BANGOR, Maine — As one of the top girls basketball players in Eastern Maine Class B, Mount Desert Island junior Megan Phelps is used to drawing double-teams.
The 6-footer saw a lot of them Tuesday night against John Bapst, limiting her open looks at the basket.
But the Trojans have plenty of offensive weapons, and Jessica Swanson and Sara Carroll each scored seven second-half points — Swanson finished with a game-high 13 — as coach Brent Barker’s club pulled away for a 44-29 win at the Bangor Auditorium.
The undefeated Trojans earned their sixth win while John Bapst fell to 1-4, with three of those losses coming against undefeated clubs (Presque Isle, Central, MDI).
Even though Phelps was held to 11 points, she found other ways to contribute with 17 rebounds and five blocked shots.
“Me and Mr. Barker have been talking a lot since my freshman year about when I’m not scoring about really doing everything I can to help my team, and that involves rebounding and playing defense,” Phelps said.
MDI came out of the gates on fire offensively, hitting seven of nine first-quarter shots to take a 13-7 lead, but Bapst pulled to within one at halftime on Paige Martin’s 20-foot buzzer-beater.
The Crusaders’ defense, which featured tough man-to-man pressure, held MDI without a field go al the first 4:49 of the third quarter while holding tough in a 19-19 game, but Carroll’s one-handed runner in the paint and 3-pointer from the right wing on consecutive possessions gave the Trojans the lead for good.
Swanson then scored on back-to-back layups to give MDI some breathing room.
“We can always count on Sara when we need shots to be taken,” said Swanson.
Those buckets made up for a shaky start to the second half in which the Trojans committed some unforced turnovers.
“I really think in the third quarter we came out a little flat again, but when [Carroll and Swanson] started hitting those shots it really gave us the momentum to carry us through the game for the win,” Phelps said.
Carroll finished with nine points while Mackenzie Curtis also had nine for MDI, but they had to work hard for those baskets against a tough Crusader defense that the Trojans did a fairly effective job moving the ball around against and generating layups.
The problem for coach Mike Webb’s club, however, was the fact that it shot 10-for-53 (19 percent) from the floor.
“Defensively, I think we’ve been very, very good all year, it’s just we can’t put the ball in the basket,” Webb said.
That being said, the final score doesn’t reflect how hard the Crusaders played, and they’ve had one of the more brutal opening schedules in Eastern Maine, as their opponents have a combined record of 20-7 while MDI, Presque Isle and Central have 17 of those victories.
“Bapst is probably one of the toughest 1-4 teams on the schedule,” Barker said. “They’ve played a very tough opening schedule. They’ve had us, Presque Isle, Central; three of their losses to teams that don’t have any losses themselves.”
Kirsty Moriarty and Mandy Martin had eight points apiece to lead Bapst.