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Greely senior Matt McDevitt blocks the shot of Yarmouth junior Nolan Hagerty during the Rangers’ 80-58 victory Monday night.
Chris Lambert photos.
More photos below.
Y- 16 14 16 12- 58
G- 18 18 27 17- 80
Y- Medenica 6-3-16, Hagerty 4-6-14, Harnett 5-0-14, Torres 3-2-8, Thoma 1-0-3, True 1-0-3
G- DeWolfe 9-0-23, Bagshaw 6-4-20, Twitchell 6-4-16, Kane 2-3-7, McDevitt 2-1-6, Williams 1-2-4, Coppersmith 0-2-2, Gauvin 0-2-2
Y (7) Harnett 4, Medenica, Thoma, True 1
G (10) DeWolfe 5, Bagshaw 4, McDevitt 1
CUMBERLAND—When it comes to attempting to stop the Greely boys’ basketball team, it’s a case of picking your poison.
The Rangers are led by three accomplished senior scorers, Jordan Bagshaw, Matt McDevitt and Ryan Twitchell, so on a night when a fourth player lights it up, it tends to be lights out for the opposition, and that’s what happened to the visiting Yarmouth Clippers Monday evening.
Yarmouth hung tough for a half, trailing by only two points, 18-16, after one quarter and momentarily leading, 22-21, midway through the second period.
Then, Greely flipped the switch.
Six quick points from Twitchell turned the tide and Bagshaw drained three quick 3-pointers to help the Rangers take a 36-30 advantage to halftime.
Then, in the third period, unheralded junior Shane DeWolfe stole the show.
DeWolfe had a dazzling 15 points in the quarter alone, as Greely gradually pulled away, closing the frame on a 12-2 run to take a commanding 63-46 lead.
Down the stretch, the Clippers, behind junior Nolan Hagerty, tried to rally, but they never got any closer than 14 and the Rangers went on to prevail, 80-58.
DeWolfe, the older brother of Greely girls’ team standout Anna DeWolfe, who had 23 points in the Rangers win over Yarmouth preceding the boys’ game, finished with one point more than his sister, leading all scorers with 23 points, Bagshaw added 20 and Twitchell contributed 16 as Greely improved to 4-0 and handed Yarmouth its first loss in four outings in the process.
“At halftime, we talked about how we’re a family and that we need to play together,” said DeWolfe. “We really meshed in the second half and found the open man.”
Both Greely and Yarmouth enjoyed solid seasons a year ago, but were ousted shy of their desired goal.
The Clippers lost to Lake Region in the Class B South Final, but started the new season strong, downing visiting Gray-New Gloucester (61-41), host Lake Region (75-55) and visiting defending Class C South champion Waynflete (45-43).
The Rangers were the top seed in Class A South last winter, but were upset by Brunswick in the semifinals. So far this year, Greely has passed every test in emphatic fashion, beating visiting Cape Elizabeth (62-44) and York (77-51), before avenging last year’s ouster with a 55-44 win at Brunswick.
Yarmouth and Greely were scheduled to square off Saturday, but bad weather postponed the contest 48 hours.
Heading into the game, the Rangers had won two in a row against the Clippers and held a 21-8 edge dating back to the start of the 2001-02 season (see sidebar, below).
In the battle of unbeatens, Greely made more shots and gradually pulled away behind a myriad of weapons.
Hagerty started the scoring with two free throws, but a couple of old-fashioned three-point plays put the hosts on top.
First, it was Bagshaw scoring on a leaner while being fouled and he added three free throw for the lead. McDevitt then did the same thing for a quick 6-2 advantage.
Yarmouth answered back with five straight points, as senior Gibson Harnett buried a 3-pointer and sophomore Jonny Torres set up senior Aleksandar Medenica for a layup and a 7-6 lead, forcing Rangers coach Travis Seaver to call timeout.
It worked, as Bagshaw put Greely back on top with two free throws and McDevitt sank a 3.
Harnett countered with another 3, but DeWolfe made his presence felt with consecutive bombs from behind the 3-point arc to push the lead to 17-10.
Again, the Clippers responded, as Medenica made a free throw and senior Igor Nikolic hit a 3-ball to make it 17-14.
A free throw from Rangers junior Jack Kane was answered by a pair from Torres and Greely held an 18-16 advantage after eight minutes.
