BANGOR, Maine — It is never easy to change schools, especially in high school.
And it can be even more difficult going into your senior year.
But Kate Whitney made the decision this summer to transfer from Class D Machias High School to Class B Ellsworth, and it has worked out nicely for Whitney and the Eagles.
According to Ellsworth coach Andy Pooler, Whitney has averaged 9.5 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game in helping the Eagles take an 11-6 record into Wednesday night’s regular season finale against archrival Mount Desert Island, which is 16-1.
MDI is first in the Class B North Heal point standings, and Ellsworth is fourth.
Whitney is coming off a double-double in a 57-47 loss to John Bapst in Bangor on Saturday night in which she had 10 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, three assists and two blocked shots.
“She has been a nice fit for them,” said John Bapst coach Mike Webb. “She’s a very good shooter. I really like her attitude and her style. She sees the floor well.”
Pooler said Whitney is a very good 3-point shooter, a good rebounder, a good defender and a “smart basketball player.”
“She complements Maddie [Card] really well. They work well off each other,” Pooler added. “We have a strong front line with Kate, Maddie and [Samantha] Mason.”
“I really like it here,” said Whitney, who added that she transferred for “educational reasons.”
And after playing softball for Ellsworth this past summer, she realized “I loved playing at this higher level. So I looked into switching schools.”
“I love having her here,” said senior Card. “She is so good. She has really gotten our team going.”
Whitney had the opportunity to play basketball in the fall with her teammates, which helped her make a smooth transition.
“Everyone was so welcoming. They took me in with open arms,” said Whitney. “I couldn’t ask for a better team to play on right now. It seems like a perfect fit.
“I love this team. Everyone on it can play [well], and everyone works together well,” she added.
The Eagles showed what they are capable of during the loss to John Bapst. They trailed 36-13 early in the second half but rallied to within six before losing.
“That shows you how much heart this team has. It has been so much fun to be a part of,” said Whitney, who also is an outstanding softball pitcher with a dominant repertoire of pitches.
She lives with her father in Ellsworth, and her mother drives the 57 miles up from Machias to join them a few nights a week.