READFIELD — Quiet for three quarters, Amanda Goucher came through when her team needed her most.

Goucher scored 10 of her 12 points in the fourth quarter, allowing the Maranacook girls basketball team to hold off a furious Maine Central Institute rally for a 55-47 victory in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B matchup in Readfield.

“We talked about it in the locker room, that for us was a great win for everything that we went through,” said coach Karen Magnusson, whose team improved to 4-2. “Playing with that confidence and getting up by that lead, and then taking a hit and being able to be mentally tough enough to still battle … we did so many parts that we need to get great at to win big games. And we got that experience tonight.”

That either team would need to show off its big-moment moxie seemed unlikely when Grace Despres (17 points) had a putback to put Maranacook ahead 37-21 midway through the third quarter. The Huskies (3-4), however, stormed back, going on a 13-0 run to end the quarter and then getting a jumper from Leah Buzzell to trim the once formidable lead to one at 37-36.

Maranacook’s Anna Drillen dribbles the ball during a game Wednesday in the Burbank Memorial Gym in Readfield.

Maranacook needed someone to step up and stem the tide. Goucher was ready. The junior scored Maranacook’s next eight points, hitting two free throws, knocking down a jumper, fighting for a putback and then hitting two more free throws to make it 45-41 with 4:04 to play.

Gabby Green (10 points) then hit a jumper, and Goucher had another putback to make it 49-41 with just over two minutes to go.

“Coach always tells us you have to work hard, no matter what you’re feeling. You have to push through it,” Goucher said. “We’re doing it together, and what helped me the most was just everyone else’s energy.”

Magnusson praised Goucher’s efforts, but commended the whole team for maintaining its poise — and, therefore, the lead.

Maranacook’s Gabby Green, left, has her shot blocked by MCI’s Christa Carr during a game Wednesday in the Burbank Memorial Gym in Readfield.

“She made her free throws, she made big plays,” Magnusson said. “But it wasn’t just her. I think a lot of people (contributed). Being composed to control the basketball, going back to an offense that we struggled with a little bit. … I just thought that we stayed in it mentally, and for me, that’s a huge, huge game for us.”

MCI got 3-pointers from Sydney Farrar (17 points) and Sara Linkletter (15) to narrow the gap to 53-47 and keep hope alive late, but Maranacook got a final basket from Green to end the threat

Maranacook also got 12 points from Anna Drillen, while Leah Buzzell had nine for MCI, which was hampered the rest of the game by a turnover-prone first quarter that pinned it early.

“It’s kind of been our season so far,” coach Jordan Larlee said. “We’ve started off extraordinarily slow in a lot of our games, but generally in the second quarter, we cut the deficit.

“These are the games we found a way to win last year, and we’re not able to get over that peak yet. We’re extraordinarily close, and I can see a lot of wins from us throughout the second part of the season.”

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