The hosts could have enjoyed a bigger lead, but committed eight turnovers.
Things remained tight in the second period as well.
After Medenica made a free throw to get things started, Bagshaw canned a long 3, but Medenica countered with an even longer 3-pointer and with 4:07 left in the half, Torres took a pass from Hagerty in transition and made a layup to give Yarmouth a 22-21 advantage.
That proved to be the Clippers’ highwater mark.
Thirty-six seconds later, Twitchell was fouled while grabbing an offensive rebound and made both free throws to put Greely on top to stay. Twitchell then took a pass from DeWolfe and made a layup and scored on a putback for a 27-22 lead with 2:27 to go in the half, forcing Yarmouth coach Adam Smith to use a timeout.
Medenica countered by getting a leaner to rattle in, but Bagshaw made a 3, then after a steal, Bagshaw hit another 3-pointer to push the lead to 33-24.
Medenica answered with a putback, but Bagshaw buried one more 3 from the corner.
“Thank goodness Jordan shot well in the first half,” Seaver said. “It would have been a different game if he hadn’t.”
In the final minute, Hagerty made a layup, then stole the ball and made another to pull the Clippers within six, 36-30, at the break.
In the first half, Bagshaw led the way with 17 points.
Greely was even better at sharing the ball in the third quarter and a six-point advantage turned into a 17-point lead.
The tone was set 26 seconds in, as Bagshaw set up Twitchell for a fastbreak layup. After Hagerty made a layup for Yarmouth, Twitchell stole the ball and set up DeWolfe for a layup. Hagerty countered with a leaner, but the Clippers would get no closer than six the rest of the way.
After a Bagshaw steal, Bagshaw set up Twitchell for a layup and with 5:40 to go in the period, DeWolfe knocked down a 3 to make it 45-34.
Out of a timeout, Harnett sank a 3, but Bagshaw set up Kane for a layup. After Medenica scored a three-point play to cut the deficit to seven, DeWolfe drove for a layup and Twitchell hit a pair of free throws.
Hagerty made two foul shots and Torres made a layup to make it 51-44 with 2:32 left, but the Rangers surged the rest of the way.
With 2:22 left, DeWolfe hit a 3 from the corner. He made another 3-pointer 29 seconds later and just like that, the lead was 13.
“Some games, I have to step up because Matt and Jordan get double-teamed,” DeWolfe said. “They’re two of the best scorers in the league. When people key on them, it gives me an opportunity. We have great leaders in Matt, ‘Twitch’ and Jordan. We know they’ll give up their shots.”
McDevitt then set up Twitchell for a layup, but Medenica countered with a hook shot.
In the final minute, McDevitt set up DeWolfe for a layup and Twitchell scored on a reverse layup after a DeWolfe steal to make it 63-46.
Harnett hoped to spark a rally when he hit a 3 to start the fourth quarter, but DeWolfe countered with a driving layup.
After Harnett scored on a putback, Bagshaw converted a three-point play and sophomore Zack Brown set up Kane for a layup and a 70-51 advantage.
After Hagerty made two free throws, Kane answered with two of his own. Torres made a layup, but sophomore Mike Coppersmith set up senior Ben Williams for a layup, Coppersmith sank two foul shots after a technical foul and Williams hit two free throws to make it 78-55.
With 1:01 to go, senior John Thoma made a 3 for Yarmouth’s final points.
With 8.9 seconds remaining, junior Nick Gauvin sank two free throws, accounting for the 80-58 final score.
“We have a great group on the court,” Twitchell said. “The biggest thing is we have the talent and we play together. That really shows. When we do, we can get out and run and score some points. Coach told us at halftime that we’re a totally different team when we don’t rush shots and look for each other. We got hot.”
“It was a tale of two halves,” Seaver said. “The kids did a better job attacking the rim in the second half. We gave up way too many points in the paint in the first half. Yarmouth did a good job taking us out of our game. In the second half, we had five guys playing together.”
DeWolfe led the way with 23 points. He also handled the ball steadily and had a pair of steals on defense.
“We look for Shane to take care of the ball and be strong with it and not turn it over and he made shots tonight,” Twitchell said. “That was awesome.”
“Shane’s a tough player,” said Seaver. “He’s worked really hard on his game. What makes us so tough is we can put guys on the floor who create mismatch problems. He’s one of those guys. He can finish around the rim well and he shot well tonight.”
