READFIELD — Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt went to a platoon system in an effort to break his team out of a slump and it paid dividends Tuesday night as his Black Bears posted their first win of the season.
Taylor Wilbur scored a game-high 19 points and Kyle Boucher hauled down 16 rebounds as Maranacook stopped Leavitt 64-48 in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B game.
Schmidt took all five starters out of the game midway through the first, second and third periods and it paid off in the fourth when the Black Bears (1-3) outscored the Hornets 23-15.
“We were 0-3 and we weren’t getting it done,” Schmidt said. “We needed to do something different. There’s been a lot of energy in practices, a lot of energy in games, but I thought if we distributed that energy more, things might work in our favor.”
The Black Bears led at every checkpoint, getting a 3 at the buzzer by sophomore Cam Brochu to take a 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Brochu finished with 12 points and provided just the sort of energy off the bench Schmidt was looking for.
“When he comes in, he brings a lot of athleticism, a lot of intensity,” Schmidt said of the 6-foot-1 Brochu. “He makes big plays.”
Leavitt (2-2) was coming off a big win at Gardiner but never led in the game despite making a couple of runs at the lead. The Hornets got 12 points and eight rebounds from sophomore Mitchell Davis and 12 rebounds from junior Andrew Middleton but were inconsistent.
“I thought we played terrible,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “They finished their shots around the hoop and they played with more energy than we did.”
The Hornets drew to within two (22-20) when Matt Powell cashed a rebound late in the second quarter, but the Black Bears ended with a 6-0 run on a 3 by Wilbur, a free throw by Brad Worster and Caleb Jackson’s layup to lead 28-20 at the half. They led 41-33 at the end of three as Brochu closed the period with a three-point play, then they took off in the fourth quarter. That’s when the platooning appeared to pay off.
“It definitely keeps us in the game defensively,” Wilbur said. “It worked very well. I was skeptical at first. The last quarter we were flying around the court because we had fresh legs.”
A layup and two free throws from Boucher (nine points) made it 50-37 and the Bears took off from there as Wilbur, Jesse Evans and Brochu combined on a 12-6 run to put the game away.
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638