READFIELD — It wasn’t “the” plan, but it was certainly part of the plan, and Maranacook senior Jesse Evans made the most of it.
With the clock ticking toward zero, Evans used a screen from center Kyle Boucher near the top of the circle to drive to the basket. He laid the ball in and was fouled with three tenths of a second left to give the Black Bears a 56-54 over Gardiner.
“We have a designed play we run in practice and it’s just take what you get,” Evans said. “The plan was to get the ball around and work it back to Kyle on the other side, but we just took what they gave us.”
Evans’ basket completed a fourth-quarter comeback by the Black Bears (2-3) in which they outscored the Tigers 17-8. They got three big 3s in the quarter, including back-to-back treys from Taylor Wilbur and Caleb Jackson. But they didn’t get the lead until freshman Kent Mohlar drilled a 3 from the left side to make it 54-52.
Gardiner’s Tyler Jamison (15 points) made a difficult bank shot from the left side to tie the score and set up a wild finish. The Tigers rebounded a Maranacook miss and just as coach Jason Cassidy was calling timeout, Jamison was whistled for traveling.
“I was screaming it and my assistants were screaming it, too,” Cassidy said. “But I tried to get some earlier in the game and he didn’t hear me.”
The game was end to end for nearly all 32 minutes. The Tigers got a huge effort from senior guard Dennis Meehan, who finished with 15 points, including three 3s, 13 rebounds and five steals.
“We told him he’s got to shoot more and he did it for us tonight,” Cassidy said.
The Tigers (3-2) did a nice job guarding the 6-foot-8 Boucher as Trevor Austin and Jensen Orewiler took turns leaning on the big center while getting help from their teammates. Boucher finished with six points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Wilbur took up some of the slack, scoring 17 points, including four 3-pointers, but as they did in Tuesday’s win over Leavitt, the Black Bears platooned five players every two or three minutes until the fourth quarter.
“I think it may have helped us in the long run,” Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt said.
Maranacook sophomore Cam Brochu is part of the second team platoon, but usually is on the floor in crunch time. He scored four of his six points in the fourth quarter by converting offensive rebounds. Of his 11 rebounds in the game, eight were offensive.
“He’s an animal,” Schmidt said. “He really gets up, he gets up high, he gets up quick and he has a nose for the ball. He’s just one of those kids.”
In addition to his game-winning basket, Evans was the primary defender against Jamison despite giving away five inches in height.
“He’s a great player and that matchup is always fun,” Evans said. “I’ve played him all the way up through. He’s a great competitor.”
Gardiner 57, Maranacook 40: Kylie Granholm scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Tigers to a KVAC B victory over the Black Bears.
Adding to the offensive effort for Gardiner (4-1) was Ally Day, who also scored 11 points.
As a team, the Tigers were 15 of 16 at the free-throw line.
Maranacook (2-3) was led by Christine Miller, who scored a game-high 25 points.