Maranacook High is a team full of energy. So, when the Black Bears trailed by 14 points in the third quarter, no one panicked.

“Those guys don’t know how to quit,” Maranacook Coach Rob Schmidt said.

They didn’t, and Cape Elizabeth found itself in a battle. The Capers held on to beat Maranacook 64-61 in a Class B South boys’ basketball semifinal Thursday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Third-seeded Cape (13-7) advanced to the regional title game at 2:45 p.m. Saturday against No. 8 Wells.

Maranacook’s 11-game winning streak ended.

Senior forward Tanner Carpenter led the Capers with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Senior center Andrew Hartel added 12 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore point guard Nathan Mullen scored 11 while directing Cape against the Black Bears’ constant pressure.

Senior guard Duncan Rogers led Maranacook (17-3) with 16. Senior guard Aric Belanger scored 10.

The Black Bears had two chances to tie it. Down 62-59, Maranacook missed two 3-pointers, and settled for Mitch Root’s drive, closing to 62-61 with 43 seconds left.

The Capers worked the ball around and then guard Quinton Morse drove from the baseline for a layup and 64-61 lead with 19 seconds left.

After the Black Bears called a timeout, they worked Rogers open for a 3-point try. It bounced off the rim. Root rebounded, dribbled out to the arc, but his hurried shot also missed at the buzzer.

“Those kids from Maranacook are good,” Cape Coach Jim Ray said. “Give them credit.”

Maranacook forced Cape into 15 turnovers and played a tight defense inside on the 6-9 Hartel.

But the Capers moved the ball well and shot 63 percent (to Maranacook’s 42 percent). Hartel got into foul trouble in the second quarter but the 6-4 Carpenter was unstoppable with 15 first-half points.

“He certainly stepped up,” Ray said.

Cape led 25-15 after the first quarter, 32-22 at half, and 44-30 with five minutes left in the third quarter. Carpenter already had his four 3’s, and Mullen added three 3’s.

“Cape shot the ball very well,” Schmidt said. “They have a dangerous combination of a real good big man and some really solid guards.

“I thought we did a nice job on Hartel and a good job on the guards, but they hit some big shots – a couple of them with us right in their face.”

As for his team’s offense, Schmidt said, “We can shoot better. You got to shoot well when it matters, and we were not able to do that as well as we’d like.”

Halfway through the third quarter, with Cape up 46-33, Maranacook began making most of its shots. Cape, meanwhile, was missing, or losing the ball.

The Black Bears went on a 10-0 run and trailed 46-43 with 1:15 left in the quarter.

“They were jumping all over the place,” said Mullen of Maranacook’s defense.

“We always have a couple of those moments in the game when we lose our footing. Then coach calls a timeout and reminds us what to do.”

That is what Ray did. On the Capers’ last possession of the quarter, Hartel passed inside to 6-2 senior forward Amaniel Hagos for a layup and 48-43 lead.

That Hartel-to-Hagos combination worked again in the fourth. Hartel finished with four assists.

“They put a lot of bodies on me, but that opened up others for shots,” Hartel said.

The Capers built their lead back to 10, 55-45 in the fourth quarter, but the Black Bears’ next five possessions featured one missed shot and four 3-pointers.

Cape still led by five, but then Root made a steal at midcourt and drove in for the fast break, closing Maranacook to 62-59 with 1:26 left.

The Capers were called for traveling and Root’s drive put the Black Bears within one.

But Cape never surrendered the lead.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH


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