Bagshaw scored 20 points and had four assists. Twitchell added 16 points and had 12 rebounds (giving him a double-double).
“‘Twitch’ is athletic and quick,” said Seaver. “He’s pretty good around the rim when we get him the ball.”
Kane had seven points (and five rebounds) and McDevitt six (to go with five assists, three rebounds and three steals).
“We don’t need everyone to go off for 20 every night,” said Seaver. “I love games with 12 points, eight assists. That’s something Matt did really well tonight.”
Williams finished with four points and Coppersmith and Gauvin had two apiece.
Greely made 10 3-pointers, had a 27-24 rebounding advantage, overcame 17 turnovers and made a sensational 18 of 19 free throws.
Even on a night when his outside shot wasn’t falling, Medenica led Yarmouth with 16 points. He also had six rebounds and three assists. Harnett and Hagerty (11 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, two steals) both added 14.
“I thought Nolan played a really good second half,” Smith said. “He stepped it up for us tonight. He was a force for us who tried to make things happen.”
Torres had eight points and Thoma and True three apiece.
The Clippers turned the ball over 19 times and made 11 of 17 foul shots.
“I was pretty pleased with how we came out,” Smith said. “We’re still getting used to each other, so coming out and matching their intensity in the first half was a good sign for us. I had higher aspirations in the second half, but Greely’s a very good team and they showed it. They wouldn’t be denied. When it counted, they played good team basketball and we lacked that in the second half. You have to knock down shots along the way and we tried to take too many five- or six-point shots. We’ll learn a lot from the second half.”
The rivals will play one more time this season, Jan. 10, in Yarmouth.
Both teams will be tested in the interim.
Yarmouth will say farewell to the 2016 calendar year by hosting Maranacook Tuesday and going to Sacopee Valley Thursday.
“I hope we can gather ourselves and focus on what we have to do tomorrow,” Smith said. “The guys talked about that in the locker room. We have good leadership. We’re heading in the right direction.”
Greely hosts Gorham Tuesday night, then closes the old year with a home tilt versus Morse Thursday.
“We have to put it all together and we have to improve on our defense,” Twitchell said. “We can score a lot. If we can keep teams under 40-50 points, we’ll be fine.”
“We’re taking it one step at a time,” DeWolfe said. “We know there’s pressure, but we’re relaxed. We have to play better defensively and mesh as a team. If we do that, we’ll be fine.”
“Our seniors and this group of guys, they’re so focused on the task at hand,” Seaver added. “They’re down to earth. We know we’re talented, but there’s a list a mile long of stuff we can get better at. The guys recognize it. It’s a testament to their focus. We’ll identify things and get back in the gym and work on them.”
Greely junior Shane DeWolfe goes up for two of his game-high 23 points.
Greely senior Jordan Bagshaw goes up and under Yarmouth senior Aleksandar Medenica for an acrobatic layup.
Yarmouth sophomore Noah Eckersley-Ray denies Greely senior Ryan Twitchell.
Greely senior Matt McDevitt knocks down a 3-pointer.
Greely junior Shane DeWolfe drives on Yarmouth junior Nolan Hagerty.
Greely senior Ryan Twitchell scores two of his 16 points.
Yarmouth 57 @ Greely 53
@ Yarmouth 61 Greely 42
@ Greely 58 Yarmouth 44
@ Yarmouth 60 Greely 53
@ Yarmouth 53 Greely 52
@ Greely 58 Yarmouth 57
Greely 61 @ Yarmouth 53
Yarmouth 53 @ Greely 51
Western B semifinals
Yarmouth 54 Greely 42
@ Greely 57 Yarmouth 49
Greely 54 @ Yarmouth 38
@ Greely 63 Yarmouth 44
@ Yarmouth 49 Greely 46
Greely 56 @ Yarmouth 52
@ Greely 72 Yarmouth 55
Western B quarterfinals
Greely 67 Yarmouth 53
Greely 67 @ Yarmouth 33
@ Greely 65 Yarmouth 37
@ Greely 66 Yarmouth 50
@ Yarmouth 61 Greely 59
Greely 43 @ Yarmouth 37
@ Greely 50 Yarmouth 39
@ Greely 43 Yarmouth 38
Greely 69 @ Yarmouth 52