Greely boys make it 26 straight with win at Falmouth

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Greely sophomore Logan Bagshaw lines up a shot in the second half of the Rangers’ 51-40 win at Falmouth Thursday night. The defending Class A champion Rangers stayed undefeated on the season.

Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Greely 51 Falmouth 40

G- 9 6 13 23- 51
F- 8 10 6 16- 40

G- Bagshaw 6-1-17, Brown 6-0-13, Kane 3-1-7, Storey 1-4-6, Coppersmith 1-2-4, Miller 1-0-3, Eisenhart 0-1-1

F- Bryant 2-4-8, Manganello 3-2-8, Marcotte 2-3-8, Douglas 3-0-6, Cooke 1-2-4, Hester 2-0-4, Pitre 1-0-2

3-pointers:
G (6) Bagshaw 4, Miller, Brown 1
F (1) Marcotte 1

Turnovers:
G- 6
F- 9

Free throws
G:  9-14
F: 11-17

FALMOUTH—Greely’s defending Class A state champion boys’ basketball team couldn’t asked for a more promising beginning to the 2017-18 season.

The Rangers opened with a win at rival at Cape Elizabeth, then after downing a pair of defending regional champions, Greely took its show to rival Falmouth for a regional final rematch Thursday evening and once again found a way to post a victory.

The Rangers struggled in the first half as the Yachtsmen opened up an 18-15 halftime lead, but Greely would find its offense in the second half.

Sophomore Logan Bagshaw, who didn’t score in the game’s first 16 minutes, opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and that sparked a 13-4 Rangers’ run and eventually, a 28-24 advantage heading for the fourth period.

There, Falmouth tied the score, but with 6:46 on the clock, Bagshaw hit a 3, was fouled in the process and added a free throw to complete the rarely-seen four-point play to put his team on top to stay.

Junior Zach Brown added a 3 and Greely never looked back from there, going up by as many as 13 points before going on to a 51-40 victory.

Bagshaw led all scorers with 17 points, Brown added 13 and the Rangers won their sixth in a row over the Yachtsmen, their 26th straight over the past two seasons, improved to 4-0 and dropped Falmouth to 3-2 in the process.

“We made shots in the second half,” said Greely coach Travis Seaver. “The shots we took in the first half just didn’t fall and the shots in the second half did.”

What a year

Entering play Thursday, Greely hadn’t lost a game this calendar year. The Rangers won the Class A title back in early March and started the 2017-18 season with wins at Cape Elizabeth (66-50) and at home over defending Class B South champion Wells (64-46) and two-time defending Class AA South champion South Portland (66-60).

Falmouth, meanwhile, began by downing visiting Marshwood (42-39) and Scarborough (54-50). After a 51-39 setback at Brunswick, the Yachtsmen gave longtime coach Dave Halligan his 500th career victory Tuesday, 45-32, at Biddeford.

Both teams are accustomed to deep playoff runs and there has been no separation when it comes to head-to-head matchups. Entering play Thursday, since the start of the 2001-02 season, the Rangers and the Yachtsmen had each won 17 times in the series.

This time around, Falmouth hoped to end Greely’s run, but the Rangers made it six in a row in the series and stayed perfect on the young season.

Greely scored first, 20 seconds in, as senior Jack Kane made a layup, but junior Sam Manganello countered for the hosts, draining a baseline jumper.

After Kane scored on a putback, junior Doug Cooke made a jump shot for the Yachtsmen and senior Alex Marcotte added a pair of free throws for a 6-4 lead.

Kane scored on another putback to tie the score and senior Luke Miller added a 3. Falmouth got a jumper from Manganello, but still trailed after one period, 9-8.

The second quarter would be better to the Yachtsmen, whose deliberate style frustrated the Rangers.

After Marcotte tied the score with a free throw, Marcotte got a feed in transition from senior Jack Bryant and sank a 3-pointer for the lead. Bryant added two foul shots and Manganello converted a driving layup for a 16-9 advantage.

Greely drew back within one, as junior Andrew Storey made a layup, Brown hit a pullup jumper and Brown drove for a layup.

Then, with 2:06 left before the break, Cooke sank two free throws for an 18-15 Falmouth lead at halftime.

Manganello and Marcotte had six points apiece in the first half, but the Yachtsmen missed an opportunity to enjoy a bigger lead, as they missed 39 of 43 shots.

The Rangers quickly changed the tempo and the score in the second half.

Greely, which had four shots rattle in-and-out in the first half, found its shooting stroke in the third period, as Bagshaw discovered his range.

The sophomore took a feed from Brown and made a layup 15 seconds in.

After Marcotte countered with a driving layup, Rangers junior Mike Coppersmith drove and got a leaner to roll around the rim and in. Junior Nik Hester answered with a floater for Falmouth, but Bagshaw tied the score with a 3-pointer and with 4:12 remaining in the third, Brown drove for a layup to put Greely ahead.

Coppersmith added two free throws and Brown made a layup before the Yachtsmen got two points back in the final minute when Bryant sank two free throws, cutting the Rangers’ advantage to 28-24.

Falmouth started the fourth quarter strong, pulling even as sophomore Brady Douglas made a layup after an up-and-under move and Manganello sank two free throws.

Greely then went on top to stay with 6:46 to go, as Bagshaw launched a 3 which found nothing but net despite Bagshaw being fouled, and he added the free throw for the four-point play and a 32-28 lead.

“I released it and I couldn’t really see it and it went in,” Bagshaw said.

“Logan is obviously a great shooter,” said Seaver. “We told him a halftime to keep firing. That’s what makes him dangerous. He took aggressive shots pulling up in transition. Everyone has confidence in him and he made shots.”

