Windjammer Defense Causes Problems for Trojans



BANGOR — The relentless full-court defensive pressure of the Camden Hills Windjammers began with the first possession for the Mount Desert Island Trojans.

Freshman Ben Walls of the Mount Desert Island Trojans makes a move on a Camden Hills defender during the Windjammers’ 54-39 Class B quarterfinal win on Saturday at the Bangor Auditorium.—HUGH BOWDEN
Freshman Ben Walls of the Mount Desert Island Trojans makes a move on a Camden Hills defender during the Windjammers’ 54-39 Class B quarterfinal win on Saturday at the Bangor Auditorium.—HUGH BOWDEN

BANGOR — The relentless full-court defensive pressure of the Camden Hills Windjammers began with the first possession for the Mount Desert Island Trojans.

And it didn’t cease until the top-ranked Windjammers had secured a 54-39 Class B quarterfinal win at the Bangor Auditorium on Saturday afternoon.

Coach Jeff Hart’s Windjammers, who lost just one game in the regular season, are big, with three starters at 6-6, and quick.

And with a steady stream of players coming off the bench, it made little difference that the defensive pressure put several Windjammers in foul trouble.

But despite the pressure, and the turnover problems it caused for MDI, the ninth-ranked Trojans stayed well within striking distance for most of the way.

In the game’s opening moments, MDI jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a basket by junior Nate Chisholm and a conventional three-point play by sophomore guard Caleb MacDonald.

The Windjammers quickly erased that margin and the rest of the period was a seesaw battle with the Trojans leading 12-10 after one quarter.

MDI’s MacDonald hit a pair of foul shots to open the second period, pushing the Trojan lead to four points.

But Camden Hills responded with eight unanswered points, with back-to-back baskets by 6-6 junior Tyler McFarland putting the Windjammers up 18-14.

They never trailed again.

In the third quarter, the Windjammers gradually expanded the lead, pushing it to 33-21 on a six-point run near the end of the period.

Junior guard Joel Gabriele opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer and McFarland followed with a basket that extended the Windjammer lead to 15 points.

MDI’s Chisholm responded with a jumper in the lane and junior Dennis O’Neil netted a pair of foul shots.

Then, after a rebound putback for Camden Hills’ McFarland, MacDonald hit one of two free throws and Chisholm notched a pair to cut the Windjammer lead back to 10 with 4:20 to go.

That was as close as the Trojans would get.

The Windjammers quickly pushed the lead back to 15 on a conventional three-point play by senior Will Vlautin and a pair of free throws by McFarland, who finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Windjammers.

Keegan Pieri also had 11 points and seven rebounds and Gabriele scored 10 points for Camden Hills.

MacDonald led MDI with 10 points, all but two from the foul line, freshman Ben Walls had nine and Chisholm finished with seven.

“We haven’t played athletes like that all year,” said MDI coach Justin Norwood.

“The keys to the game were turnovers, turnovers, turnovers and rebounds,” said Norwood, and the Trojans struggled in both departments.

“We couldn’t rebound the ball on the defensive end,” he said.

But the MDI coach, who holds the Class B record for three-pointers in a tournament game with eight, was happy with his team’s performance over the season.

“We could have folded our tents at 4-6,” he said, but the Trojans came on to win six of their last eight regular season games, then downed the number eight Caribou Vikings 44-39 in a preliminary playoff at Caribou on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

In that game, MDI trailed 17-13 at halftime but came on strong in the third period, outscoring the Vikings 21-10 to take the lead and never let it get away.

MacDonald had nine of his game-high 17 points in that decisive third period, and Walls and Jayson Burke also scored in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

For more sports news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

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