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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.