BAR HARBOR — After an injury-riddled postseason last year, the Mount Desert Island High School varsity girls’ basketball team is ready for a fresh start.
Last year’s group finished as the No. 2 seed in Eastern Maine with a near-perfect 17-1 regular season. But due to a series of injuries, playoff dreams were dashed after the first round.
Now, the healthy 2016-2017 players are prepared to face the season head on.
“I really like what I’ve seen so far,” said Head Coach Brent Barker. “We are a very athletic team, and we are playing well together now. We like to get up and down the floor.”
The team is a mix of experienced players and new varsity starters.
Eight of the returning members either played varsity or have swung from JV to varsity in the past. The remaining four players are freshmen and sophomores with no experience at the varsity level.
Rachelle Swanson, Maddy Candage, Hannah Chamberlain, Alexis Clarito, Madeleine Good, Julia Link, Julia Watras, Emily Banks, Mariah Hamor, Abbe Miller, Emma Watras and Maya Watras round out the team.
Barker said the squad is working to form its own unique identity ahead of the Trojans’ first regular season home game against Old Town High School on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.
“We have a lot of kids with experience, so now we are looking for who is going to be our go-to scorer or go-to ball handler – who wants to lead us,” said Barker. “Hopefully [the leader] will be the team collectively as a group.”
Defense is one of the team’s greatest strengths, as the players have displayed the ability to put pressure on the ball. Offensively, there are still a few kinks.
“On the offensive end, we are still trying to find out what’s going to work best for us as a team and who works best together,” the head coach said. “It is us finding our identity on the offensive end.”
Barker said the team has showed improvement throughout its preseason games as they faced bigger Class A and Class AA teams.
“I really like what we are doing,” said Barker. “We have seven kids who are sophomores or freshmen with no varsity experience, but they will gain that as the season goes on. There will be bumps here and there.”
Overall, Barker is pleased with what he has seen from the Trojans so far.
“I tell the kids we want to get better than yesterday and play better tomorrow than we did today,” said Barker. “Being loyal and being good teammates is another thing that we will incorporate into the rest of our season.
“I really like work ethic of this team. They are willing to go out and get the job done.”