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Cape Elizabeth junior Tanner Carpenter lines up a 3-point shot. Carpenter had 11 points to help the Capers down rival Yarmouth, 48-44, Tuesday night.
Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.
More photos below.
Y- 10 13 9 12- 44
CE- 14 8 10 16- 48
Y- Haywood 3-5-13, Eckersley-Ray 3-1-9, Hagerty 3-0-7, Hickey 3-1-7, Middleton 1-0-3, Rogers 1-1-3, Torres 1-0-2
CE- Bowe 5-1-13, Hartel 6-0-12, Carpenter 4-0-11, Jacobson 2-0-6, Hare 1-2-4, Lockwood 1-0-2
Y (6) Eckersley-Ray, Haywood 2, Hagerty, Middleton 1
CE (7) Carpenter 3, Bowe, Jacobson 2
CAPE ELIZABETH—The first of a possible three meetings this winter between the two Class B South preseason favorites, Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth, produced no surprises and little separation Tuesday evening.
The host Capers and Clippers punched and counter-punched for 32 minutes before ultimately a few well-placed passes and some timely defense allowed the hosts to prevail.
Cape Elizabeth shot to a quick 9-3 lead and held a 14-10 advantage after one quarter, but Yarmouth rallied to lead, 23-22, at halftime, as junior Ashanti Haywood had seven points and classmate Noah Eckersley-Ray added six.
The Capers scored the first seven points of the second half, but again, the Clippers came back and a free throw from Haywood forged a 32-32 tie heading for the fourth quarter.
There, Cape Elizabeth finally asserted control and did enough to win.
A 3-pointer from senior standout Finn Bowe gave the hosts the lead for good and with the game hanging in the balance, a pair of unheralded Capers, senior Liam Jacobson and junior Tanner Carpenter, sank clutch 3s to provide some breathing room.
Yarmouth tried to rally one final time, but it came up short and Cape Elizabeth survived, 48-44.
The Capers got 13 points from Bowe, 12 from junior Andrew Hartel and 11 from Carpenter as they won their seventh game in a row, improved to 7-1 and in the process, dropped the Clippers to 6-3.
“(Yarmouth’s) a great team,” Bowe said. “Their zone is really tough. We made a few shots down the stretch and played good defense. We had a lot of turnovers, but luckily, we came out on top. It could have been anyone’s game, but we pulled away.”
Cape Elizabeth dropped from Class A South to Class B South this winter and as a result, the Capers joined the Clippers as perceived teams to beat in the region.
Neither team has done anything to discourage such lofty opinions in the first half of the season.
Yarmouth began with a 44-42 loss at York, then downed visiting Sacopee Valley (69-19), Freeport (63-49) and Fryeburg Academy (39-29). After a 51-45 home loss to Gray-New Gloucester, the Clippers won at Waynflete (54-53), at home over Wells in a regional final rematch (57-40) and at home over Traip Academy (44-35).
Cape Elizabeth opened with a 66-50 home loss to defending Class A champion Greely, then beat visiting Fryeburg Academy (58-47), host Old Orchard Beach (65-50), host Waynflete (46-38), Falmouth (50-41), in a game played at the Portland Exposition Building, host Westbrook (65-60) and visiting Brunswick (57-41).
Entering play Tuesday, the Capers had won 23 of 34 meetings dating to the start of the 2001-02 season (see sidebar, below), but the squads had split the last 14 encounters. A year ago, Yarmouth won at Cape Elizabeth, 56-46.
This time around, there wasn’t much separation again as the Capers held serve on their homecourt.
Cape Elizabeth won the opening tip and just five seconds in, Carpenter set the tone with a 3-pointer. Hartel added a putback, but a 3 from Eckersley-Ray got the visitors on the board with 6:48 remaining in the first quarter.
After Bowe scored his first points on a putback, Hartel took a pass from junior Aman Hagos and made a layup for a 9-3 lead.
The Clippers quickly drew even, as first junior Caden Middleton, then Eckersley-Ray made 3-pointers.
The Capers went back on top on a tip-in by Bowe and after junior Jake Rogers made a free throw for Yarmouth, Bowe sank a 3 for a 14-10 lead after eight minutes.
In the second quarter, the lead would change hands three times before the Clippers had the advantage at the break.
