Western C Boys’ Prelim: Black Bears eliminate Saints

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READFIELD — The end result came early for the St. Dom’s boys’ basketball team Wednesday night. The 12th-seeded Saints were no match for the high-flying, run-and-gun Maranacook Black Bears.

The No. 5 Black Bears used their frenetic pace to 20 or more points in each of the first three quarters to run away with a 72-51 Western Class C preliminary win.

Senior guard Taylor Wilbur led all scorers with 18 points including a pair of bombs from well behind the 3-point line.

“We shoot a ton of threes,” said Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt, “and when we move the ball well it opens up the middle.”

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The Black Bears (14-5) were firing on all cylinders from the opening tip, creating six turnovers in the first quarter, outhustling their opponents for loose balls and alternating their baskets from transition lay ups to kick-out treys.

“That’s how we like to play,” said Schmidt. “Tonight it played to our advantage.”

After Eric Ulin drove to the hoop to give the Saints (6-13) an early 2-0 lead, the athleticism of the Black Bears dominated the game.

Junior forward Cam Brochu scored six of his nine points in the first 2-minutes and 20-seconds of play and kept the ball alive twice on the offensive end which led to points.

With the Black Bears up 8-2, sophomore Kent Mohlar drained an open 3-pointer from the wing. Moments later, Broch found a cutting Wilbur for an easy score.

While the Saints rolled out a six-man rotation for much of the first half, the Black Bears’ second string kept up the momentum. As the first quarter neared its end, reserve guard Richard Hall buried a three from the top of the key to put the home team up 20-10. He would finish with eight points, all in the first half.

“We tried to play our pace,” said St. Dom’s coach Todd Flaherty. “We like to play fast, but not as fast as they do. They were a difficult match up.”

Maranacook widened its lead to 42-23 at the break as Wilbur took over, scoring nine points in the stanza.

He followed up a slashing drive through the lane with a deep three. Another time he spotted up for a long trey and was fouled. He sank two out of the three foul shots.

“I’ve been working on my shot all of my high school career,” said Wilbur. “Whatever goes, goes for me. If I’m not shooting, they’re not guarding me. If everybody’s scoring, we can put a win on the board.”

Mohlar added to the barrage as well. He found himself unguarded on the baseline and thought twice before swishing a trifecta. Later in the quarter he was on the receiving end of a court-length pass which he turned into an open layin. He would finish with 12 points along with nine rebounds.

The Black Bears opened up a 29-point lead midway through the third quarter, before Schmidt liquidated the bench for the remainder of the game.

Michael Bryant led the Saints with 10 points despite losing a tooth in the opening moments of the game. Sixth man Becket Wagner added nine points.

With the win, Maranacook advances to play Fourth-seeded Winthrop at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Augusta Civic Center.

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