“That four-point play was huge,” Halligan said.

Hester countered with a bank shot, but Brown made a 3 for a 35-30 advantage.

After Douglas banked home a shot, Bagshaw drove for a layup.

With 4:45 remaining, Bryant fed Douglas for a layup, cutting the deficit to three, but the Yachtsmen would get no closer.

With 4:23 on the clock, Brown got a contested bank shot to find the net and 44 seconds later, Storey hit two free throws for a 41-34 Rangers’ advantage.

Bryant answered with a driving layup, but Storey hit two foul shots and after Greely broke the press, Bagshaw knocked down another 3.

“It was a questionable shot, but I’m glad it went in,” Bagshaw said.

With 1:47 left, Bagshaw ended all doubt with a long 3-ball.

After Bryant made a layup, Kane hit a foul shot. Falmouth’s Nico Pitre scored his team’s final points with a leaner and with 9.7 seconds to go, senior A.J. Eisenhart hit a free throw for the Rangers to bring the curtain down on their 51-40 victory.

“We made shots and played better D in the second half and they couldn’t score,” Bagshaw said.

“We tried to change tempo a little bit,” Seaver said. “Falmouth did a nice job in the first half dictating the tempo and we wanted to change the pace. We like to get up and down the court.”

Bagshaw led all scorers with 17 points and he also grabbed seven rebounds.

“I wasn’t feeling it in the first half, but I had confidence in the second half,” said Bagshaw. “Making one got me going. The rest of the team got me open shots. Everyone encouraged me to keep shooting. They all supported me and Coach helps me out a lot.”

Brown had 13 points, five boards and three assists.

Kane, who battled first half foul trouble, added seven points, five rebounds and four blocked shots.

“We’re a better team with Jack on the floor, no secret,” Seaver said. “When he’s in foul trouble, it hurts us on offense and defense.”

Storey had six points (and five rebounds), Coppersmith four, Miller three (to go with three assists) and Eisenhart one.

Greely only committed six turnovers and made 9 of 14 free throws.

Falmouth was paced by eight points apiece from Bryant, Manganello (six rebounds) and Marcotte. Douglas added six points and four rebounds, Cooke had four points and seven boards, Hester (10 rebounds, two blocked shots) four points and Pitre two.

The Yachtsmen enjoyed a 38-29 rebounding advantage, only committed nine turnovers and sank 11 of 17 foul shots.

“We had it at the pace we were comfortable at in the first half, but we got a little excited and showed our lack of experience in the second half,” Halligan said. “We don’t score a lot of points. We play great defense. Points will come. It’s a learning experience. We’re learning under fire.”

Tests to come

Falmouth next takes the floor Wednesday, when it meets another rival, Cape Elizabeth, at the Portland Exposition Building. The Yachtsmen then wrap up the 2017 portion of their schedule at York Dec. 30.

“If you told me earlier in the year, we’d be 3-2 at Christmas, I’d take it,” Halligan said. “Every team we’ve played so far has been unbeaten and it won’t get easier. We chose a tough schedule and it will pay off down the road I think.”

Greely, which currently boasts the second-longest win streak in program history (Seaver, as a player for the Rangers, was part of a 34 game run from 1996-98), closes the old year at home versus Brunswick Dec. 29.

“We still have a long way to go,” Seaver said. “Guys are working hard every day. We talk all the time about what we can get better at.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Falmouth junior Nik Hester goes up for a shot as Greely senior Jack Kane and junior Andrew Storey defend.

Falmouth sophomore Brady Douglas floats for a shot.

Falmouth senior Jack Bryant is defended by Greely junior Andrew Storey.

Greely senior A.J. Eisenhart and Falmouth juniors Doug Cooke (23) and Sam Manganello keep their eyes on the ball.

Falmouth junior Sam Manganello shoots the ball.

Greely junior Mike Coppersmith drives on Falmouth junior Nik Hester.

Recent Falmouth-Greely results

2016-17
Greely 55 Falmouth 54 (2 OT)
@ Greely 61 Falmouth 44
Class A South Final
Greely 47 Falmouth 26

2015-16
@ Greely 57 Falmouth 56
Greely 54 @ Falmouth 44

2014-15
@ Falmouth 55 Greely 52
Falmouth 60 @ Greely 51

2013-14
@ Greely 57 Falmouth 53 (OT)
@ Falmouth 69 Greely 55

2012-13
@ Falmouth 63 Greely 45
Falmouth 68 @ Greely 45

2011-12
Falmouth 55 @ Greely 48
@ Falmouth 53 Greely 51 (2 OT)

2010-11
@ Greely 45 Falmouth 36
Greely 49 @ Falmouth 48

2009-10
Falmouth 74 @ Greely 63
@ Falmouth 73 Greely 63

2008-09
Falmouth 54 @ Greely 49
Greely 61 @ Falmouth 38

2007-08
@ Greely 63 Falmouth 52
@ Falmouth 65 Greely 56
Western B quarterfinals
Greely 50 Falmouth 49

2006-07
Greely 53 @ Falmouth 40
Falmouth 64 @ Greely 55
Western B semifinals
Greely 63 Falmouth 40

2005-06
Falmouth 57 @ Greely 53
Greely 77 Falmouth 73 (3 OT)

2004-05
Falmouth 58 @ Greely 39
@ Falmouth 54 Greely 36

2003-04
@ Falmouth 64 Greely 38
Falmouth 51 @ Greely 42

2002-03
@ Greely 57 Falmouth 45
Western B semifinals
Greely 62 Falmouth 45

2001-02
Greely 56 @ Falmouth 52

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.