A step-back 3-pointer from Haywood opened the period, but Hartel answered with a dunk in traffic.
After Haywood made two free throws, Bowe got a contested leaner to fall, but sophomore Aidan Hickey drove for a layup and with 2:04 to go in the half, a Hagerty tip-in gave Yarmouth its first lead, 19-18.
The Capers went back on top, when freshman Nate Mullen set up Hartel for a layup, but two Haywood free throws and a Hagerty putback gave the Clippers their biggest lead.
A jumper from senior Andrew Lockwood pulled Cape Elizabeth back within a point, 23-22, at halftime.
In the first 16 minutes, Bowe led all scorers with nine points and Hartel added eight, but nine turnovers spelled doom for the hosts.
The Capers then came out strong in the third quarter.
A baseline jumper from Carpenter put Cape Elizabeth back on top. Carpenter added a 3 and Hartel hit a fadeaway jumper over Hagerty to extend the lead to 29-23, forcing Yarmouth coach Adam Smith to call timeout.
It helped, as Eckersley-Ray made a bank shot while being fouled and added the free throw for the old-fashioned three-point play and Hickey made a layup while being fouled and also added the free throw to tie the score, 29-29.
With 2:05 to go in the third, Rogers made a layup to put the Clippers ahead for the final time, but Jacobson countered with a corner 3.
With a minute remaining, Haywood made a free throw to tie the score for the third and final time and sent the contest to the fourth period deadlocked at 32-32.
Championship-worthy teams save their best for last and the Capers managed to do just that in the final stanza.
Just 58 seconds in, Bowe buried a 3 from the corner to put the hosts ahead to stay.
With 5:11 left, Hickey drove for a pretty reverse layup, but with 3:49 remaining, Carpenter set up Jacobson for a 3 and a 38-34 lead.
“We made smart passes and broke their press,” Carpenter said. “I had nowhere else to go and I saw Liam out of the corner of my eye and went to him.”
Then, 49 seconds later, it was Carpenter’s turn, as he took a feed from Bowe and sank a 3 to extend the lead to 41-34.
“Finn draws and dishes,” Carpenter said. “That happens a lot. I was excited to get the shot. Good ball movement finds the open man.”
“I take a lot of pride setting someone up,” Bowe said. “Getting open shots helped us in the second half.”
“There were times when our ball movement and man movement was very pleasing to see,” Ray added. “They wanted us to dribble. We had to move and keep them guessing where we were. Bowe was much more controlled in the second half and he was responsible for those balls being delivered on target. Tanner is getting offensive confidence. It’s nice for him to get the ball in spots where he’s getting it to shoot. He’s got a nice shot.”
With 2:11 on the clock, Cape Elizabeth made it a nine-point game, as Bowe set up senior David Hare for a layup (Hagerty kept the ball out of the basket, but was called for goaltending).
The Clippers ended a 3:21 drought when Haywood scored on a putback, but Hare set up Hartel for a layup and a 45-36 lead with 1:33 to go.
In the final minute, Yarmouth made things interesting, as junior Jonny Torres drove for a layup and Haywood banked home a 3, but Bowe made a free throw and Hare sank a pair and even though Hagerty made a long 3-pointer at the horn, the Capers were able to celebrate their 48-44 victory.
“It’s always close when we play Yarmouth,” Ray said. “We did better in the second half. We had a stretch in the fourth quarter where we had five defensive stops in a row. That really helps against a team like that.”
Bowe led a balanced attack with 13 points. He also had seven rebounds, four assists and played strong defense on Hagerty.
“(Nolan’s) very tall and very strong and quick,” Bowe said. “He can shoot inside or outside. It was a tough cover.”
“Finn had his hands full on defense,” Ray said. “He’s guarding someone who outweighed him by 50 pounds easily. He does what it takes.”
Hartel added 12 points and seven rebounds, Carpenter finished with 11 points, Jacobson had six, Hare four and Lockwood two.
Cape Elizabeth had a 30-29 rebounding advantage, overcame 17 turnovers and hit 3 of 5 free throws.
Yarmouth was led by Haywood, who had 13 points, six boards and three steals.
“Ashanti has been a real key for us,” Smith said. “He didn’t shoot well tonight, but it didn’t stop how well he played defense. He’s had a good year.”
