Greely freshman phenom Anna DeWolfe goes up for two of her game-high 34 points during the Rangers’ 71-34 win over Falmouth Saturday afternoon.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
F- 12 10 9 3- 34
G- 19 19 20 13- 71
F- Ryan 5-0-14, Cooke 3-3-9, Birkel 2-0-4, Wiggin 2-0-4, Adams 1-0-3
G- DeWolfe 15-1-34, Porter 5-3-14, Felkel 3-0-7, Chapin 2-0-5, Train 2-0-5, Faietta 1-2-4, Spoerri 1-0-2
F (5) Ryan 4, Adams 1
G (7) DeWolfe 3, Chapin, Felkel, Porter, Train 1
CUMBERLAND—Six games into her freshman season, Greely phenom Anna DeWolfe is already drawing comparison to basketball royalty.
“Is she the next (Cindy) Blodgett or what?” an official marveled at halftime of DeWolfe’s tour de force 34-point performance in the Rangers’ battle with rival Falmouth Saturday afternoon.
While it’s too early to mention DeWolfe in the same breath as the finest female player the state of Maine has ever produced, you get the idea of just what kind of impression she has made this winter.
Especially in this contest.
DeWolfe set the tone with a jumper 40 seconds in, had 10 points in a first quarter which saw host Greely lead, 19-12, then added 11 more points, capped by a layup just before the buzzer in the second period, as the Rangers broke it open and grabbed a 38-22 advantage.
DeWolfe wasn’t finished, scoring five points in the first 50 seconds of the third quarter and she’d end that frame with 34 points total. DeWolfe didn’t add to her scoring total in the fourth period, but she did demonstrate the other impressive facets of her all-around game and the Rangers rolled to a 71-34 victory, improving to 4-2 on the season while dropping the Yachtsmen to 2-4 in the process.
“Anna’s pretty unique,” said Greely coach Joel Rogers. “Anna had some of the prettiest assists you’ll see and I think her rebounding sets her apart. Anna’s all about distributing the ball to her teammates. When I went deep into the bench, she tried to get looks for those kids. She wants to play well every night.”
The Rangers have dominated the rivalry of late (see sidebar below), winning 12 of the past 13 meetings, including a pair of lopsided decisions a year ago (54-28 in Cumberland and 37-13 in Falmouth) en route to the championship.
Both teams have been up and down so far in 2015-16.
The Yachtsmen lost at home to Kennebunk (41-30) in their opener, then won at Cape Elizabeth (51-37) and Biddeford (42-24). Following a 76-46 loss at York, Falmouth was defeated by visiting Brunswick, 45-26, Thursday.
The Rangers won at Cape Elizabeth in their opener (45-24), then lost at home to York (78-64) before getting back on track with wins at Brunswick (52-36) and at home over Yarmouth (40-27). Wednesday, Greely fell behind early and never could catch up in a 57-49 home loss to Gorham.
Saturday, in a matinee, Falmouth was seeking its first victory in Cumberland since Dec. 7, 2007 (52-44), but the Rangers made it nine in a row over the Yachtsmen on their home floor.
Thanks to a singular show that won’t soon be forgotten.
Just 40 seconds in, DeWolfe pulled up for a jumper and the curtain was up.
DeWolfe then stole the ball and fed senior Sarah Felkel for a layup and a quick 4-0 lead, forcing Falmouth coach Mari Warner to call timeout.
The visitors responded and got on the board with 5:21 to go in the first quarter when junior Adelaide Cooke made a layup, but Greely junior Molly Chapin answered with a layup.
The visitors then got their outside game going, as junior Abby Ryan knocked down a 3. After DeWolfe countered with a 3-ball, Ryan hit another from behind the stripe and with 3:09 to play in the opening frame, a scoop shot from Cooke gave the Yachtsmen a 10-9 lead.
That would prove to be their highwater mark.
With 2:40 to go in the first, Felkel, after a steal, set up DeWolfe for a layup and the Rangers were ahead to stay.
Felkel followed with a 3 and junior Isabel Porter came off the bench and finished with a pretty scoop shot for a 16-10 lead.
After two Cooke foul shots snapped Greely’s 7-0 run, DeWolfe scored from an impossible angle while being fouled, then hit the ensuing free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play for a 19-12 lead after one period.
The visitors made a run to start the second quarter, as junior Alaina Birkel sank a jumper and Ryan buried another 3, cutting the deficit to 19-17, but the Rangers soon pulled away.
After Porter made one of two free throws, she went back to the line and sank a pair. Train hit a 3, after a Chapin steal, Train set up DeWolfe for a layup and with 3:21 to go in the half, Felkel fired a touchdown pass that Tom Brady would have been proud of right into the arms of DeWolfe for another layup and a 29-17 advantage.
A spinner from Falmouth junior Hadley Wiggin snapped the 10-0 run, but DeWolfe answered with a long 3, then spun in the lane and somehow got a shot to drop to make it 34-19.
After a long 3 from Ryan, Porter drove for a layup and as time wound down, DeWolfe stole the ball and raced in for a layup to cap a 19-5 surge to end the half, giving Greely a commanding 38-22 advantage at the break.
“Our defense at the beginning wasn’t as good, but we ratcheted it up and expended a lot of energy,” Rogers said. “Falmouth’s big and physical and we did a really good job. We got on Abby after she hit the 3s.”
DeWolfe almost outscored the Yachtsmen in the first half, posting 21 points.
As impressive as her first two quarters were, DeWolfe’s third period was even more prolific as the Rangers ended all doubt.
