WINSLOW — Points were at a premium Tuesday night when the Winslow High School girls basketball team hosted Western C-leading Maranacook.

Both teams combined for just 24 points in the second half, yet it was the Black Bears (10-2) that managed to hang on for a 35-31 victory.

“We struggled putting the ball in the hoop tonight,” Winslow coach Lindsey Welch said. “Leading up to this we were finally scoring and we just had an off night.

“Defense definitely kept us in it, but we need both ends of the court to win the game.”

The score was tied 21-all at the half, but in the second frame it was Maranacook’s man-to-man defense that allowed the visitors to distance itself for the win. The Black Bears held Winslow (8-4 Eastern B) to just 10 points on 4-for-17 shooting and also forced eight turnovers in the second half.

“We really talked about stepping up our half-court defense because we know our press can really frustrate teams, but we also want to make sure that if they do get down into the close court that our half-court defense also frustrates them,” Maranacook coach Jeannine Paradis said. “We really worked on a lot of help and recovery yesterday, and hopefully that’s going to help carry us.

“We had some missteps here and there, but I think overall our half-court defense improved a lot from tonight.”

A big part of the Black Bears’ success on the defensive end Tuesday was a result of their defensive versatility. Christine Miller and Liz D’Angelo each stand around 5-foot-10 and play in the front court, yet on offense each spend equal amounts of time on the perimeter and in the post.

The quickness of Maranacook’s front court players allowed the Black Bears to switch at will with little concern if Miller or D’Angelo ended up matched up on a guard. The Black Raiders’ lack of height — Winslow does not have a player listed taller than 5-foot-7 — also allowed guards Kristen Hall, Sarah Clough, Catherine Sanborn and Sage Hyland to switch without concern of a mismatch in the post.

“We practice defense most of practice,” Hyland said. “Guards guard posts and we switch around, so it really helps us in the games.”

Even as Winslow struggled to score in the second half, the Black Raiders still played well enough defensively to keep themselves in the contest.

Miller opened the third quarter with a 3-pointers and from there the two teams traded baskets to allow Maranacook to take a 30-27 lead heading into the fourth.

Neither team could score early in the final quarter and with 5 minutes, 7 seconds remaining in the contest the Black Bears began running time off the clock. Maranacook held the ball just past the half-court line for 1 minute, 27 seconds before Winslow finally extended its pressure.

“(We were going to hold it for) as long as it took,” Paradis said. “We want teams to come out and try and play us. At that point we had the lead, so why not try it.”

The Black Raiders managed to get a stop though, and at the other end seemingly seized momentum when Alyssa Wood knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key and was fouled in the process. The senior guard made the free throw to give Winslow a 31-30 lead — their first since it was 11-10 late in the first quarter — with 3:08 remaining, yet its advantage would be short-lived.

“That was a big shot for Alyssa,” Welch said. “We just didn’t connect to the rim. It was there, momentum didn’t just finally go our way.

“It was exactly what we needed to do. We stayed in our defense and they had to pull it out. Alyssa got us back in it and we just couldn’t finalize.”

Maranacook responded with short jumper from Hyland — set up by a nice drive-and-kick from Miller — to reclaim the lead at 32-31. Miller then pushed the Black Bears’ advantage to 34-31 with a pair of free throws with 55 seconds to play following a few empty possessions from Winslow, leaving the Black Raiders with one last shot.

Winslow had two chances to extend the game in the final 40 seconds, but a 3-pointer from Devin Fitzgibbons with 33 seconds left and a runner in the lane by Delaney Wood with 13 seconds to go each rimmed out. Miller managed to secure a jump ball on the rebound with the possession arrow in favor of Maranacook and was fouled on the in-bounds pass. She then managed to make 1-of-2 at the foul line to seal the Black Bears’ win.

Miller paced Maranacook with a game-high 17 points to go along with six rebounds, while Hyland chipped in with six points. Ciara LeClair was the lone Winslow player in double figures with 14 points.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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