Russell Kropff, junior forward on the Mount Desert Island High School boys’ varsity basketball team, takes control of the ball at the home game against the Hermon Hawks on Saturday. Kropff contributed 16 points to the Trojan’s 45-44 victory. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

Trojans wing Hawks

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School boys’ varsity basketball team escaped with a 45-44 win at their home season opener against the Hermon Hawks last Saturday afternoon.

Both teams battled back and forth for the lead, and the Hawks proved to be resilient opponents. According to MDI Coach Justin Norwood, “It was a really tough game. They [Hermon] are a good team, a solid team.”

Russell Kropff led the Trojans in scoring with 16 points. Junior Riley Swanson added 7 points including a three-pointer.

Kropff controlled the tip-off and posted the first points for MDI with a layup. Graham Good added 2, and MDI led 7-4 with 3:28 left in the first quarter.

Junior guard Gus Reeves stole and sank the ball, and Drew Rich contributed 2 more points in final 30 seconds to put MDI in the lead. The Hawks trailed closely behind at 9-8 at the end of the quarter.

Hermon began the scoring in the second quarter and sank in free throws to collect 11 points to the Trojans’ 16.

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Aaron Snurkowski of the Mount Desert Island High School varsity boys’ basketball team takes a layup at the home season opener against Hermon High School on Dec. 12. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

Aaron Snurkowski sank in a three-pointer on a Swanson assist. Kropff added 5 more points, and MDI led 25-19 at halftime.

The Trojan boys missed several free-throw opportunities in the third quarter and had to fight harder to score in the rest of the game.

Hermon erased their deficit fast, racking up 16 points, double what the Trojans were able to add, and the Hawks pulled ahead to a 35-33 lead at the end of the third quarter.

“[It’s] disappointing that we didn’t shoot the free throws as well as we normally do,” said Norwood. “Typically, I would consider us a really good free throw shooting team. We will work on it.”

The Trojans recovered their lead going into the fourth quarter when Colby Lee ran coast-to-coast for a layup.

In the final 40 seconds, the Trojans converted free throws to take the lead to 43-37. The Hawks attempted to bridge that gap with 5 more points.

MDI replied with another set of free-throw conversions, to put the team up 45-41 with under 12 seconds left in the game. Hermon didn’t give up and sank a three-pointer, but fell by a single point. The final score was 45-44.

WA 83 – MDI 60

The Trojans headed to East Machias on Thursday, Dec. 10, to take on Washington Academy and lost 83-60.

The Raiders led 22-17 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams fought for the lead in the second quarter, but at halftime, Washington Academy was up 36-33. The Raiders didn’t let go of that lead and came away with an 83-60 victory.

The Trojans were led by Swanson in scoring with 19 points and Good contributed 11.

“It was one of those games where we couldn’t get out of our own way. We would make one good play and then lose all our momentum,” said Norwood. The loss gave them an opportunity to focus on “team cohesion,” which they worked through in practice the next day.

MDI is set to host Houlton High School on Friday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.


Amanat Khullar

Amanat Khullar

Amanat Khullar is a sports reporter for the Mount Desert Islander. She comes from New Delhi, the capital city of India and graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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