Friday’s Class B South boys’ basketball final will be a clash of styles.

No. 6 Wells (10-10) wants to pound it inside and play defense. That formula earned a fourth straight trip to the regional final, the last two after slogging through the Western Maine Conference regular season with an 8-10 record.

No. 1 Maranacook (18-2) wants to run, shoot 3-pointers and then crash the boards. And they do it better than other teams. Lake Region tried to keep pace and was routed 64-40 in Tuesday’s second semifinal at the Portland Expo.

“They’re more of a running team, we’re more of a slow-it-down, get our offense going and get good shots up,” said Wells’ 6-foot-5 junior forward Gavyn Leighton after watching Maranacook for a half. “Our defense. Defend. Defend. Defend. They have 37 at halftime and we can’t let that happen.”

The Warriors proved that there is still a place for a big man who can get to the basket in this era of 3-point shooting in their grind-it-out 49-36 win against defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth.

Leighton scored 16 points on eight 2-pointers, with several successful deposits on bank shots after dribble drives from the wing. Senior Nate Chandler, also 6-5, added 14 points, all from the paint or the foul line.


“We made a cognizant effort to go inside,” said Wells Coach Troy Brown. “That’s why our kid Aaron Price, who came off the bench, had four points. It didn’t matter who it was, we were going to pound it inside.”

“We’ve had kids like Tyler Bridge and Cam Cousins and they’ve been the key to our success over the years,” Chandler said. “Coach’s motto is just get it inside and work the ball around some.”

The problem for Wells will be that Maranacook has shown toughness and defensive intensity (like Cape Elizabeth did) and has full-court ability.

Slender 6-foot junior guard Cash McClure was the embodiment of both on Tuesday.

Early in the second quarter, McClure’s nose was badly bloodied after he tried to take a charge. With McClure getting athletic trainer attention in the Expo basement, his teammates scored six quick points in what would be a dominant 24-9 quarter. When McClure came back, with gauze stuffed in both nostrils, he continued to slash to the basket, push the pace and scored 15 of his 19 points.

“All year Coach has said to us we have to be tough and I just brought that and I wanted to show my team how much I care about them and that all I really want to do is win,” McClure said.

Casey Cormier’s persistent offensive rebounding also made the point. So did the team defense on Lake Region’s 6-6 Evan Willey, who was held to 11 points, all in the second half. Willey had torched Maranacook for 36 points in the second game of the season, a home win for Lake Region.

“We knew we had to make someone else beat us this time,” said Travis Magnusson, Maranacook’s first-year coach. “The big guys did a good job taking him away and we’re going to need it again because Wells has a couple of big ones.”

Comments are not available on this story.