PORTLAND — When Maranacook’s perimeter shooting dried up, the drought opened the door to Yarmouth’s transition game in a Class B South boys’ quarterfinal game at the Portland Expo on Saturday morning.
The No. 6 Black Bears’ (13-6) stingy defense tried to hold the No. 3 Clippers (13-6) in check, but Yarmouth had other plans and slipped away with a 43-33 victory.
“We knew that would be the story of game,” Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt said. “If we hit, we have a really good chance of winning that game. If we are off, we are not going to beat them.
“I think we did a good job holding them through our defense, but they are an absolutely outstanding team.
We didn’t get quality looks that we normally get and the shots that we did get weren’t going down. They were well-prepared. Adam (Smith) is a really good coach. They didn’t let us transition down.
“They really penetrated well today, and in the paint, they were able to dish.”
The Clippers worked for every basket they got, especially in the second half when they began to pull away.
By the end of the third quarter, Yarmouth’s inside game had come to fruition, giving the Clippers a 31-23 edge going into a tumultuous fourth-quarter.
Captain and junior Jonathan Torres made some dazzling inside moves to emerge with the game-high 17 points. He also found time to toss in a pair of 3-pointers. Guard Ashanti Haywood followed up with his 11 points.
“I always say, somebody has got to hit a shot,” Yarmouth coach Adam Smith said. “Ashanti…hit a couple of shots for us. He really got us started. a lift just to stay in contact with them.
“Jonathan has really started to step up. He has been struggling being a captain, a player and it has all come together in the last few weeks — and today was an indication what he means to us.”
Yarmouth’s defense was also adamant, holding the Black Bears to five points in the second and third quarters.
Maranacook’s Silas Mohlar scored the team-high 10 points and Cash McClure dropped in three 3-pointers for his nine points.
In the second half, Maranacook owned the perimeter, with the Black Bears hitting four 3-pointers in a row and taking a 9-1 lead in the opening quarter. Cashman McClure delivered four of the Black Bear’s 3-pointers to give Maranacook a 13-8 lead.
“We haven’t played a good first quarter all year,” Smith said. “And at 10 o’clock this morning, I didn’t think it was going to be a good first quarter today.
“But we still played great defense still. Offensively, we got into the flow. The second half, we started to run. Just got the cob webs out and got used to the team we were playing.
“They played a high intensity level and you have to get used to that, too.”
But the Yarmouth Clippers’s transition game came to life and the Bears’ outside shooting went stale in the second quarter. Haywood scored four points and Torres slipped in a 3-pointer to hand Yarmouth a 22-18 lead.