READFIELD — Maranacook made several runs at the lead Friday night against Gardiner. But each time the Black Bears drew close, Cole Heaberlin had an answer.

The 6-foot-2 junior scored a career-high 33 points, including six 3s, to lead the Tigers to a 57-51 victory that was settled from the foul line in the final minute.

Gardiner remains in the Class A North tournament picture at 7-5 while Maranacook, competing in Class B South, falls to 4-8.

The Tigers led 31-20 midway through the third quarter but turned the ball over when the Black Bears went to a half-court trap. Kyle Wilbur came up with three straight steals for layups and Hayden Elwell closed the quarter with a layup and a 3 from the right corner to cut Gardiner’s lead to 33-31 at the break.

No problem. Heaberlin opened the fourth quarter with two short jumpers in the lane and a 3 from the right corner to push the score to 40-31.

“Hunter (Chasse) just came off a game with 26 (points),” Heaberlin said. “I think that gave me some opportunities deep because they were obviously looking for him to shoot those.”

The Black Bears weren’t done yet and neither was Heaberlin. Wilbur, who scored a team-high 26 points, continued to force turnovers (the Tigers had 21) and Silas Mohlar began to heat up. Mohlar scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers. The junior swingman hit a 3 from each corner to give the Black Bears a 45-44 lead with 3 minutes, 10 seconds left to play. Heaberlin responded with a 3 from the right side to give the Tigers back a lead that held up for the rest of the game.

“I just knew someone had to step up,” Heaberlin said. “In the last few games we’ve kind of fallen apart in the second half. I felt like I needed to lead and make sure that didn’t happen again.”

The Bears cut the lead to 53-51 on Wilbur’s 3 with 13.7 seconds left. But Connor McGuire, who made six free throws down the stretch, hit a pair to put the game away. McGuire, coming off a sprained ankle, finished with nine points and game-high nine rebounds.

“We thought we’d have him Tuesday,” Gardiner coach Jason Cassidy said of McGuire. “But things progressed this week. They said ‘hey play him’ so we did.”

Maranacook missed some chances in the closing minutes to tie the game or take the lead.

“We were down two with less than three minutes and we had three scoring opportunities off turnovers that we didn’t convert,” Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt said. “That hurts. We didn’t take advantage of a lot of things but Gardiner’s a good team and (Heaberlin) stepped up and carried them tonight offensively.”

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