The night began with promise for both the Rockland girls and boys basketball teams Thursday as the Tigers hosted visiting Maranacook of Readfield in a doubleheader.

The Rockland girls hoped to secure their first win of the season over a Black Bear team that had not yet tasted victory on the road, while the Rockland boys looked to see where they stand against another likely playoff team from Western Class B.

However, a night that began with such promise ultimately ended in disappointment for the host Tigers.

The Rockland girls dropped a 52-40 decision to the visiting Black Bears, while the Rockland boys led for nearly the entire game before Maranacook overtook the hosts in the fourth quarter en route to a 60-52 win.


Rockland (7-3) led 17-7 after the first quarter and 30-15 at halftime, while the Black Bears (7-2) battled back and trailed 35-29 after three quarters. Maranacook proceeded to score more points in the fourth quarter (31) than they did in the first three, outscoring the Tigers by 14 points in the final stanza.

Chris Nolan and Dylan Meklin each tossed in 14 points for Rockland, while Aidan Hadley added seven; Josh Harjula, six; Joe Nelsen, five; and Derek Gustin and Gentry Burch, both three.

For the Black Bears, Ben Johnson had a game-high 22 points, including 15 in the second half that included a pair of fastbreak dunks. David Clough added 17 points for Maranacook, while Jack Kennedy contributed eight points; Harry Lanphear, four; and Seth Miller, Sam Poulin and Eben Ballard, all three.

The Tigers were 13-of-23 (57 percent) from the free-throw line, while the Black Bears were 17-of-28 (61 percent) from the charity stripe.

After Ballard knocked down his only points of the night — a 3-pointer on Maranacook’s first possession — Rockland went on a 13-2 run with three hoops from Meklin, two more from Harjula and another from Hadley to give the hosts an early cushion. Close-range hoops from Nelsen and Nolan extended the lead to 17-7, while Poulin hit a field goal with time winding down to give Rockland an eight-point lead after one quarter.

Rockland continued to pour it on in the second quarter, after the 6-foot-7-inch Johnson picked up his second foul for Maranacook and was forced to the bench. Nelsen knocked down a free throw, then quickly converted a fastbreak hoop on a nice pass from Gustin and a Nolan three-point play extended the Tiger lead to 23-9 in the early stages of the second quarter.

Mustering only six second-quarter points, the Black Bears came out of the locker room a different team to start the third quarter. Gustin scored early for the Tigers, but Maranacook held Rockland scoreless for most of the third quarter until Hadley converted a 3-point play with 36.2 seconds left. Meanwhile, the Black Bears clawed back into the game, trailing by six heading into the final stanza.

The complexion of the game changed dramatically in the fourth quarter, as Kennedy connected on a 3-pointer followed by a steal from Johnson behind midcourt. Johnson got ahead of the pack and threw down a slam dunk to cut Maranacook’s deficit to 35-34. Moments later, Johnson connected on a pair of free throws to give the Black Bears the lead for good.

Clough then followed Johnson’s earlier effort with a steal and another dunk to put the visitors up 38-35 with 6:41 remaining. That prompted a Rockland timeout.

Then, in what looked like a replay from his previous hoop, Johnson made another steal at virtually the same spot on the court and again threw down a dunk, but was assessed a technical foul for snapping back the rim.

Nolan hit both technical free throws to cut the Tiger deficit to 40-37, but the Black Bears continued to pull away over the final six minutes and escaped with the victory.

In the most recent Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Rockland (7-3, 22.1605 Heal Points) is sixth. Maranacook (7-2, 24.8457 points) is third in Western Class B. Camden Hills (9-0, 45.9259 points) is No. 1 in Eastern Class B, while Mountain Valley of Rumford (9-0, 36.7284 points) is atop the region in Western Class B.

Click for more photos from the Maranacook at Rockland boys game.


The Black Bears (3-6) jumped to a 9-0 lead early, which proved to be enough with their sound free-throw shooting, to keep the winless Tigers (0-10) at bay throughout the game. Maranacook led 14-3, 28-12 and 43-21 at the quarter breaks.

The Black Bears were 19-of-33 (57 percent) from the free-throw line, including Hannah Cumler, who missed her first two foul shots before rattling off 11 straight. Cumler finished with 19 points, while also scoring for the visitors were Kate Dore with 13; Natalie Ware, six; Hannah Clough, five; Jessica Smith and Hannah Caswell, both four; and Nicole Smith, one.

For the Tigers, Hanah Sirios netted 14 points, while Hannah Plourde added eight; Brighde Curtin, five; Macy MacArthur and Allie Curtis, both four; Emma Davis, three; and Hayli Kinney, two. Rockland was 17-of-27 (63 percent) from the foul line.

The Tigers showed signs of life in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Black Bears 19-9 in the final eight minutes and nearly matched their offensive output from the first three quarters.

In the most recent Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Rockland (0-10, no points) is 19th in the region. Maranacook (3-6, 5.9568 points) is 13th in Western Class B. Presque Isle (9-0) is the top team in Eastern Class B, while Leavitt of Turner (8-1, 29.7222 points) is atop the Western Class B region.

Click for more photos from the Maranacook at Rockland girls game.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at