Just 22 seconds into the second half, DeWolfe picked right up where she left off, hitting a baseline jumper and after Wiggin answered with a jumper for Falmouth, DeWolfe canned a 3 for a 43-24 lead.
Cooke responded with a three-point play, but Greely rattled off the next 15 points, as DeWolfe scored on a breakaway layup, Felkel scored on a finger roll, Chapin knocked down a 3, Porter took a nice pass from DeWolfe and made a layup, DeWolfe stole the ball and made a layup, DeWolfe spun for another layup and with 1:20 left in the third, DeWolfe converted another layup to stretch the lead to 58-27.
Thirteen seconds later, the Yachtsmen got a layup from Birkel and just before quarter’s end, Ryan made a layup, but Falmouth was still down 27 points, 58-31, heading for the final stanza.
Greely started the fourth quarter with a jumper from senior Lexi Faietta. Train added a layup after a steal and after Cooke fouled out, Porter set up freshman Emma Spoerri for a layup, Porter sank a 3, DeWolfe set up Porter for a layup and Faietta sank two foul shots for the Rangers’ final points.
A 3-pointer at the horn, that rattled in from junior Maddy Adams, snapped an 8 minute, 13 second Falmouth scoring drought and accounted for the 71-34 final score.
In 32 minutes of play, one player (DeWolfe) matched the scoring output of the Yachtsmen team.
“We’ve been working harder in practice,” Rogers said. “The kids are going after each other. Tonight’s the first time we’ve run our motion offense. When teams get tired and we run that offense, it frees us up on the baseline. Hopefully we’ll get more comfortable with the movement of our offense. When we make shots, that opens everything up for Anna. The kids know if they shoot and they’re all good shooters, then teams have to concentrate on them and no one can handle Anna one-on-one.”
In addition to her career-high (so far) 34 points, DeWolfe finished with eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.
“Anna didn’t score a lot of points against Gorham and she has a lot of pride in what she does,” Rogers said. “Against Gorham, we didn’t understand offensively what we needed to do. We had a lot more pick and rolls today. We cut backdoor and Anna was able to thread the needle. I kept Anna in because I want the younger kids to get used to playing with someone like that.”
“(DeWolfe) is legit,” Warner said. “What I liked about her is that she didn’t do any unnecessary stuff and kept her game in control.”
Even without DeWolfe’s 34 points, Greely would have won by three as several other players contributed mightily.
Porter had 14 points, Felkel finished with seven points (to go with seven rebounds, four assists and a steal), Chapin (seven boards, three steals) and Train (three steals) both had five points, Faietta four (as well as six rebounds) and Spoerri two.
Greely only turned the ball over 11 times, made 6 of 9 free throws and enjoyed a 39-20 advantage on the glass.
Falmouth was paced by Ryan’s 14 points. Cooke added nine, Birkel (three steals) and Wiggin (five rebounds) four apiece and Adams (three assists) three. The Yachtsmen committed 17 turnovers and made 3 of 5 foul shots.
“We hung in,” Warner said. “Honestly, we played some good basketball and I’m happy with that. They capitalized on every mistake we made. Rebounding has been a problem all year long. You don’t get second chances against them. We put in a new defense last night and it’s the first time we’ve done it. It showed promise.”
Falmouth has one final game this calendar year, at Mt. Ararat Tuesday. The Yachtsmen are hoping that 2016 brings better tidings.
“It’s hard when you have three games in a week and one is York and one is Greely to feel like you make progress,” Warner said. “We’ve seen what we need to do to get better. We have to trust each other and where we’ll be on the floor. We’re a young team. There’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel.”
As for Greely, it hosts Morse Tuesday, then is off until Jan. 2, when Poland pays a visit. While the Rangers still have work to do, getting back to a championship level is realistic.
“We have a better idea of what we’re good at and what we should be doing,” Rogers said. “We’re getting there. You can see it.”
Greely junior Isabel Porter leans in for a shot as Falmouth junior Alaina Birkel defends. Porter had 14 points in the win.
Falmouth junior Adelaide Cooke boxes out Greely junior Moira Train.
Falmouth junior Maddy Adams flings a pass upcourt.
Greely senior Maddie Cyr catches a pass in the post as Falmouth junior Hadley Wiggin tries to get back and defend.
Greely senior Sarah Felkel blankets Falmouth junior Hadley Wiggin.
Showing she can play defense too, Greely freshman Anna DeWolfe shadows Falmouth junior Alaina Birkel.
@ Greely 54 Falmouth 28
Greely 37 @ Falmouth 13
@ Falmouth 53 Greely 45
@ Greely 55 Falmouth 44
@ Greely 46 Falmouth 32
Greely 30 @ Falmouth 25
Western B prelim
@ Greely 42 Falmouth 40
Greely 37 @ Falmouth 30
@ Greely 43 Falmouth 37
@ Greely 36 Falmouth 27
Greely 41 @ Falmouth 34
@ Greely 63 Falmouth 39
Greely 60 @ Falmouth 27
@ Greely 62 Falmouth 59
@ Falmouth 58 Greely 40
Falmouth 52 @ Greely 44
@ Falmouth 49 Greely 45
Western B semifinals
Falmouth 47 Greely 44 (OT)
@ Falmouth 54 Greely 41
Falmouth 62 @ Greely 46
Falmouth 35 @ Greely 27
@ Falmouth 69 Greely 63 (3 OT)
Falmouth 57 @ Greely 30
Greely 45 @ Falmouth 44 (OT)
Greely 56 @ Falmouth 10
@ Greely 48 Falmouth 22
Greely 67 @ Falmouth 32
@ Greely 69 Falmouth 17