SKOWHEGAN — For the Maranacook girls basketball team, a lot of little things added up to a big victory Thursday.

A loose ball here, a rebound there. An Anna Drillen 3-pointer. And when added up, it helped to the No. 5 Black Bears upset No. 4 Skowhegan 51-45 in a central Maine tournament Class A/B quarterfinal.

“(The win) means so much,” Maranacook senior Gabby Green said. “I can’t imagine having our last regular season game be our last game… Being able to play here, it’s not our class, it’s not normal, we’re not at the (Portland) Expo. But it’s been amazing. Better than amazing.”

Up 33-31 entering the fourth quarter, Maranacook took a true team approach, particularly on offense, as seven different scorers helped seal the game.

“That’s have been the focus all year long of first making the right play,” Maranacook coach Karen Magnusson said. “If you looked at me tonight and said, ‘Who’s our go-to (player)?’ I don’t know if anyone could say exactly who it was. We had multiple people who made huge plays and did all these little things. That’s always been a focus for this group, and I thought they executed things great.”

With six seniors on the roster, the Black Bears never looked rattled in the closing moments, either.


“Seniors feel the urgency, seniors feel like ‘This is it, let’s go put it all out on the line,’” Magnusson said.

Skowhegan’s Callaway LePage (31) looks to pass as she is defended by Maranacook’s Grace Dwyer (32) right and Gabby Green (23) left and Anna Drillen (20) back left center, in Skowhegan on Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Staff Photo by Michael G. Seamans/Staff Photographer) Michael G. Seamans

Maranacook’s zone defense helped lock out the post for the RiverHawks, who struggled with their outside shooting throughout the night. Jaycie Christopher led the way for Skowhegan, tallying 21 points. Callaway LePage added 13 points for Skowhegan.

“We have Ella Schmidt, Grace Dwyer, Natalie Whitten and Anna Drillen that can all be those defensive people that can take control of those good players and shut them down,” Green said. “Usually, we have one or two, but we had so many people who stepped up tonight to take that away and make it look easy so I could get some rebounds and transitions up the court. It was great.”

Green led all Black Bear scorers with 14 points, and was a force on the boards. Drillen had 10 points, while Schmidt added nine points for Maranacook.

And while not a perfect tournament situation, it’s a situation, and a win, the Black Bears will happily take.

“It’s just a different year,” Magnusson said. “We’re going in last year in the (Class) B tournament, we’re thinking, ‘Next year, we’re back here.’ Then all this happens, and we’re playing top (Class A teams). Let’s go. Let’s do what we can and we take as we can.”

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