WINSLOW — Although the Winslow High School unified basketball team’s season came to an end with Thursday’s 47-29 loss to Lewiston in the North semifinals, to call the Black Raiders debut season anything short of a success wouldn’t be right.

“Just like any other team, just like anything, when there’s a loss, you’re sad. You want to keep going. These guys have nothing to be ashamed of. This was our first year having this, and we went this far,” coach Lori Loftus said.

That point was made to the team by coach Kit Potelle after the game.

“It’s about doing your best and representing Winslow well,” Potelle said, “and you did that.”

Over the course of the season, the Winslow unified team learned a lot of basketball skills, and the Black Raiders showed those skills off throughout Thursday’s game.

Jacob Varney’s Winslow’s big man who has been at times unstoppable in the low post, showed off some spins moves and a crossover dribble as he made his way to the basket. Dakota Land sank a 15-foot jumper from the foul line extended in the first quarter for Winslow’s second basket of the game. Joey Kingsbury showed the ability to drive to the basket and score, Cheyenne Raymond was never afraid to go to the court after a loose ball, and Roy Greenleaf showed good form from long range.

“From practice one to today, these kids have made amazing gains. They’re running. They’re playing as a team,” Loftus said.

A sophomore, Greenleaf already is excited about next season.

“I like everything about this team. I loved it, and I’m going to play next year,” Greenleaf said. “My favorite thing is everything. Even Coach (Loftus) did an awesome job.”

Unified basketball partners special education students (athletes) with regular education students (partners), with rules slightly different from regular basketball. This season has been one of learning for athletes and partners alike, Loftus said.

“Your partners are learning how to play in a different setting. There are a couple kids here who have won back-to-back state championships in football. This is a different thing for them, and it’s been awesome. They give each other high fives in the hallway. We’re all still part of the same team,” Loftus said.

Lewiston pulled away in the fourth quarter, in what until then was a close game. The Blue Devils led 14-8 after one quarter, but Varney scored eight consecutive points to start the second quarter and give Winslow a 16-14 lead. Lewiston’s Connor Jewitt scored the first six points of the third quarter to push Lewiston’s lead to 28-19.

Jewitt led the Blue Devils with 16 points, while Caleb Beupre added 11. Theresa Morin and Za’mond Smith each scored eight points for Lewiston.

Varney led Winslow with 13 points. Kingsbury scored 12 points for the Black Raiders, and Raymond and Land each had two points.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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