Photo By Darrold Dorr

Boys top Fryeburg, fall to MDI alums

Photo By Darrold Dorr
Senior Abe Philbrook of the Mount Desert Island High School varsity boys basketball team gets around a Freyberg defender Saturday to take a shot.

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School Thanksgiving basketball tournament brought a win for the varsity boys’ basketball team against Fryeburg Academy. MDI lost their other game of the day when the teens faced their predecessors in an alumni game.

The game against Fryeburg seemed like a toss-up at the half. MDI was ahead 15-7 after one period and Fryeburg up 20-19 at the break.

“We didn’t come out very strong, the focus wasn’t there,” coach Justin Norwood said of the first half. “We had a talk at halftime, and said it didn’t look like an MDI team yet. We were running our stuff, and it was fine, but we weren’t playing with a lot of energy on defense. We weren’t playing for each other.”

The Trojans stepped up in the second half, with a 19 point run, holding Fryeburg to a small 4-point gain. MDI added 9 points in the fourth to Fryeburg’s 7, for a 47-31 MDI win.

“We played really hard defensively,” Norwood said. “We started to get it going in the second half.” Senior Jon Phelps led the Trojans in scoring, with 17 points. Senior Abe Philbrook followed with 12, and sophomore Billy Laverdiere with 6.

Later in the afternoon, a group of 20 recent MDI graduates came to take on the current varsity team. “It was fun to see all the guys that came back,” Norwood said, “especially on such short notice.” The alumni game replaced a planned game against Jonesport High School, when that school had to cancel.

“They beat us by a lot, but it was awesome” Norwood said. Some of the alums were in the MDI program during last year’s undefeated season.

Support from the alums underscored Norwood’s goals for the team and for the program. “Culture will beat strategy every day of the week,” he said. He pointed to a moment in the second half of the Fryeburg game, when Phelps was fouled making a shot, and made the free throw, a ‘plus one.’

“Seconds later he had the other four guys giving him a high five,” Norwood said, “like he barely got to the free throw line and guys are giving him high fives. That what we talked about, playing hard and playing for each other.”

Find in-depth coverage of local news in the Mount Desert Islander. Subscribe digitally or in print.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.
Liz Graves

Latest posts by Liz Graves (see all)