READFIELD — The rematch between the Maranacook and Mt. Abram boys basketball teams promised to be a heavyweight bout of two of the Mountain Valley Conference’s best.

It did not disappoint.

Fighting from behind for most of the game, the Black Bears managed to force overtime and walk away with an 80-69 victory Tuesday night.

Keagan McClure led Maranacook (13-3) with 19 points, while Robbie Vivenzio had 16 points and six rebounds. Brandon Chilton added 14 points.

“I’ve never had a win that’s felt better than that, to be honest with you,” McClure said. “That was amazing.”

Payton Mitchell had 20 points for Mt. Abram (13-1), while Bryce Wilcox had 15 points. Logan Dube added 13.


Hustle and defense kept the Black Bears alive in the fourth quarter. In the final seconds, Mt. Abram guard Cam Grey received a pass from the other end of the court, with an opportunity for a breakaway layup. But Black Bears forward Elijah Freeman went on a full sprint toward the basket and managed to tip Grey’s shot enough for the ball to hit the rim and miss at the buzzer, forcing both teams into overtime with a 64-64 score.

“Instinct just kind of kicked in,” Freeman said. “I know I missed that shot (before the play), but it’s not the point. You’ve just got to focus on the next play. That’s kind of our mentality as a team, focusing on the next play, always making sure we’re playing as hard as we can.”

Maranacook senior Jacob McLaughlin takes a layup against Mt. Abram during a boys basketball game Tuesday in Readfield.

“That was awesome,” McClure said. “He’s a sophomore, but he’s always making big plays. Him and our freshman, Jack Fontaine, they always step up and make big plays for us. That was huge.”

With momentum on their side, the Black Bears outscored the Roadrunners 16-5 in overtime. Chilton led the way in the period, scoring five points.

Though both teams are members of the MVC, it was a Class B/C crossover game. Maranacook entered the contest as the No. 4 seed in Class B North, while Mt. Abram was the No. 2 seed in C South. The two teams played earlier in the season, with the Roadrunners pulling away for a 68-64 win on Dec. 14 in Salem.

“I think (this win) easily propels us toward the MVC championship,” Freeman said. “Playoff-wise, it just puts us in a great spot. We can be above some of those really great teams like Orono and Ellsworth.”


“This one hopefully puts us in contention for the MVC (championship game), if not in it, and maybe get us a top-four (seed) in Class B North,” Maranacook head coach Travis Magnusson said. “We still have work to do, but hopefully gets us a top-four (spot) with the win. It’s huge for Heal points and huge for the MVC. It’s a great night for us. And it’s great (to win on Senior Night). It’s a great group that works really hard, very coachable. For them to have their last regular season game here and end like this, it’s a great memory that they’ll have.”

Both teams show similar styles on the hardwood, showcasing up-tempo, quick passing offenses, mixed with zone defense. Sparked by 10 points from Dube, it was the Roadrunners that jumped out to a 19-14 lead after one quarter.  Maranacook managed to battle back enough in the second quarter to trail 35-30 at halftime. There was some struggles at the start of the second half, with Maranacook trailing by as much as 14 points.

The Black Bears found another gear late in the period, outscoring the Roadrunners 20-14 in the period. Momentum clearly showed to be on Maranacook’s side, despite back-and-forth scoring efforts throughout the fourth.

“(After the fourth) we knew we just had to keep our composure,” McClure said. “We just had to trust each other and our coach.”

“They never stopped playing, they took it one possession at a time,” Magnusson said. “We came back quick, but they had so much energy.”

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