MARANACOOK — There were a lot of the same kinds of words being mentioned after the Maranacook and Winslow girls basketball teams faced off Tuesday night. “Chippy” was one of them. “Rough” was another. So was “retaliation.”

It was Winslow, however, that came away from the rough-and-tumble affair with the win, as Grace Smith’s double-double helped the Black Raiders survive a late Maranacook rally and defeat the Black Bears 43-30.

Given the way that the game finished, with Winslow holding firm after seeing its double-digit lead cut to four late in the third, the Raiders weren’t losing sight of the meaning of the victory.

“We worked really hard for it,”  said Smith, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. “It was a really good win because we put a lot of effort into it, and I’m really proud of the ladies on the team.”

But it wasn’t a pretty game to watch, first as turnovers and missed shots filled a first half that ended with Winslow ahead 17-9, and then in the second half as both teams jostled hard — perhaps too hard — for loose balls and while boxing out down low.

Both Winslow coach Brenda Beckwith and Maranacook coach Karen Magnusson took issue with the officials over the physicality at points in the game, with Beckwith afterward saying the rough play marred the game.


“You’re always happy you get the win, and sometimes you win ugly,” she said. “But I just don’t see how this was a great high school girls basketball game. It got out of control, the chippiness, and it’s just not necessary. Whoever’s fault that is, it needs to not happen. And I will certainly address it with my girls, because, I mean, we have fists being thrown and people pushing other kids. It’s not necessary.”

As the game got closer and tougher, Magnusson said it took on a tournament feel.

“Both teams coming in, I think they would think that’s the type of game we’re going to have. A physical game, hard-fought,” Magnusson said. “As the game went on throughout the quarters, it felt like a playoff atmosphere. That’s what you want. Two teams that are competing really, really hard.”

Winslow’s lead grew to 25-12 with 3:59 left in the third when Maranacook began to fight back. Kate Mohlar (13 points, including 11 in the third) hit a 3-pointer and then a runner to cut the gap to eight, and hit another three after an Allie LaBelle free throw to make it 25-21 with 1:53 left in the quarter.

“She’s the type of player, when she decides to turn it on, she can,” Magnusson said of Mohlar. “That’s what she did. I thought she had a great focus. We talked about some things in the timeout, and she came out and she attacked hard.”

Beckwith called a timeout, and the Raiders began to show their poise. Silver Clukey (11 points) hit a three and Smith had a three-point play early in the fourth, and Smith had another basket to make it 37-27 with 2:54 to play.


Another Clukey three made it 40-30 with 1:25 left and ended Maranacook’s hopes.

“Every time the lead shrinks, it’s always ‘Play our game,’ ” Smith said. “We know how to play basketball. We’ve just got to play our game and we can’t drop down to any kind of level that’s not ours.”

Smith said games between the two teams are always hard-fought contests.

“I feel like whenever we come to Maranacook or Maranacook comes to us, it’s always a difficult game because we’re both super aggressive,” she said. “Sometimes it gets out of hand, sometimes it’s OK, but today was kind of a day where it got out of hand and it went kind of crazy.”

It’s a style of game, however, that suits Smith, who’s a hard-nosed player down low.

“I wear knee pads,” she said. “I’m always on the ground.”


Beckwith said her team’s ability to hang on to the lead was a byproduct of the difficult competition it has faced.

“We’re far enough in the season where they’ve played the Watervilles, they’ve played the Hermons … and played them really tough,” she said. “I’m happy we won, I’m happy we stuck in there when (Maranacook) went on its run, but what did we gain from that? I learned something about my team, they’re pretty feisty. And that’s great, but there’s no room for (that).”

Magnusson, meanwhile, looked at the positives of the defense her team played and the toughness she saw.

“I’m proud of my program,” said Magnusson, whose team also got nine points from Anna Drillen. “That, we wouldn’t have seen as much in the past. I think we battled hard, and we didn’t stop, we didn’t lay down. I thought we competed great.”

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