ELLSWORTH — With the high school basketball season in the rear-view mirror, youth teams in the area took center stage over the weekend with tournaments in Ellsworth and Lincoln.
Locally, teams from all over the state came to Ellsworth for this year’s edition of the Sheriff’s Cup. This was the 20th year of the tournament, which drew 40 teams to the city for games played at Down East Family YMCA, Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School and Ellsworth High School.
“We’re very, very proud of what this tournament has turned into,” Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane told the crowd at Sunday’s boys’ championship game. “It takes a lot of work, and it doesn’t happen without our amazing volunteers and people like you who come out to support us.”
On the boys’ side, the tournament saw DEFY match up against Bucksport in the quarterfinals. DEFY earned a 64-44 win but fell 63-43 in the semifinals against a Nokomis team that went on to defeat Foxcroft in the championship game.
Members of the DEFY boys’ team were Jacob Bagley, Hunter Boles, Kaleb Conners, Hollis Grindal, Thomas Jude, Kyle Kenny, Brayden King, Casey MacDonald, Conor MacDonald, Chance Mercier and Miles Palmer. The team was coached by Michael Boles, Scott Kenny and Aaron Pinckney.
The girls’ tournament saw another Hancock County showdown in the quarterfinals as DEFY beat Acadian Youth Sports 49-30 to clinch a spot in the semis. DEFY fell to a 55-41 semifinal defeat against Augusta, which later fell to Brewer in the title game.
Shane Lowell coached the DEFY girls’ team with Amy Atherton and Danny Sargent serving as assistants. Team members were Addison Atherton, Lily Bean, Lizzie Boles, Hilda Curtis, Sophia Lynch, Abby Radel, Elise Sargent, Anna Stevens and Jayden Sullivan.
Elsewhere over the weekend, the DEFY fifth/sixth-grade girls capped off a remarkable season with a championship win in the Lincoln Invitational. DEFY beat Howland, Bangor and Lincoln to reach the final before winning a rematch against Bangor to conclude a 15-0 season.
Members of the DEFY fifth/sixth-grade girls’ team were Kaylee Bagley, Halle Clifford, Camryn Clough, Olivia Dane, Mia Knapp, Sydney Mason, Juliana Sprague and Calleigh Trenholm. The team was coached by Shawn Bagley and Benjamin Knapp.
Not to be outdone, the DEFY boys’ team added a win in the Lincoln Invitational to give the Y a clean sweep of the tournament. Team members were Joey Beal, Cameron Connors, Dawson Curtis, Colby Eaton, Bryce Hart, Evan Haskell, T.J. McAlpine, Porter Merrill and Cooper Mitchell, and coaches were Dan Curtis and Colie Haskell.
In middle school play, the Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School boys’ team followed up last year’s undefeated season by winning the Eastern Maine Middle School League title for the second year in a row. Ellsworth clinched the title Feb. 8 with a victory over Nokomis at Brewer High School.
Ellsworth was coached by Mike Harris and Scott Kenny. Team members were Jacob Bagley, Hunter Boles, Alex Boudreau, Kaleb Conners, Thomas Jude, Kyle Kenny, Brayden King, Casey McDonald, Chance Mercier, Mike Palmer and Noah Young.
Tremetic, a combined team featuring players from Pemetic Elementary School and Tremont Elementary School, won the boys’ and girls’ Coastal League titles Feb. 10 at Mount Desert Island High School. Other league participants were Blue Hill Consolidated School, Conners Emerson School, Hancock Grammar School, Mount Desert Elementary School and Trenton Elementary School.
Tremetic’s boys’ title game victory over Conners Emerson marked its first win in three tries against the Tigers this season. The girls’ team, which was fresh off an undefeated league season, claimed the crown with a hard-fought win against Mount Desert.
“[The Mount Desert] girls fought hard,” Tremetic girls’ head coach Jeff Watson told the Islander of his team’s championship game victory. “We trailed for a good three-quarters of that game.”
In the Peninsula League, PenBrook (Penobscot Community School, Brooksville Elementary School and Adams School in Castine) won the boys’ and girls’ league titles. The Wildcats beat Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School to clinch the boys’ championship and Surry Elementary School to win the girls’ title.
The Cave Hill School boys’ team made history Feb. 13 when it beat Ella Lewis School for the Regional School Unit 24 title at Sumner Memorial High School. Team members were Morgan Blair, Dan Carter, Malcolm Douglas, Bryce Hart, Hunter Knight, Jake McDevitt, Will Pileski and Caden Robertson. The Bears were coached by John Hart.