WINSLOW — The first 3-pointer went in. And the second. Then the third splashed in.

All the while, Paige Trask kept her thoughts simple.

“Just keep shooting,” she said.

Good plan. Trask knocked down five 3-pointers in the quarter, the Winslow girls basketball team hit seven and the Black Raiders ran away with a close game, turning a four-point lead into a 29-point advantage by halftime en route to a 57-31 win over Maine Central Institute on Thursday.

MCI ends the regular season with a 13-5 record. Winslow, which was tied with Waterville for the seventh spot in Class B North entering the game, also finishes the season at 13-5 — and heads into the Class B tournament brimming with momentum and confidence.

“It’s a big, big win for us,” Trask said. “We were really happy. We were looking forward to this game.”

Trask finished with 17 points, while Haley Ward had 13 points and Maeghan Bernard added eight. Trask also led the team with six rebounds, while Madison Roy and Alexa Petrovic had five apiece.

April McAlpine and Claudia Fernandez scored seven points apiece to lead the Huskies. Christa Carr had seven rebounds, and Sydney Morton grabbed five.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Trask didn’t make it onto the scoreboard until the second quarter. She quickly made up for lost time.

She splashed a 3-pointer after teammate Silver Clukey’s trey, making it 20-10, then knocked down another from behind the arc to make it 23-10 and prompt an MCI timeout with 6:27 to go in the half.

The stoppage did little to slow the brewing barrage. Trask drained another 3-pointer, Clukey hit a second to make it 29-10, and Trask swished her fourth with 4:50 to go to bump the Winslow run to 18-1 and make the score 32-11.

Trask’s fifth provided an exclamation point to the sudden hot streak. She pulled up between the arc and half court and knocked down the deep shot, making it 41-14 and sending the Winslow bench into a frenzy.

“I just kept shooting. I hadn’t been hitting a couple, so I just had to shoot,” Trask said. “We just came into this game knowing they’re a good team and we had to shoot. The outside game was going to be open.”

Meanwhile, standing beside the other bench, MCI coach Jordan Larlee could only shake his head.

“When you’re hitting threes five feet beyond the arc, you can’t defend that,” he said. “They shoot the ball really well at home. I was expecting something like that. I didn’t expect them to make so many from so deep.”

CATCHING FIRE: Even before Trask hit a shot, Winslow coach Lindsey Withee could see the surge coming.

“I could just see Paige’s leg on the bench going up and down, so I knew she was itching to get out there,” she said.

Trask led the way, but she wasn’t the only Winslow player contributing to the onslaught. The Black Raiders scored 29 points, turning a 14-10 first-quarter lead into a 43-14 runaway at the half, and went 11-for-20 from the field in the period. The first six field goals of the quarter were 3-pointers.

“We see it in practice all the time, and then to put it to good use against a good team was really beneficial,” Withee said. “We take pride in not just coming up the court and firing away. … We talk about making three to four passes, getting into a rhythm, getting into our offense, letting the defense break down.”

Of course, Withee acknowledged, when a player can’t miss, the plan changes.

“When you have a hot hand like that, go for it,” she said. “You have the green light.”

GOING COLD: While Winslow heated up, MCI went into a freeze. The Huskies made only one shot from the field and scored four points in the second quarter, then made only one shot in the third quarter as well as the Black Raiders ended the frame with a 55-22 lead.

Winslow’s lead reached 35 at 55-20 and 57-22 before MCI made up some ground in the fourth.

“You have to really be on your ‘A’ game, and we weren’t. We weren’t making anything,” Larlee said. “We were just struggling with our offense the entire night.”

Larlee struck a more positive chord when talking about the future prospects for his tournament-bound team.

“It’s one of those things. I’m not even going to look at the tape or anything like that,” he said. “You’ve just got to clear your mind. This is the first time that we got whupped this year. … I wish it wasn’t the end of the season, but this is one of the toughest places to play in Central Maine. They shoot really well here.”

STAYING HOME: Withee said her team feels that dangerous when it steps on its home court.

Now, by beating the Huskies, the Black Raiders are assured of opening the Class B tournament in their friendly confines.

“(There’s) nothing like home-court advantage,” she said. “That’s huge. We shoot the ball well at home, and it’s just having that peace of the seniors having one more game at home and continuing to play well.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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