When the lead shrank to four midway through the fourth quarter and the noise inside Cross Insurance Arena – boosted not only from the Mt. Desert Island fans and pep band but also a sizable contingent of Caribou supporters awaiting the next game – lesser players might have crumbled.

Not Bri Jordan.

The senior from Gray-New Gloucester sank two free throws, made a steal near midcourt, grabbed the offensive rebound of a teammate’s missed free throw and effectively clinched the Class B girls’ basketball state championship.

The Patriots beat MDI 43-30 Saturday afternoon to win their second title in three years. Jordan led all scorers with 15 points but contributed in so many other ways.

“Her statistics aren’t always gaudy,” GNG Coach Mike Andreasen said. “She’s not 27 points a game, but every game she has to play the other team’s best player. Today she had to cover (Maddy) Candage. She has to bring the ball up the court. She has to rebound. She finds a way to put her stamp on the game.”

Candage managed only six points, all in the second half, four of them from the line. Jordan scored early and late, giving the Patriots (20-2) the lead for good at 7-6 with her only 3-pointer and draining 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch as they ended the game with a 9-0 run.

MDI (19-3) pulled within four points in the second and fourth quarters, but its final push fizzled out when point guard Alexis Clarito fouled out with 3:35 remaining after Jordan had pulled down an offensive rebound.

“She’s very quick,” Jordan said. “Taking her out slowed their game down and made it able for us to control the tempo.”

The smaller Trojans had trouble measuring up with the 5-foot-10 Jordan and the equally tall forward Jordan Grant, who finished with 10 points. Guards Alexa Thayer and Eliza Hotham each chipped in with six for Gray-New Gloucester.

“Our post players did a great job of doing what they could do, but sometimes you can’t defend height,” said MDI Coach Brent Barker. “They had some other kids hit shots for them in big moments who weren’t Grant or Jordan. When you can do that, you’re a tough team to defend.”

Julia Watras led MDI with nine points. Hannah Chamberlain added seven. The Trojans remained close but after the first quarter managed consecutive field goals only once, early in the fourth on a baseline drive by Rachelle Swanson and a spin move by Clarito to complete a fast break and make it 32-28.

Gray-New Gloucester junior Samantha Fortin scored on a Patriots press-breaker but Candage answered with two free throws to set up the decisive sequence. Clarito fouled out. Jordan made the free throws and made the steal to set up Grant for a layup on which she was fouled. Jordan rebounded the miss and made two more from the line and suddenly the margin was 40-30.

The Patriots dedicated their victory to Gray-New Gloucester alumna Catherine Lewis, 36, who has cancer. All of the players pulled on pink shirts reading #cattitude for the net-snipping celebration. Plenty of GNG fans wore the shirts as well.

“I think we got a little nervous towards the end but we knew we had to keep pushing and stay composed,” Grant said. “It’s just awesome to win something with all the people you love and you’ve worked so hard for it all year.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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