PORTLAND — After losing to Yarmouth High in last year’s boys’ basketball tournament, Maranacook spent a year waiting for another opportunity.

Saturday afternoon at the Portland Expo, the senior-laden Black Bears smothered the Clippers with their defense en route to a 55-41 victory in the Class B South quarterfinals.

No. 2 Maranacook (17-2) forced 22 turnovers and will meet No. 3 Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena.

Falmouth’s Aidan Hickey collides with Maranacook sophomore Cashman McClure under the basket during a Class B South quarterfinal game Saturday at the Portland Expo. Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna

Duncan Rogers and reserve Skyler Boucher each scored 16 points to lead Maranacook.

“(Yarmouth) couldn’t get comfortable and that was our goal,” said Black Bears coach Rob Schmidt. “Our defense is pretty good. You can’t let a team like that get hot.”

There wasn’t much offense early, as No. 7 Yarmouth (8-11) committed seven first quarter turnovers and Maranacook went over three minutes in one stretch without a hoop. But thanks to four points and five rebounds from Rogers and a late jumper from Tim Worster, the Black Bears held an 8-6 advantage after eight minutes.

Maranacook came to life in the second period, riding the hot hand of Mitch Root (six points in the quarter, 12 for the game), and went up by as many as 13 before taking a 25-14 halftime lead.

The Clippers started getting the ball inside to Jake Rogers in the third quarter and chipped away at their deficit. A Rogers layup made it 30-24, but despite several good looks, Yarmouth couldn’t get closer. The Black Bears went ahead, 35-27, on a finger roll from Rogers before a Jonny Torres floater cut the deficit back to six heading for the fourth period.

Maranacook’s Duncan Rogers drives past Yarmouth’s Aidan Hickey during a Class B South quarterfinal game Saturday at the Portland Expo. Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna

The Clippers got as close as four, 41-37, on Ashanti Haywood’s jumper with 5:02 left, but Boucher buried a 3, then made two free throws before Rogers hit a pair to end all doubt.

Yarmouth never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.

“It feels great to win and to beat (Yarmouth) after last year feels good, too,” Rogers said. “Our experience helped. We’re such a cohesive team. We have each other’s backs. It was sloppy, but we won on the defensive end.”

The Clippers got 11 points from Torres and 10 apiece from Haywood and Rogers.

“Our defense kept us in it, but unfortunately, this was a night when nothing went in for us,” said Yarmouth’s first-year coach Jonas Allen.

“All I can say is that I’m proud of the guys. It was a tough transition year with a really different system. They played hard and stayed with me all season and we’ll have a bond that lasts forever.”


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