CUMBERLAND—You might be able to hold the Greely girls’ basketball team in check for a quarter or so, but ultimately, the Rangers find the answers.
Friday evening in a home showdown against defending Class B state champion and recent nemesis Lake Region, Greely managed all of two points in the first quarter, but a stellar defensive effort allowed it to hang tough.
The Rangers got things going in the second period, as a layup from senior standout Ashley Storey and a putback from senior Haley Felkel sparked a 12-0 run that put them ahead to stay.
Clinging to a five-point lead in the third quarter, a Felkel third-effort putback with her off-hand helped open things up even further, as Greely went on a 9-2 run.
By the end of the third, the Rangers led, 35-20, and the Lakers never managed to make a run in the final stanza as Greely had no trouble pulling away to win, 52-30.
Storey had a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds), the Rangers improved to 11-2 and dropped Lake Region to 7-6 in the process.
“This is the happiest I’ve been in a long time,” Greely coach Joel Rogers said. “It was one of our better performances against a well-coached team. I think (Lake Region coach) Paul True is a standard-bearer in the conference as a coach. They don’t have all the talent they had last year, but they still have talent. We only had two points in the first quarter, but we had 50 in the next three. We ran some of the best offensive sets we’ve had, especially in the second half. Our ballhandling was much better tonight.”
Greely has lost twice this season, but both times has quickly bounced back.
The Rangers fell on Opening Night to visiting Western B co-favorite Gray-New Gloucester (59-47), then righted their ship with victories over host Freeport (62-26), visiting Kennebunk (64-33), host Yarmouth (50-29),visiting Falmouth (54-28), host Poland (47-30), visiting Fryeburg Academy (39-31) and host Kennebunk (59-28). After its eight-game win streak ended with a 48-43 loss at York, Greely handled host Falmouth (37-13), visiting Freeport (66-33) and last Friday, visiting Yarmouth (54-22).
Lake Region has some new faces this winter, but has shown glimpses of promise. After opening with a 56-38 win at Fryeburg Academy, the Lakers lost at home to York, 54-41. A 45-33 home victory over Wells was followed by a 42-41 overtime loss at Falmouth and a 47-46 home loss to Gray-New Gloucester. After beating visiting Poland, 46-39, Lake Region beat visiting Fryeburg Academy (51-47) and Freeport (68-48), then fell at Gray-New Gloucester, 52-45. After a 52-29 win at Waynflete and a 58-35 home triumph over Falmouth, the Lakers were upset Cape Elizabeth Monday, 46-45.
Lake Region has had its way with Greely of late (see sidebar, below), taking eight of the last 10 meetings, including playoff victories in the 2012 regional final and the wins in the 2013 and 2014 semifinals. The Lakers won last year’s regular season meeting in Naples, 52-34, then handled the Rangers in the semis, 43-32.
Heading into Friday’s game, since the start of the 2001-02 season, Lake Region had won 15, meetings while Greely prevailed 14 times.
Friday, the Rangers overcame a sluggish start to post another impressive victory.
The Lakers grabbed a quick 5-0 lead, as junior CeCe Hancock scored on a baseline drive and senior Sarah Hancock knocked down a 3, but they wouldn’t score again for nearly eight minutes.
Greely couldn’t take advantage, as it managed just one first quarter hoop, a layup from senior Ashley Storey midway through the stanza.
Trailing, 5-2, heading for the second period, the Rangers finally put it together.
Twenty-four seconds in, Storey set up junior Maddie Cyr for a jumper and sophomore Molly Chapin drove for a layup and Greely’s first lead, 6-5.
Lake Region went back on top when freshman Chandler True sank a 3, but Greely dominated the rest of the quarter.
Storey took a pass from Haley Felkel and made a layup to tie the score and Felkel followed with a putback for the lead. After a steal from junior Sarah Felkel, Storey made a layup, forcing True to call timeout, but the Lakers weren’t able to respond, as Sarah Felkel made a leaner, then hit two free throws. Two foul shots from sophomore Moira Train capped a 12-0 run and made it 18-8 Rangers with just over a minute to go in the half.
A putback from senior Megan VanLoan ended the surge, but only pulled Lake Region within eight, 18-10, at the break.
The Lakers hoped to make a run when CeCe Hancock opened the second half with a 3, but they would draw no closer.
The Rangers reasserted control when Haley Felkel rebounded a teammate’s miss and after missing an initial follow-up, she got the ball again and this time, went up with her left hand and put the ball in the basket.
“I went up and tried to make a layup,” Felkel said. “It didn’t fall, so I kept trying. I did my best. I love rebounding.”
“Haley getting rebounds is huge for us,” Storey said. “She’s a strong, physical presence.”
Storey then showed off her passing acumen, when she set up Train for a layup on a fastbreak. Storey, Chapin and Storey each added individual foul shots and Greely’s lead was up to a dozen, 25-13.
Lake Region responded when Sarah Hancock somehow made a layup after a highlight reel spin move, but Haley Felkel set up Storey for a layup.
After Sarah Hancock buried a long 3, Storey fed Sarah Felkel for a layup.
“When I don’t have an open shot, I get it to a teammate because I’m confident they can knock it down,” Storey said.
Hancock made a layup, but sophomore Isabel Porter drained a 3 and in the waning seconds, Storey made a layup while being fouled and hit the ensuing free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play for a 35-20 lead after three quarters.
The Rangers ended all doubt in the fourth period.
First, Storey made a layup. After Lakers senior Allison Morse made a layup, Sarah Hancock hit a free throw and CeCe Hancock drove for a layup to cut the deficit to 37-25, but Storey made a free throw, Storey took a pass from Train and hit a leaner and Storey made two foul shots for a 42-25 advantage with 4:03 to go.
