WINSLOW — A fast start, a strong finish and solid defense throughout mean the Winslow High School boys basketball team is moving on to the Cross Insurance Center.

The Black Raiders never trailed Orono in Wednesday’s Class B North preliminary round game. While the Red Riots kept it close for a period, Winslow pulled away in the fourth quarter, taking a 62-52 win. No. 7 Winslow, now 12-7, will face No. 2 Ellsworth (15-3) in the regional quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m., Friday. No. 10 Orono ends the season at 7-12.

Winslow’s Colby Pomeroy (3) goes up to the hoop as he is defended by Orono’s Jordan Cota (34) and Ellis Spaulding during a Class B North preliminary game Wednesday in Winslow. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“We were ready to play. We came out firing,” Winslow captain Colby Pomeroy said.

The Black Raiders scored the game’s first eight points, setting the tone by attacking the basket. Defensively, Winslow knew it had to slow down Zack Dill and Jason Desisto. The high-scoring duo combined for 36 of Orono’s 52 points, but Winslow coach Ken Lindlof was pleased with his team’s defensive effort.

We knew that (Dill) and (Desisto) were great players, and both put on a show tonight. They’re very capable scorers,” Lindlof said. “We focused on making them earn their points, and they hit a variety of shots, despite good defense. I thought for the most part they didn’t get too many easy ones, and that’s all you can ask.”

The 3-pointer was what kept the Red Riots close. Orono made 11 threes, and a William Crane three with 5:26 to play in the third quarter cut Winslow’s lead to 27-25. The Black Raiders closed the quarter with a 17-7 run to take a 44-32 lead into the fourth.

“We had good balance, I thought. Our communication was excellent. I thought we were on the same page offensively. We had a good rhythm in the third quarter,” Lindlof said.

Freshman Jason Reynolds scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the third quarter for Winslow, hitting a pair of 3-pointers. Fellow freshman Andrew Poulin added nine points for Winslow, and Pomeroy marveled at the contributions from the youngest Black Raiders.

“Jason, wow, stepped up big time. He had a huge game,” said Pomeroy, who scored eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help Winslow seal the win. “Andrew goes to the rim fearless. Jason, (he’s) knocking down shots left and right. They both play good defense, too.”

Winslow led by as much as 15 points in the fourth, and Orono knocked down six threes in the final quarter to keep the game from getting out of hand. Desisto led Orono with 19 points, and Dill added 17.

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