BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School boys’ varsity basketball team crushed the John Bapst Crusaders Monday night to improve to 8-2 on the season. The final score was 73-28.
“It was a great win,” MDI Coach Justin Norwood said. “All the guys played great tonight. I felt like tonight was a team win.”
Junior guard Aaron Snurkowski led all scorers with 16 points. Junior forward Devin Parlatore had 11.
The Trojans took an early lead when Graham Good rebounded and drove in for a layup. In the opening minutes of the home game, Snurkowski and Russell Kropff added several unanswered points for an 11-0 lead.
Junior forward Drew Rich rebounded and jumped to take a successful shot off an assist from Snurkowski, and Gus Reeves added a 3-pointer to extend the Trojan lead to 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Good opened scoring for the second quarter. With help from Parlatore and a successful 3-pointer from Snurkowski, the Trojans managed an ample lead with 31 unanswered points. A strong defense from MDI didn’t allow the Crusaders to make an appearance on the scoreboard until there were only three minutes left in the half.
John Bapst tossed in several more points. MDI was ahead 34-8 at the half.
The next half gave an opportunity to MDI’s substitute players to make their marks on the game. The Trojans outscored the Crusaders 18-7 in the third quarter with senior Isaiah Keene chipping in four points to put the team up 52-15.
The substantial lead allowed Norwood to send in more substitute players in the final quarter, with the starter players cheering from the bench. “It was a big lead, and those guys [substitute players] don’t get to play a lot. It’s not fair for them to hold anything back,” he said. “They should have fun, they should play hard, and they did.”
With five minutes left in the game, Parlatore rebounded and assisted senior forward Kaleb Payson to score his first varsity points for the Trojans. “Devin [Parlatore] was more excited about that than he was when he got his first basket,” noted Norwood, lauding the spirit of his squad. “That’s the type of stuff that I love. They’re a family [that] they’ve built, and I’m along for the ride.”
In the final minutes, junior center Mac Shea added his first varsity points and Colby Lee chipped in six to put the game away with a final score of 73-28.
MDI was 6-of-7 from the free-throw line.
MDI 58 – MA 37
In Bar Harbor on Jan. 9, the Trojans surged to a 14-point lead at halftime en route to their 58-37 win over Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln.
MDI scoring was led by Kropff with 12 points, while Riley Swanson chipped in 11, including three 3-pointers.
MDI was 4-for-12 from the free-throw line.
MDI 54 – Ellsworth 49
Free-throw shooting decided last week’s game against Ellsworth on Jan. 6.
In a close matchup where every point counted, the Trojans scored 23 from the foul line en route to their 54-49 win.
“Free throws are one of those things we work on a lot in practice,” Norwood said. “A lot of games come down to those one or two points.”
The Ellsworth Eagles started strong, scoring 12 unanswered points for a 17-5 lead just minutes into the first quarter.
“We came out of the gate fast and hit our shots,” Ellsworth Coach Peter Austin said. “We had all kinds of energy in the first quarter.”
MDI temporarily appeared outmatched, but the longtime rivalry that packed Katsiaficas Gymnasium did not disappoint.
The Trojans chipped away at Ellsworth’s lead in the second period, where they sank eight of 10 foul shots. The Eagles lost some ground, missing all four of their free throws, and entered halftime up just 25-20.
“It would have been easy for us to panic in that first quarter when we got down,” Norwood said. “We just trusted in what we were doing.”
Ellsworth improved its lead to 30-20 in the beginning of the second half before Kropff hit two free throws, inspiring a run that put MDI ahead 38-37 at the end of the third quarter.
Kropff extended MDI’s lead to 40-37 with another two points from the foul line. Ellsworth fans began chanting, “This is our house,” when Swanson hit a 3-pointer for MDI that silenced the blocks of maroon in the stands.
In the final minute, Good hit four of four free throws to put the game away.
“It was a nip-and-tuck game all the way,” Austin said. “We need to learn to finish games.”
Kropff led MDI with 14 points, and Swanson and Good each contributed 11. The Trojans were 23-for-29 from the free-throw line, while the Eagles went 10-for-19.
Nick Bagley totaled a game-high 16 points for Ellsworth. Bryce Harmon and Bruce St. Peter added 11 and nine points.
Ellsworth and MDI will meet again in the final game of the season on Feb. 4 at MDI.
The Trojans are set to take on Orono High School on Saturday, Jan. 16, at Orono.
Reporter Taylor Vortherms contributed to this story.