AUGUSTA — Levi Emery had an important job in the Western Class C semifinals, but he didn’t let it get to him until the time was right.

“I took a nap before the game,” the 6-foot-4 junior said. “I got all pumped up. I knew what I had to do.”

What Emery had to do was protect the paint and help pick up the offensive slack when Cam Brochu got into early foul trouble. He did both with aplomb, finishing with a game-high 18 points, collecting seven rebounds, blocking five shots and altering several others as No. 8 Maranacook pulled of its second straight upset of the tournament with a 64-39 win over No. 4 Winthrop on Friday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Black Bears (10-11) return to their second regional final in as many years in Western C on Saturday night, when they face No. 2 Dirigo. That game will tip off at approximately 8:45, after the two schools battle in the girls final.

Winthrop concludes its season at 16-4.

Kent Mohlar added 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals and Kyle Wilbur scored 13 off the bench for Maranacook. Dakota Carter led Winthrop with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Emery led a Maranacook defense that held Winthrop to eight points on 3-for-26 shooting in the first half.

“We were working our butts off, and when you try as hard as you can, that’s usually what happens,” Emery said.

“I was really happy with our defense,” Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt said. “We worked very hard. We communicated. We rotated very well… I thought our defense was clearly the difference, in that first half especially.”

Brochu got the Black Bears off to a good start, scoring the game’s first five points. He had to go to the bench with his second foul 1:28 into the game, but his team didn’t let up.

Mohlar scored on a putback and a 3-pointer to make it 10-1, while the Ramblers misfired on their first nine shots from the floor.

Jacob Hickey finally made their first field goal with 1:57 left in the quarter. Anthony Owens ended the period with a three-point play to pull Winthrop within 14-6, but the cold spell continued into the second quarter, when they missed their first seven shots.

“We just weren’t efficient from the paint,” Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur said. “One of the things we talked about was we wanted to put the ball in the paint. We didn’t really establish that early. We didn’t really do a good job and that’s my fault.”

He can also blame Emery, whose long arms were usually forcing Winthrop’s big men to alter their shots.

“There’s a point as a coach that you don’t want guys to try to block shots, and we’ve talked about going straight up and not risking getting fouls, but he seems to have knack for timing,” Schmidt said. “Tonight, against a very good team, his timing was outstanding.”

Maranacook wasn’t able to capitalize for most of the quarter, as it turned the ball over five times in the first 3:30. Owens hit a hook shot in the lane to make it 17-8, but those were Winthrop’s only points in the period (1-for-14 field goals). Wilbur connected on a 3-pointer, then Jason Brooks set up Ty Smith inside to give the Black Bears a 26-8 lead at halftime.

Maranacook dominated the boards in the first half, 21-9, including 6-3 on the offensive glass.

Winthrop came out fired up and firing for the second half, making its first four shots, sparked by a Matt Sekerak 3-pointer. A Carter hoop and Ben Allen free throw pulled the Ramblers within 10, 28-18.

“We made a statement early this year, we’re going to go down being who we are,” MacArthur said. “We made our run in the third and just didn’t stop them or get any stops.”

“Even with a 20-point lead, I knew it could be a matter of seconds (for Winthrop to get back in the game),” Emery said. “I always feel a little scared when the team gets a little cocky and you know it could go either way.”

Maranacook stemmed the tide with a Mohlar runner, Emery jumper and Mohlar steal and layup to extend the margin back to 16. Winthrop briefly cut that back down to 12, but Hayden Elwell and Brooks made it a 16-point game again at the end of the third and the Black Bears never looked back.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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Twitter: @RAWmaterial33