PRESQUE ISLE — The Ellsworth boys’ basketball team is the early leader in Class B North after continuing its early-season dominance into the holiday break.
Ellsworth improved to 7-0 on the season with a home win over Caribou and road victories over Old Town and Presque Isle. The wins, all four of which came by double digits, catapulted the Eagles into first place with the halfway point of the regular season approaching.
After thrashing Caribou 75-44 at home last Thursday and topping Old Town 71-49 on the road Tuesday, Ellsworth earned its most impressive win yet Thursday as it defeated Orono 69-55 at Orono High School. The Red Riots stayed within touching distance of the Eagles early, but the visitors maintained a consistent offensive rhythm throughout the game to hand the hosts their first loss.
Chance Mercier had 24 points, five rebounds and five steals for Ellsworth in the win over Caribou, and Curtis led the Eagles in points (18), rebounds (10) and assists (four) against Old Town. Mercier (27 points and 12 rebounds), Curtis (12 points and 14 rebounds), Gage Hardy (15 points), Michael Palmer (nine points) and Miles Palmer (six) all contributed in the win over Orono.
On New Year’s Day, Ellsworth took on another Class B titan as it faced Presque Isle in Aroostook County. The Eagles got 23 points, four rebounds and three assists from Mercier, 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists from Hunter Curtis and 14 points and four rebounds from Michael Palmer to notch a 78-65 win over the Wildcats (4-2).
Ellsworth is scheduled to host John Bapst (3-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7. The Eagles will then close out the first half of the regular season when they face Mount View at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, in Thorndike.