READFIELD — It was looking like the exact same story, following the exact same script.

Cash McClure made sure there was a different ending this time.

McClure scored 26 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, Joey Dupont added 16 points and 12 rebounds and the Maranacook boys basketball team held off Cony 69-65 in front of a standing-room only crowd at Burbank Memorial Gym on Saturday night.

After the final buzzer, Maranacook players rejoiced loudly as they headed to the locker room. Saturday was a big night, and the Black Bears (8-2) didn’t try to pretend it wasn’t.

“We’re extremely tough,” McClure said. “I knew that before, but I think we proved it to everybody.”

Everybody included a packed crowd that stuffed Maranacook’s cozy gym, many of whom watched back in December as the Black Bears held an 11-point lead on Cony with under five minutes to go, only to end up falling 92-89.

And on Saturday, there was tension as the Black Bears were going down the same path. Maranacook led 57-47 when Cony (8-3), led by 24 points from Dakota Dearborn, began to storm back again. A Dearborn free throw and basket cut the lead to seven, a Riley Geyer basket trimmed it to five, and Dearborn hit back-to-back threes to suddenly put Cony ahead 58-57 with 2:30 left.

The fans may have been nervous. The Black Bears weren’t.

“I was confident the whole way,” Dupont said. “I knew if we just played as a team and played our roles, we would make it happen this time.”

“We stayed confident,” McClure said. “We know we’re tough, we just have to play our game.”

After a Skyler Boucher free throw tied it, McClure delivered, hitting a 3-pointer — his fourth of the second half, and third of the quarter — to put Maranacook ahead 61-58 with 1:40 to go. The Black Bears didn’t let it get away this time, as baskets by Dupont, after the Cony defense zeroed in on McClure, made it a six-point game at 65-59 with less than a minute to go.

McClure celebrated his last three the way he did his first two of the quarter, screaming in joy as the fans roared their approval.

“Of course,” the junior said when asked if he fed off the crowd. “That was the most fun game I’ve ever played in, especially in our home gym. Every seat was full. We had to fill behind our (seats), we had to add extra seats, they were turning people away at the door. I’ve never been in a game with that much energy.”

Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson, who had praised McClure’s leadership days before, said Saturday night provided another example.

“He had some great passes when we needed it, he played well defensively,” he said. “That was really, really big for us.”

Cony coach T.J. Maines, who also got 17 points from Kyle Douin and 12 points from Simon McCormick, said Maranacook executed better down the stretch and more consistently in the second half, which began with Cony ahead 33-26.

“We didn’t do a good enough job finding Cash,” he said. “We just had a horrendous third quarter. That can’t happen. That’s becoming a little bit of a bugaboo for us, not coming out of the half ready to go.

“But they’re a really good team. They made plays when they needed to. We made quite a few, we just didn’t make enough.”

Early on, neither team was making shots, which marked a stark contrast to the December game during which the teams splashed jumper after jumper. The Rams and Black Bears were more prepared on the defensive end; Cony closed out on the shooters, holding Tim Worster and Casey Cormier to 10 and three points, respectively, after they had 26 and 20 the first game. Maranacook took away the cuts to the basket from McCormick, who had 33 in the first game, and paid closer attention to Luke Briggs, who had three points after scoring 18 earlier.

More missed shots put an emphasis on rebounding, and Dupont was a force all game snagging boards, putting back shots and giving the Black Bears an edge in toughness down low.

“I came in thinking every rebound was going to be mine,” he said. “I was going to work inside all game, make sure to get all the garbage points.”

It all added up to a better narrative for the Black Bears.

“We were really happy to come away with the win,” Magnusson said. “We wanted this one bad.”

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