MANCHESTER — Maranacook’s halfcourt trap had Mount View backpedaling from the start of Tuesday night’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference matchup.

The Mustangs were eventually able to hold their ground and even push back a little early in the second half, but the Black Bears’ speed and numbers proved too much late and they pulled away in a lopsided fourth quarter to win going away, 69-39.

Kent Mohlar tallied 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead Maranacook (8-1). Kyle Wilbur added 20 points and five steals and Levi Emery dominated the paint with 14 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. Joey Danna led the Mustangs (3-5) with 10 points.

The Black Bears’ trap and quickness flustered the Mustangs into 10 turnovers in the first 5:30. Mohlar converted the 10th turnover, a Hayden Elwell steal, into a layup to make it 16-5.

“We want to bring the intensity up, right from the start. That’s where we’ve been struggling all year,” Wilbur said. “And we’re trying to finish strong.”

Maranacook spent the rest of the first half threatening to pull away but the Mustangs were able to cut down on the mistakes and were down only nine, 33-24, after Gavin Simpson hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

“To their credit, they never quit. They cut the lead to nine at halftime, and nine’s a game,” Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt said. “I thought that we came out of the second half and really put the pedal down and did what we had to do.”

Before the Black Bears were able to do that, the Mustangs took one last shot at cutting into the lead with hoops by Devon Davis and Danna that cut the margin to 33-28. But Davis, their top rebounder (10 rebounds) and one of their top defenders, soon limped to the bench with an apparent ankle or foot injury. He did not return.

Led by Danna and Cole Hannan, Mount View actually got more aggressive on the offensive boards after Davis went out. But they weren’t able to convert the second chances into points, and Wilbur scored the final six points of the third quarter to extend the lead to 50-34.

The Black Bears kept the pressure on and started the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run to put the game away. They held the Mustangs without a field goal until only a minute left. On the occasions Mount View was able to solve the trap and get a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 advantage, senior forward Emery was usually near the basket to alter their shots, get the rebound and get the Black Bears going in the other direction.

“(The trap) is huge,” Wilbur said. “We’re not exactly big, but we’re quick and we can move from side-to-side. Levi’s our biggest guy. He backs us up and we look to get turnovers.”

“I thought our transition offense was very good tonight,” Schmidt said. “We got a lot of guys involved who were running the floor. We were passing ahead very well. And all of that stemmed from our defense.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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