PORTLAND — Normally, when a No. 1 seed takes on a No. 8 in a boys’ basketball quarterfinal tournament game, it isn’t a game for long.

That was not the case Friday evening at the Portland Exposition Building.

That’s because the Freeport Falcons were no typical eight seed and the top-ranked Maranacook Black Bears needed every one of the game’s 1,920 seconds to survive and advance in a thrilling Class B South quarterfinal round contest that won’t soon be forgotten.

Not in Freeport and not in Readfield.

Freeport had a chance to tie or win it, but a desperation pass to Gabe Wagner resulted in a collision and a turnover and the Black Bears ran out the clock and prevailed, 59-57.

The Falcons, despite having three starters pick up two fouls apiece in the first quarter, came right out and proved they belonged by taking a 16-13 lead.

When Freeport sank three consecutive 3-pointers in the second period, it held a surprising 25-17 advantage, but the Black Bears battled back and drew within a point, 27-26, on a late 3-pointer from senior captain Skyler Boucher.

The Falcons went up by six, 33-27, on a putback from sophomore Colby Arsenault, but Maranacook, playing its up-tempo style, scored 12 consecutive points to go on top and after three quarters, the Black Bears held a 43-40 lead.

Freeport refused to wilt after going down by five in the fourth period, taking a momentary 49-48 lead when Wagner set up senior classmate Tre Morris for a layup with 4:59 to go.

Maranacook retook the lead, but with 2:50 remaining, Wagner’s 3-pointer put the Falcons on top one more time, 54-53.

Again, the Black Bears answered, as junior Joey Dupont sank two free throws, then added two more.

Wagner had one final heroic moment left, draining a game-tying 3 with 20 seconds to play, but instead of milking the clock for a final shot, Maranacook raced into the paint and Dupont scored on a layup with six seconds to go.

Wagner had 21 points, but it wasn’t enough, as the Black Bears improved to 17-2, advanced to meet No. 5 Lake Region (9-10) in the semifinals Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., at the Expo and brought the Falcons’ season to a close at 10-9.

“There’s not a lot of time to reflect, but we talked how great an experience it was,” said Freeport coach Bill Ridge. “We went out and executed how we wanted, but we just fell short.

“It was a really good game,” Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson said. “We knew Freeport was a really good team. We did not get a favor with our first round matchup. They’re athletic and shoot the ball well. We had to make smart decisions at the end to win it. We didn’t play our best by any means, but we survived it. We just kind of hung on. I’m really proud of the guys. I’m excited to move on.”

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