PORTLAND — It is difficult, if not impossible, for a basketball team to overcome a scoreless quarter.

On Tuesday at the Portland Expo, seventh-seeded Maranacook failed to score in the second quarter and trailed No. 3 Wells 21-14 at the half.

After a strong third quarter, the Warriors did it to the Black Bears again in the fourth, holding Maranacook scoreless while putting up 15 points for a 46-31 victory in a Class B South girls semifinal.

Maranacook finished 11-9, while Wells advanced to the regional final Friday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The Warriors will face No. 5 Yarmouth, which upset top-seeded Freeport, 50-40, in Tuesday’s other semifinal.

It was a tale of two games for the Black Bears, and all wrapped up into one. Wells darted out to an 11-4 first-quarter lead as Franny Ramsdell scored six points and sister Grace Ramsdell added five.

Maranacook rallied, scoring the final 10 points of the frame, including a buzzer-beating half-court swish from Grace Dwyer for a 14-11 Black Bear lead after one. 

“We knew we had to shut down their key players and get in the red zone, drive and get the rebounds,” said Green, who led Maranacook with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

In the second quarter, Wells tightened up defensivel. Maranacook missed all eight of its shots and turned the ball over six times.

Meanwhile, the Warriors shared the scoring. Mallory Aromando had five points, while Grace Boucher stepped back and swished a 3-pointer as Wells carried the seven-point lead into the break.

It took Maranacook nearly three minutes to score in the third quarter, but the Black Bears only allowed a layup to Grace Ramsdell before finding their offense. Green drove inside and scored while being fouled with 5:37 left in the frame. She made the free throw for a three-point play, and moments later Kate Mohlar launched a trey to make for a three-point game, 23-20.

“We talk about coming out of the halftime in those first four minutes of the third quarter, and we did a great job winning that quarter,” said Maranacook second-year coach Karen Magnusson, who watched her team score 17 points in the quarter to tie the game at 31. “We held them to low digits and we tied it up. Our biggest focus is always our defense, and I thought we were very good defensively tonight.”

“Maranacook made open shots in the third quarter,” Wells coach Don Abbott added.

Maranacook’s Grace Dwyer (32) dribbles while being guarded by Wells’ Logan Bedell (11) during Tuesday’s girls Class B South semifinal Tuesday at the Portland Expo. Times Record photo by Bob Conn

Unfortunately for the Black Bears, the momentum from the third quarter failed to carry over into the fourth. The Black Bears missed all nine of their shots, with six turnovers again hurting in the offensive end.

“It is signs of a younger team. This team hasn’t experienced all of that success,” Magnusson said.

“I think we were like, ‘Wow, we are going to make the regional game,’ because it has been so long since Maranacook made it that far,” said Green. “Nerves took our momentum. We came back in the third quarter, and against Wells we didn’t expect to be tied going to the fourth quarter.”

Despite the loss, this season was another step in the right direction for the Bears.

“You look at this team three years ago and we didn’t make the tournament. Last year, we got one game in the tournament against Gray-New Gloucester and lost by over 40. Then this year make it, we win our first round and face Wells, the team to beat on this side, and I thought we did some great things defensively,” Magnusson said. “The kids were composed and played with confident. I’m extremely proud of how we held our own, tied after three quarters. That was an impressive feat for this team.”

Dwyer and Natalie Whitten each had six points for the Black Bears, with Anna Drillen dishing out four assists.

Franny Ramsdell led all scorers with 20 points and added five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Grace Ramsdell chipped in 12 points and eight boards, while Aromando and Grace Boucher split 14 points down the middle.

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