WINSLOW —There are a number of ways a basketball team can respond to a gut-wrenching loss. The Winslow girls picked the one that gave them control of their destiny.
Two nights after an overtime loss to Morse, Winslow faced Maranacook, one of the top teams in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B. Winslow played a sublime first quarter, then played beyond sublime defense the rest of the way to lock down a 42-20 victory on Thursday night.
“It was tough,” Winslow coach Lindsey Welch said. “But we had a great practice (Wednesday). I had a good feeling about today’s game. The way the kids bounced back was unbelievable. Unbelievable.”
Winslow is now 6-3 after finishing 6-12 in the regular season last winter. Maranacook dropped to 6-4.
In its last two games, Winslow had scored 15 points against Nokomis and 42 in the loss to Morse. On Thursday, with Welch reminding them after every rebound to push the ball, the Black Raiders were 10 of 16 from the field in the first quarter. Maranacook stayed close on two 3-pointers by Christine Miller (11 points, 10 rebounds), but when Delaney Wood (eight points) tossed in a shot to beat the buzzer, Winslow led 23-12 after one quarter.
Miller scored early in the second quarter to make it 23-14, but Maranacook would not make another field goal until Cara Corey put in a rebound with 4:46 left in the game. Those were the only two shots Maranacook made in the final three quarters, as the Black Bears were 2 for 30 over that time.
“Stats come out (for the KVAC), and kids are always quick to jump on the stats,” Welch said. “On the way home from Morse, I talked about our team stats. We’re leading the conference in points allowed per game. We take pride in that.”
Heather Kervin had a double-double for Winslow, with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Devin Fitzgibbons added 10 points. After a Maranacook timeout in the third quarter with the score 32-17, Fitzgibbons and Ciara LeClair hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Winslow’s lead at 38-15.
“Last game that we played this well was against Waterville, and we played together as one,” Welch said. “Last game, we kind of got off, and not playing as one, and that was the emphasis of today’s game.”