It’s taken the entire season to date for the Maranacook boys to get healthy and it’s beginning to show up on the court.

The Black Bears are coming off an encouraging 55-52 win at Medomak Valley on Monday night and prior to that they took down Lincoln Academy at home 93-77.

Maranacook is 5-2 going into Friday night’s game against unbeaten Morse in Bath and will get a good sense of where it stands among the teams in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s Class B division.

Guards Caleb Jackson and Kent Mohlar each missed the first few games of the season with ankle injuries. Jackson is at full strength while coach Rob Schmidt is bringing Mohlar off the bench until he’s fully recovered.

Both are good 3-point shooters and their presence on the floor has taken some heat off senior guard Taylor Wilbur.

“Team can’t just focus on him,” Schmidt said.


Wilbur is averaging 28 points a game and has already knocked down 28 3-pointers. Schmidt said he’s an even better player than he was a year ago.

“He’s stronger, that’s a huge difference,” Schmidt said. “He can finish when he gets hit. He’s also extended his range on his jump shot. He’s just a very good athlete.”

Junior Cam Brochu is giving the team a nice lift on the boards, averaging nearly 11 rebounds a game, although fouls have been a problem.

“He plays so aggressive, so physical,” Schmidt said. “He’s going to pick up a few fouls.”

The Black Bears expect to see a zone defense for much of the game against Morse. The Shipbuilders are taller to a man and rebounding will be a key for Maranacook. So will pace. The Shipbuilders have been at their best when they score in the 50s while Maranacook prefers an uptempo game.

“I think the game will be determined by which team can impose their style,” Schmidt said.


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Hall-Dale is another team that has battled health problems. The 5-1 Bulldogs have survived although they have yet to play the toughest games on their schedule. One of those is Monday night when they host 5-2 Winthrop.

“We seem to finally be getting back,” Hall-Dale coach Chris Ranslow said. “Between the weather and our health it doesn’t seem like we practiced much.”

Ranslow said his players are simplifying the game, learning their roles and consequently playing better.”

They have some outside shooters but play at their best when they stay patient and begin their offense by getting the ball inside.

“When we try to play fast we’re not doing what we do best,” Ranslow said. “When you get the ball inside out the shooter is already set. Our focus is to get it in every time.”


Monday’s game is the start of a tough week for Hall-Dale. After Winthrop, the Bulldogs travel to Boothbay on Wednesday and host unbeaten Dirigo on Friday.

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Gardiner is 3-3 but just two baskets away from being 5-1. The Tigers lost one-point games to both Medomak Valley and Morse.

“In both situations young mistakes kind of cost us the game,” Gardiner coach Jason Cassidy said.

The Tigers are getting solid play from juniors Seth McFarland, Brad Weston and Josh McKelvey and hope to have some added depth with the return of guard Eli Fish and center Jordan Lamb, both of whom sustained injuries before the season began.

Fish was injured in the Cony-Gardiner football game and has yet to play while Lamb has battled a preseason back injury and is getting into shape in junior varsity games.


The Tigers host Lincoln Academy (4-2) Friday night and expect a tough battle.

“They’re an in-your-face pressure team,” Cassidy said. “They want to score up in the 70s. They’re a pretty complete team this year, they’re putting up points.”

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Cony got a needed win at Mt. Ararat on Monday night when Mitchell Bonenfant hit a shot in the lane with four seconds left for a 54-53 win.

The Rams overcame a tough call when Alex Neill was whistled for an intentional foul after grabbing a defensive rebound. As he was surrounded by three players he was ruled to have swung his elbows. The Eagles made both free throws and scored on the ensuing possession to take the lead late in the game.

“The kids could have packed it in but they didn’t,” Cony coach T.J. Maines said.


Bonenfant finished with a game-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“Mitchell’s game is getting to the basket,” Maines said.

Maines said the Rams gained some momentum by winning the Capital City Hoop Classic.

“It allowed some guys to play a few more minutes, but the big thing is to get used to winning,” Maines said. “Against Waterville we played some of the best basketball we’ve played all year.”

On Friday night, the Rams travel to South Paris to face Oxford Hills.

“Andree Fleming is one of the two or three best sophomores in the state,” Maines said. “They play very similar to us.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638ghawkins@centralmaine.comTwitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