READFIELD — There won’t be anyone scoring 25 points for the Maranacook girls basketball team. Sometimes, there won’t even be anyone scoring 15.

That’s not a problem. If anything, for the Black Bears, it’s been a key to success.

Maranacook improved to 3-1 Friday with a 48-35 victory over Erskine, avenging a loss to the Eagles in the first game of the season. Kayleigh Kubicki and Ella Schmidt led with eight points apiece. Anna Drillen, Natalie Whitten and Kate Mohlar each added seven.

That’s nothing new at Maranacook, where each game, someone new can have the spotlight.

“We’re deeper this year, we sub more, we move the ball better,” coach Karen Magnusson said. “I don’t know the box score, but I would assume it’s pretty even scoring. And there are times that I think our best players will step up and have those bigger games, but for the most part, you don’t know who’s going to score on a given night.”

That’s been on display this season. In a win against Mt. Blue, Schmidt led with 13 points and Grace Dwyer had 11. In a win against Maranacook, Green had 21 while Dwyer and Mohlar had 10.


“I think it makes us incredibly hard to scout,” Drillen said. “You never know who’s going to have an awesome game. … I think that roots from how hard we work in practice. We’re always scrimmaging each other, and it gets super competitive. I think that’s what makes us so versatile.”

For the Black Bears, the spotlight shifts not just game to game, but quarter to quarter. On Friday, it was Whitten and Schmidt making the plays in the second quarter to help Maranacook turn a 5-4 lead into a 24-11 halftime advantage. In the third, Mohlar and Drillen got in on the action. And in the fourth, with Erskine (4-3) hanging around and waiting for the Black Bears to slip up in the endgame, Kubicki had six points and Dwyer had two late baskets to preserve the victory.

“We played such as a team today,” Kubicki said. “We weren’t selfish or anything. We were always looking for the right pass. We’re looking to make each other better.”

And that’s the point. With no one looking to dominate the scoresheet, the team isn’t force-feeding any one player, but rather is letting whoever is in the best position or has the best look take over.

“The one thing that we’ve trying to focus on is moving the ball, and getting the ball to the next person that’s going to make the next play,” Magnusson said. “I think that’s the difference.”

With anyone a candidate to play a starring role each night, players are more invested when they take the court. Any trip down, it could be their turn to take the shot.


Maranacook’s Maddy Ballard, left, and Anna Drillen, right ,double up on Erskine’s Grace Hutchins (33) during a game Friday in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

“Everyone scores,” Kubicki said. “We don’t go a game without almost everyone scoring.”

“They get what their jobs are, and they read those situations to know what they’re supposed to do in those moments,” Magnusson said. “And they’re making the right reads. That’s why you’re getting some kids that are scoring one night, and not the next night. They’re moving the ball, they’re making the right plays.”

Erskine struggled early to find the same rhythm, and found itself in the early first-half hole. The Eagles stabilized after halftime, however, with Maddy Lully (11 points), Emily Clark and Grace Hutchins (five points apiece) leading the way. A pair of free throws from Sam Reynolds with 4:48 to play made it 37-30 and put pressure back on the Black Bears, but a Kubicki basket started a 9-0 run that effectively ended it.

“We knew we were coming into a game that was going to have a lot of intensity, and we knew they had a lot of energy,” Lully said. “We all knew we needed to step up our game. … We do have some games where it takes us a second to warm up, but once we do, we get a good rhythm.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.