AUGUSTA — The Cony girls basketball team started Tuesday night’s matchup with Maranacook red hot, with a 14-0 first quarter run.

And, in the end, that start helped to hold off a dramatic comeback.

The Rams were able to hold on for a 47-40 win over the Black Bears, in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A/B crossover game. Cony (5-2) was led by freshman Abby Morrill, who scored 15 points, while Sage Fortin scored 12 points and Alyssa Redman added 11.

“It was intense,” Redman said. “It was a good team win, we came together in the end. It was a little messy near the end, but it was good.”

“That’s usually how we play, we start off fast,” Cony head coach Adam Rich said. “We start hitting shots and everything is going well. Then, we just kind of hit lulls in the second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter. But, just give the girls credit, they gritted it out. It was a good, hard victory when things don’t go your way.”

Grace Dwyer led Maranacook (3-3) with 17 points, while Natalie Mohlar added nine.

Cony started the game with a 14-0 run, and outscored Maranacook by a 21-6 margin in the first quarter.

“We came out strong,” Redman said. “That’s really the most important thing. We’ve been a second-half team (so far), so (the pregame message was) ‘Let’s go in (early) and get our lead.’”

Cony’s Alyssa Redman, front, splits Maranacook defenders Natalie Mohlar, left, and Ella Schmidt on her way to the basket during a game Tuesday in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

The Black Bears starting chipping away at the lead in the second quarter, and outscored the Rams in each of the remaining three periods. At halftime, Cony had a 32-18 lead.

Down 41-28 entering the fourth quarter, the Black Bears started a frantic comeback, led by Dwyer, who scored seven points in the period. Aided by a gritty defense that forced seven Ram turnovers in the quarter, a Dwyer 3-pointer pulled the Black Bears to within three, trailing Cony 43-40 with 1:48 remaining.

“They fought hard,” Maranacook head coach Karen Magnusson said. “How can you not be proud of that effort? And I thought the energy of the gym, for three quarters, was produced a lot by our bench, so I’m proud not just of the kids who played, but our whole program. I thought everybody showed up.”

Fortin managed to nail a clutch 3-pointer for the Rams with less than a minute to play, ultimately sealing the game for the Rams.

“Our additions, Indiya (Clarke) and Sage, they’ve just made the team so much better,” Redman said.

Rebounds also played a key role for Cony, with four players — Redman, Morrill, Sierra Prebit and Clarke — grabbing five or more boards. Clarke led the group with 11 rebounds and had multiple blocks in the paint for the Rams.

“(Clarke is) usually around 10-12 rebounds a game for us,” Rich said. “We’ve started working more heavily on boxing out in practice. It kind of showed tonight. And they needed to, because we weren’t scoring. It’s good that these girls are clicking (defensively) and making contact and going to get the ball.”

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