter, Tapley had six, and Shaw had four. The score at halftime was 36-21.
MDI added 18 more points in the third quarter, double what they allowed the Vikings to score. Maddy Candage, Keely McConomy and Mariah Hamor contributed points for MDI in the second half of the game, taking them to a 71-50 victory.
MDI was 6-22 from the free-throw line.
Presque Isle 80 – MDI 57
The undefeated Trojan girls’ team faced their first loss against the Presque Isle Wildcats on Dec. 31 on the road. Junior guard Maya Watras led the team in scoring with 18 points, including two 3-pointers. Tapley contributed 14 points.
The Trojans were behind by a single point as the Wildcats led 18-17 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Presque Isle allowed eight points to the Trojans for their 20, widening their halftime lead to 38-25.
The Wildcats held that lead into the second half to reach their 80-57 victory.
MDI was 4-10 on the free throw line.