WINSLOW — Aside from a two minute stretch in the third quarter, Winslow High School boys basketball coach Jared Browne could find little fault with his team’s effort in Wednesday’s game against Erskine Academy.

“I’m really happy with our execution, especially in the first half. We’ve been struggling with some consistency in that area. I thought we cleaned it up a lot,” Browne said.

Browne’s Black Raiders used a balanced offense and a strong defense to take the 54-37 win over its old Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference rival, and Browne called the game a good sign as the tournament approaches. Winslow improved to 13-4, with one game to play in the regular season, while Erskine is 8-9.

The Black Raiders never trailed, taking the lead for good when Jack Morneault drove to the basket for a layup not quite two minutes into the game. Morneault scored Winslow’s first six points, and had seven of his team-high 14 in the first half, helping Winslow build a 30-17 lead at the break.

“We played really well as a team, especially defensively,” Morneault, who also grabbed 10 rebounds, said.

Added Browne: “(Morneault) really sparked us on a nice little run to start, and I thought we just went from there.”

A key to the Black Raiders offensive success, particularly in the first half, was the passing game. Winslow consistently found the open man for an easy shot. After driving for layups on three consecutive possessions early in the game, Morneault saw the Eagles defense collapse on him as he drove the lane, so he found a wide open Hunter Campbell for a basket and an 11-2 Winslow lead.

“We share the ball really well as a team,” Morneault said.

Erskine went on a run early in the third quarter to cut Winslow’s lead to 32-25 on a long Noah Bonsant jumper, but the Black Raiders reasserted themselves after a timeout, and pushed the lead back to 13, 43-30, by the end of the quarter.

“They made shots, we didn’t. That’s the game. They’ve got a nice point guard (Keanu Earle), they do pass the ball well,” Erskine coach Tim Bonsant said.

While Noah Bonsant led Erskine with 15 points, the Black Raiders made things tough on the big man all night, often double- and triple-teaming Bonsant when he got the ball in the low post. In the first half, the Black Raiders played behind Bonsant to try to keep him out of the post. In the second half, they worked to get in front of him.

“The second half, I thought we did a better job getting in front, making them make some questionable entry passes we can get deflections on, and try to get runouts on. I thought we did a good job closing out on their shooters, and I thought we boxed out,” Browne said.

Earle scored 11 points for Winslow, while Spencer Miranda and Campbell each scored eight.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM