PITTSFIELD — Christa Carr doesn’t have to be the show. She simply is the show.

The 6-foot junior center anchored the center of Maine Central Institute girls basketball team’s defense all night long, challenging a young Maranacook team’s inside game. The Black Bears didn’t find a solution, and the Huskies rolled to a 50-23 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B win Tuesday night at Wright Gym.

“I personally like defense more than offense,” Carr said. “That’s just how I’ve always been. With me in the middle, rebounding-wise, people have to pay attention.”

Carr finished with only four points. But she collected seven defensive rebounds and challenged shooters inside the paint until she and the rest of the Huskies starters headed for the bench at the beginning of the final quarter.

Carr was so effective that Maranacook’s frontcourt of Amanda Goucher, Kaylee Jones and Gabrielle Green were held to just four points while battling foul trouble. The Black Bears (1-5) managed just two points in the final 12 minutes of the first half — on Anna Drillen’s long jumper at the halftime buzzer.

MCI spent the entirety of the evening in a 2-3 zone that allowed Carr to dominate the middle of the floor and the Husky guards to pressure the ball on the perimeter.

“Defense has always been my favorite,” Carr said. “Maybe someday I’ll start playing more offense, but I try to keep my role as it’s supposed to be. There’s four other people out there capable of scoring a ton for us. I don’t have to be pressured to do anything.”

“We play really well in our zone,” MCI coach Jordan Larlee said. “It’s really the basis of what we run. Christa in the middle kind of fills everything in the paint, and there’s not going to be a lot that gets by her. That allows the guards to go attack up top, and it puts them in the right spots getting up and down the court.

“It makes it a lot easier for us to do what we want to do.”

For the Black Bears, it was a frustrating night against a defense they’ve gotten glimpses of in the past.

“We’ve seen (the 2-3) one other time, but we’re still learning to get into the seams, into the gaps and attack those seams,” Maranacook coach Jeannine Paradis said. “We’re still trying to work inside and give those post players a chance to bang around inside.”

MCI got off to a sluggish start, missing 10 of its first 13 shots. But the Huskies’ defense was good enough to force Maranacook into 11 first-quarter turnovers, giving MCI plenty of time to find its shooting touch.

Find it they did, sprinting off on an 18-0 run midway which extended deep into the second period, including a number of easy buckets in transition out of their defensive set.

Senior guard April McAlpine led the way for MCI with 12 points on the night, while Sara Linkletter added 10 points and point guard Sydney Morton chipped in with eight points.

“We worked really well as a team,” McAlpine said. “Within the last five minutes (of the half) we kick it in and put a lot of points on the board. When we slow it down, take a breath and get someone to the basket, it amps everybody up.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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