Eckersley-Ray added nine points (to go with five rebounds and three steals), Hagerty (five rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots) and Hickey had seven apiece, Middleton and Rogers (five boards) each had three and Torres finished with two.
The Clippers only turned the ball over 12 times and made 8 of 10 foul shots, but still fell short.
“We’re still trying to gain confidence as a team, but we’re battling hard,” Smith said. “We’re giving a great effort. If we continue to do that, things will break in a good way for us. These guys are improving. I’m excited about this group. We’ll get a group of five working well, then I make substitutions and three work well. It’s the consistency piece. We haven’t mastered that yet. A lot of the young guys are unsure on when to pass or pull the trigger. When we play with confidence, we look good.”
The teams meet again in Yarmouth Jan. 23. In the meantime, both squads have some heavy lifting to do.
Yarmouth hopes to bounce back Thursday when it seeks revenge at Gray-New Gloucester. Saturday, the Clippers welcome Lake Region and Monday, they play host to undefeated Greely.
“We’re trying to get better,” Smith said. “If we get wins, that’s great. We’ll get in the tournament somewhere. We just want to be healthy and playing well in February.”
Cape Elizabeth is at Lake Region Thursday, then is idle until Jan. 19, when it visits York.
“We’re progressing in the right direction,” Bowe said. “We have a lot of work to do. I think we get better every day.”
“We’ve been finding what works,” Carpenter said. “We have to spread the ball out more. Everyone has the green light. We need to still work on defense. Our offense is looking good.”
“We’re making strides,” Ray added. “I couldn’t ask for better kids.”
Yarmouth junior Ashanti Haywood floats for a shot over Cape Elizabeth senior David Hare.
Cape Elizabeth junior Andrew Hartel gets past Yarmouth junior Jake Rogers.
Cape Elizabeth junior Tanner Carpenter shoots over Yarmouth sophomore Aidan Hickey.
Cape Elizabeth senior Liam Jacobson hangs in the air as Yarmouth junior Ashanti Haywood defends.
Yarmouth senior Nolan Hagerty defends Cape Elizabeth senior Andrew Longwood.
Yarmouth 56 @ Cape Elizabeth 46
Cape Elizabeth 50 @ Yarmouth 49 (OT)
Yarmouth 59 @ Cape Elizabeth 46
Cape Elizabeth 65 @ Yarmouth 52
@ Yarmouth 66 Cape Elizabeth 52
Yarmouth 67 @ Cape Elizabeth 55
Western B quarterfinals
Yarmouth 45 Cape Elizabeth 43
Cape Elizabeth 59 @ Yarmouth 50
@ Cape Elizabeth 48 Yarmouth 44
@ Cape Elizabeth 40 Yarmouth 39
@ Yarmouth 58 Cape Elizabeth 52
Yarmouth 84 @ Cape Elizabeth 61
Cape Elizabeth 61 @ Yarmouth 39
Western B Final
Cape Elizabeth 61 Yarmouth 47
Cape Elizabeth 64 @ Yarmouth 56
@ Cape Elizabeth 52 Yarmouth 51
Cape Elizabeth 64 @ Yarmouth 48
Yarmouth 63 @ Cape Elizabeth 59 (OT)
Western B quarterfinals
Cape Elizabeth 66 Yarmouth 58
@ Cape Elizabeth 71 Yarmouth 50
Cape Elizabeth 55 @ Yarmouth 46
@ Cape Elizabeth 62 Yarmouth 36
@ Yarmouth 47 Cape Elizabeth 36
Cape Elizabeth 52 @ Yarmouth 37
@ Cape Elizabeth 63 Yarmouth 45
Cape Elizabeth 58 @ Yarmouth 44
@ Cape Elizabeth 54 Yarmouth 43
@ Yarmouth 56 Cape Elizabeth 41
@ Cape Elizabeth 54 Yarmouth 48
@ Yarmouth 45 Cape Elizabeth 40
@ Cape Elizabeth 54 Yarmouth 45
Cape Elizabeth 58 @ Yarmouth 56
@ Cape Elizabeth 69 Yarmouth 53
Western B preliminary round
@ Cape Elizabeth 77 Yarmouth 48