Sumner’s David Allen sets a screen as Ethan Young looks to drive to the basket during the first half of a high school boys’ basketball game on Dec. 13 in Sullivan. Sumner won the game 70-39 to close out the doubleheader between both schools’ boys and girls’ teams. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

DI-S girls, Sumner boys earn wins in basketball doubleheader

SULLIVAN — Winning starts to the season can provide Maine high school basketball teams with cushions that prove vital down the stretch. After starting 2-0, a pair of local teams are still going strong after keeping their momentum alive in comfortable fashion.

The Deer Isle-Stonington girls’ and Sumner boys’ basketball teams earned wins in a doubleheader between the two schools Thursday in Sullivan. The victories helped the two teams stay undefeated early in their respective Class D and Class C fields, both of which are shaping up to be very competitive.

Combining efficient offensive play with its stifling defense, Deer Isle-Stonington took control early in the girls’ game to run out to a 17-4 lead through one quarter of play. The Mariners (3-0) put forth another strong effort on offense in the second quarter to take a 35-14 lead into halftime.

In the second half, a deep 3-pointer from Lily Gray and clutch free throws from Rylee Eaton helped the visitors expand their lead to as many as 34 points. Sumner (0-3) outscored the Mariners’ backups in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to stop Deer Isle-Stonington from claiming a 63-38 win over the Tigers.

Eaton led Deer Isle-Stonington in scoring with 16 points, and the Mariners also got 13 points from Gray and 12 from Kaylee Morey. Rachel Colby and Skylar Soule provided 10 points apiece for Sumner.

A half-hour later, Deer Isle-Stonington got off to a 6-0 start in the boys’ game to put Sumner in an early hole. Trailing 14-12 after the first quarter, the Tigers outscored the Mariners 19-7 in the second to take a 10-point lead into halftime.

With eight points from Colby McLean, Sumner (3-0) continued its offensive onslaught with a 19-point quarter in the third. With a balanced scoring effort in the fourth, the Tigers put the finishing touches on a 70-39 victory.

McLean led all scorers with 26 points in the game, and Ethan Young had a strong night of his own with 22. Myles Brown (13 points) and Coleman Brown (10) led the way for Deer Isle-Stonington (0-3).

For Sumner, the combination of McLean and Young has yielded immense success thus far on the offensive end of the floor. Through the Tigers’ first three contests, the two have combined to average 34 points per game.

“We run the offense through [Colby] when we need to, but we’re also playing really good team defense and have a great locker room,” Sumner coach Dana Smith said. “To be 3-0 is a good spot to be in.”

Doubleheaders will be the norm this year for Deer Isle-Stonington which is scheduled to play another doubleheader when it hosts Machias on Saturday, Dec. 15. The girls’ game will tip off at 1 p.m., and the boys’ showdown will follow it at 2:30.

The Sumner girls’ team will return to action when it takes on Searsport (2-1) at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17. The boys will look to remain unbeaten when they host George Stevens Academy (3-1) at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday, Dec. 20.

“We’ve got some tough ones coming up, but our team chemistry is great right now,” Smith said. “This group is really motivated, and we’re determined to keep this going.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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