READFIELD — The Maranacook boys basketball team was a little faster, a little more balanced and a little more aggressive — and that was a big problem for St. Dominic in a Western C preliminary round game Wednesday night.
Taylor Wilbur scored a game-high 18 points before the benches emptied midway through the quarter as No. 5 Maranacook steamrolled No. 12 St. Dominic 72-51 before a lively crowd.
“We were able to get out and run,” Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt said. “We did what we had to do.”
Maranacook (14-5) advances to face No. 4 Winthrop (14-4) in a regional quarterfinal game Monday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Black Bears and the Ramblers, who didn’t meet in the regular season, will tip off at 7 p.m.
The Saints, who struggled to stay with the quick-footed Black Bears, finished 6-13.
“Maranacook is tough,” St. Dominic coach Todd Flaherty said. “We knew that going in. We played a lot of tough teams but we didn’t see too many teams like them.”
Madison Jalbert and Michael Bryant each scored 10 points to pace the Saints.
Kent Mohlar and Cam Brochu each scored nine for the Black Bears, who also received a lift from Richard Hall off the bench. Hall, a senior guard, scored eight points and also had five rebounds.
“We wanted to come out and run,” Wilbur said. “We just worked the ball around and I don’t think they could keep up.”
Brochu scored six of his nine points in the opening three minutes as Maranacook raced out to an 11-2 lead.
“We just came out focused and ready,” he said. “Our shots were falling.”
That lead would only grow and grow some more.
Hall sank a 3-pointer at the top of the key as time expired in the first quarter, giving Maranacook a 20-10 lead. Wilbur took over in the second quarter, scoring nine points. He hit a deep 3-pointer with just under two minutes left in the quarter and then sank a pair of free throws as the Black Bears were in control with a 40-19 lead.
The lead stretched to as much as 30 in the second half — 57-27 — before the benches emptied.
“We distributed the ball well,” Schmidt said. “We got up and down the floor and made some big baskets. It was a good team win.”
Brad Worster also had a big night for Maranacook. He finished with four points, seven rebounds, a steal and two blocked shots. Caleb Jackson also had seven points and three steals for Maranacook.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do,” Wilbur said. “When we run like that, there are a lot of teams that can struggle with it.”