WINSLOW — Moments after his team’s victory at Winslow High School, Maine Central Institute boys basketball coach Josh Tardy admitted to a little scoreboard watching. The 61-52 win over the Black Raiders left Tardy’s Huskies 14-4 to end the regular season, but MCI still needed a Medomak Valley win over Oceanside to clinch a bye to the Class B North quarterfinals at Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center.

“We’re curious. I can’t lie,” Tardy said. “I just told my guys, it’s the fifth year in a row that MCI has made the postseason, and they’ve earned that. I told them I didn’t care who we played or where they’re playing, they should be proud that they’ve made it to this level.”

Maine Central Institute’s Daniel Garamvolgyi (10) battles for a rebound with Winslow’s Jacob Bisson, left, during a Class B North game Thursday night in Winslow.

As it turned out, Oceanside got the win and jumped over MCI for a bye. The Huskies preliminary round opponent could be a rematch with Winslow (8-10), which had the No. 11 seed in Class B North entering the game.

The Huskies took the lead for good midway through the third quarter, and pushed the lead to 10 points, 45-35, with a pair of Ryan Friend free throws with 6:14 to play in the game. While the Black Raiders were able to cut the deficit to four points twice, they could get no closer. MCI was a perfect 12 for 12 at the line in the fourth quarter and 15 for 17 on the game.

“It’s nice to see a little bit of a return on that investment. We spent a lot of time (practicing foul shots), and we haven’t always shot that well,” Tardy said.

Added Winslow coach Ken Lindlof: “You can’t play defense against free throws, and they did a good job of taking care of the ball at the end. They did what they had to do. We were in scramble mode. We had a little momentum going, but give them credit. They played like a veteran team going down the stretch.”

Offensively, the Black Raiders tried to attack and get to the rim. Jose Montes Valverde, MCI’s 6-foot-8 center, made that difficult. Valverde blocked four shots and grabbed 12 boards.

“That’s fine. That’s what he does. But you’ve got to challenge a shot blocker. You can’t give in to him. You’ve got to go right to him. He made some plays, but we did get to the line a good number of times,” Lindlof said.

A Kevin Ware bucket cut MCI’s lead to 47-43 with 4:42 left in the game. The key to holding off Winslow’s surge was maintaining composure, Tardy said.

“Composure. Rebounding. Not putting them on the line. Doing the little things and not getting caught up in the moment,” Tardy said. “Coming here, it’s a rival. It’s a great program. The kids know each other. They’ve played each other for many years. It’s a nice place to play, and it’s always nice to come out of here with a win.”

Daniel Garamvolgyi led the Huskies with 22 points. Gavin McArthur added 14 points and Joe Cloutier 10 for MCI.

Justin Laflamme scored a game-high 26 points to lead Winslow, including 12 in the fourth quarter.

 

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

 

 

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