PI boys fall to MDI
By Kevin Sjoberg
BANGOR — The Mount Desert Island defense turned it up a notch last Wednesday against Presque Isle, ending the Wildcats’ season for the second consecutive year in the semifinal round of the Eastern Maine Class B Tournament.
The Trojans forced PI into 15-for-55 shooting from the floor and held a 34-25 advantage in rebounds en route to a 51-40 victory.
“I credit MDI’s defense in shutting our offense down for most of the game,” said PI coach Terry Cummings. “They forced us into some bad shots and we made some costly turnovers at key junctures of the game. We struggled to knock down shots and as a result our shooting percentage was very low.”
The game stayed close until the final two minutes. That is when MDI build its lead by hitting several late free throws. The Trojans were 23 for 28 from the foul line, including 12 of 14 in the final 2:25. Keegan McKim and Colin Mooers both went 8 for 8 in the game.
The lead changed hands several times over the first 3-1/2 quarters. There were 10 ties and neither team led by more than four points until MDI pulled away in the late going.
Brad Shields scored from inside with 2:55 to go in the third quarter to give the Wildcats a 29-25 lead, but MDI responded by scoring the final six points of the third quarter, four coming courtesy of senior Ben Walls, and the Trojans never trailed again.
The game was tied at 33 after Cody Lyford of PI drained two of three free throws after being fouled while shooting a three-pointer with 6:22 left in the game, but Abe Philbrook put MDI on top with a driving layup 40 seconds later. Two McKim free throws with 4:51 to play put the Trojans up by four.
Michael Boone followed in a missed fast-break layup by Jonah Stephenson to make it 37-35 with four minutes left, but Presque Isle never scored again until Stephenson hit his only field goal of the game, a three-pointer, with 1:05 to go. That got the Wildcats to within five (43-38), but McKim and Mooers combined to hit all eight of their free throw attempts in the final minute as the Trojans secured the win.
Shields had 10 points and six rebounds, while Lyford added seven points off the bench to lead Presque Isle. Brooks was limited to four points on 2-of-11 shooting from the floor and Stephenson had just five points while going 1 for 10. Brooks led PI with seven rebounds and Stephenson had a team-high three assists.
For MDI, Walls, Adam Gray and McKim tallied 10 points apiece. Jon Phelps had 10 rebounds and two steals and McKim grabbed seven boards.
“Even though the season ended earlier than we would have liked, these guys gave it everything they had all season long,” Cummings said of his team. “The development and improvement of this team was incredible. Our motto was to “create ridiculous amounts of energy,” which I think we did a great job with as these guys never gave up.
“They created memories that will last a lifetime and I am very thankful to have been a part of this team,” the second-year coach added.
Presque Isle finished with a 16-4 overall record.