March 25, 2019
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Ellsworth boys turn the tide in upset of rival MDI in B North quarterfinal

Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Ellsworth's Connor Crawford, left, looks for a passing lane around MDI's Steven Pierce during Friday night's Class B boys quarterfinal game at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

BANGOR, Maine — Mount Desert Island beat Ellsworth twice during the regular season by 20 and 12 points but the Eagles got a healthy measure of revenge on Friday night.

The sixth-seeded Eagles scored the game’s first eight points and never trailed, pulling away with a 12-1 spurt in the fourth quarter to upset the third-seeded Trojans 71-48 in their Class B North quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center.

[Check out the latest Class B North boys tourney bracket here]

Ellsworth (14-6) advances to play the winner of Friday’s second game between Caribou and Washington Academy of East Machias in next Wednesday’s 2:05 semifinal. MDI finished at 13-6.

Senior guard Devin Grindle poured in a career-high 21 points to pace the Eagles. Freshman guard Hunter Curtis pumped in 18 points, his junior brother Jackson Curtis scored 13 points, and junior forward Darby Barry had 11 points.

Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Members of the Ellsworth boys basketball team anxiously await the final seconds to tick off the clock in their Class B North quarterfinal. The No. 6 Eagles beat No. 3 Mount Desert Island 71-48.

Jackson Curtis had four rebounds and brother Hunter dished out four assists. Grindle had two steals.

Steven Pierce came off the bench to score a team-high 13 points for MDI. Eli Parady had 10 points and Brett Duley and Derek Collin had nine apiece. Duley had a game-high eight rebounds and Andrew Shea had a game-high four assists to go with seven points.

Ellsworth coach Peter Austin said Grindle turned in the best game of his career.

“By far,” grinned Grindle. “I didn’t want my career to end.”

Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Driving to the basket is MDI's Derek Collin, right, while guarded by Ellsworth's Jackson Curtis during Friday night's Class B boys quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Austin also said he assigned the Curtis brothers to guard MDI’s Shea and Collin and they did an exceptional job.

“Defense is just hard work,” said Jackson Curtis, who felt his team’s performance was its best of the season.

“We didn’t turn the ball over much tonight and that was the most important thing,” said Austin, who noted that MDI typically forces a lot of turnovers.

Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Andrew Shea, left, of MDI eyes the rim as Ellsworth's Hunter Curtis defends during Friday night's Class B boys quarterfinal at the Cross Insurance Center.

Austin said he has harped on doing all the small things that contribute to wins like protecting the ball, diving for loose balls and boxing out and his team did those things.

A basket by Curtis and consecutive 3-pointers by Grindle staked Ellsworth to an 8-0 lead.

Ellsworth led 32-23 at the half and Parady’s six points keyed an 8-0 run that closed the gap to 34-30.

The Trojans closed to within three twice but the Eagles always answered their runs and finished them off with their fourth-quarter flurry.

Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times
Ellsworth fans react to the action during Friday night's Class B boys quarterfinal game against MDI.


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