Lake Region freshman Lauren Jakobs answered with two free throws, but Porter took a pass from Storey and sank a 3, Storey made a foul shot for her final point, Storey set up senior Kristina Smith for a leaner and Smith added a layup.
Senior Alizah Thayer made a 3 for the Lakers’ final points and as time wound down, Cyr hit two free throws to account for the 52-30 score.
“Our shots weren’t falling and we were rushing our offense at first,” Storey said. “Coach told us to slow down and get a shot. When we play as a team and work it around, we get our shots. Our defense started clicking and we shut them down and our offense came along.”
“We were a little sluggish at the start,” Haley Felkel said. “We lacked energy. We missed shots and that didn’t help. After the first quarter, we stepped it up and did a lot better.”
“You’re seeing (assistant coach Diana Manduca’s) handprints all over this team, when it comes to attacking, getting to the rim, ballhandling, the extra pass,” Rogers added. “I was going to go 1-3-1, but the kids wanted to go 2-3. I deferred to our captains. We’re very good defensively. We’re where we need to be. We lock stuff down. We were patient on defense, but on offense, we wanted to go. At halftime, I told them to run the floor and attack. Offensively, we’re showing our versatility.”
Storey put up her usual abundant stat line of 19 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots.
“She’s amazing,” Haley Felkel said. “Her passing is amazing. She kicks it out when she gets trapped. She can shoot from the outside. I love playing with her.”
“We had to tell Ashley not to force it and let the game come to her,” Rogers said.
Haley Felkel had six points, 10 boards, two assists and a steal.
Sarah Felkel also had six points, to go with six rebounds, a steal and an assist.
Porter had six points, Cyr, Smith and Train four apiece and Chapin (four boards) three.
“I told Paul before the game that if I can get all my sophomores going on the same page, we’d be really tough,” Rogers said. “I thought Isabel did a great job off the bench. She hit a couple 3s, played good defense. I thought Moira Train was amazing for us, defensively and rebounding too. Maddie Cyr got us going and rebounded really well.”
Greely only turned the ball over 10 times and made 14 of 22 foul shots.
Lake Region was paced by 11 points from Sarah Hancock. CeCe Hancock had seven points, while Thayer and True both had three and Jakobs, Morse and VanLoan all had two.
The Lakers turned the ball over 11 times and made 3 of 7 free throws.
Both teams head down the home stretch, looking to move up in the standings.
Lake Region (now seventh in the Western Class Heals) hosts Kennebunk Saturday, visits Freeport Wednesday and plays host to Yarmouth Jan. 31 before closing the season with games at Poland and York.
Greely (fourth in the region) is at Cape Elizabeth Saturday (weather permitting), visits Fryeburg Academy Tuesday, plays host to York Friday, then closes with games at Wells and at home versus Cape Elizabeth.
“It feels good to beat (Lake Region), but it’s not the end of the season,” Storey said. “We have to keep going. This is a confidence boost. It motivates us. I’m not jinxing anything, but I like our team.”
“We get motivated from our losses and we’ve grown from it,” Haley Felkel said. “We have to keep pushing and we have to keep being physical and keep our defense up. We get better every game. We work well as a team and our communication is great.”
“This is the fun part of the schedule,” Rogers added. “Cape always plays us tough. If we want to get the seed we want, we have to beat York. We have to show up and play. It’s about focus, effort and execution. I don’t worry about talent or our schemes.”
Greely junior Sarah Felkel drives past a defender.
Greely sophomore Isabel Porter looks to create offense.
Greely senior Ashley Storey shoots over Lake Region senior Megan VanLoan.
Greely sophomore Moira Train goes up for a layup.
@ Lake Region 52 Greely 34
Western B semifinals
Lake Region 43 Greely 32
@ Greely 38 Lake Region 33
@ Lake Region 44 Greely 31
Western B semifinals
Lake Region 42 Greely 27
@ Lake Region 46 Greely 42
Lake Region 33 @ Greely 30
@ Greely 55 Lake Region 50
Greely 48 @ Lake Region 34
Greely 53 @ Lake Region 49
@ Greely 59 Lake Region 27
Western B quarterfinals
Greely 39 Lake Region 27
@ Greely 47 Lake Region 38
@ Lake Region 50 Greely 28
@ Greely 57 Lake Region 40
@ Lake Region 57 Greely 49
Western B semifinals
Lake Region 44 Greely 32
@ Lake Region 42 Greely 33
Lake Region 53 @ Greely 33
Lake Region 47 @ Greely 41
Western B semifinals
Lake Region 45 Greely 42
Greely 58 @ Lake Region 48
@ Greely 51 Lake Region 45
Greely 64 Lake Region 58 (OT)
@ Greely 70 Lake Region 43
Greely 42 @ Lake Region 31
Greely senior Ashley Storey soars for two of her game-high 19 points during Friday’s 52-30 home win over Lake Region.
Jason Veilleux photos.
More photos below.
LR- 5 5 10 10- 30
G- 2 16 17 17- 52
LR- S. Hancock 4-1-11, C. Hancock 3-0-7, Thayer 1-0-3, C. True 1-0-3, Jakobs 0-2-2, Morse 1-0-2. VanLoan 1-0-2
G- Storey 6-7-19, H. Felkel 3-0-6, S. Felkel 2-2-6, Porter 2-0-6, Cyr 1-2-4, Smith 2-0-4, Train 1-2-4, Chapin 1-1-3
LR (5) S. Hancock 2, C. Hancock, Thayer, C. True 1
G (2) Porter 2