WINSLOW — The Winslow boys basketball team knew it couldn’t last all game. But for the Black Raiders and their fans, it was more than a lot of fun while it lasted.
For about seven minutes, Winslow played about as well as it can play. After barely four minutes, the Raiders had scored 22 points. While all that meant by halftime is that they weren’t down by 10, it was the cushion Winslow needed for a 68-61 victory in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B game against Waterville on Friday night.
“We had a hot first quarter against Nokomis the other night, but overall, this is by far the best first quarter that we’ve had,” Winslow coach Jared Browne said. “We basically just ran our offense, and we ran it to perfection. We got our big guys involved. That opened up the outside shots, and we knocked them down.”
Winslow (3-2) hit nine of its 12 field goal attempts and led 22-7 just 4:13 into the game. The Raiders led by as much as 16 in the first quarter, but Waterville clawed back and was within 38-36 by halftime.
For the Panthers (2-3), whose previous two losses were by a combined five points, there was no consolation in losing another close game.
“I look at it as we got outplayed in every aspect of the game,” Waterville coach Jason Briggs said. “We didn’t rebound the basketball, we didn’t defend the 3-point line. The expectation was to come in here and win, not come in here and compete. I think that’s the most disappointing piece.”
Briggs added that Waterville gave Winslow too many second-chance points. The Raiders also hit eight 3-pointers, including four by Trevor Lovely, who had a game-high 21 points. Austin Ireland added 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Justin Martin (12) and Nason Lanphier (11) also scored in double figures for the Raiders.
Having lost most of its big lead, the Raiders built another in the third quarter. Again, the scoring was spread out, and Winslow was up 53-44 after three.
“I just did stats the other day, and we had lost our third quarters by almost 30 points,” Browne said. “Our goal was to win this third quarter. We won the third quarter by seven points.”
Led by Chris Hale (19 points, eight rebounds), and taking advantage of a Winslow spurt of sloppiness, Waterville got as close as 55-52 in the fourth quarter. The Panthers had the ball trailing by four twice in the final minute, but were shut down both times.
Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243