Greely sophomore Brooke Obar lines up a shot for two of her 19 points in the Rangers’ 51-38 win at Yarmouth Monday night.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
G- 10 10 19 12- 51
Y- 9 8 11 10- 38
G- Clement 6-9-23, Obar 7-1-19, DeWolfe 3-0-6, Martel 1-0-3
Y- Blaschke 6-2-14, McNeil 3-0-9, May 2-1-5, D’Appolonia 2-0-4, Caruso 1-0-2, McGonagle 1-0-2, Whitlock 1-0-2
G (7) Obar 4, Clement 2, Martel 1
Y (3) McNeil 3
YARMOUTH—Greely’s girls’ basketball team continues to separate itself from the competition, but one team that wasn’t expected to give the Rangers difficulty did just that Monday evening.
Greely came to Yarmouth, which put forth an inspired effort for 32 minutes and made the Rangers sweat to extend their win streak.
Six points from junior Clementine Blaschke helped the Clippers hang tough in the first quarter and only trail by a point, 10-9.
In the second period, Yarmouth led on three occasions before an acrobatic layup from junior Anna DeWolfe gave Greely a 20-17 advantage at halftime.
When freshman Margaret McNeil opened the second half with a 3-pointer, the Clippers were even, but at the other end, sophomore Brooke Obar hit a 3 for the Rangers and they never looked back.
Leading by just a point midway through the third period, Greely freshman Camille Clement began to assert herself, not via her well-known outside shooting acumen, but in the post, and Clement’s 16 points in the quarter helped the Rangers open up a 39-28 lead.
In the final period, Yarmouth got as close as nine, but Greely managed to hold the Clippers off and go on to a 51-38 victory.
The Rangers got 23 points from Clement, 19 from Obar, made it six straight victories, improved to 10-2, beat Yarmouth for the 24th consecutive time and dropped the Clippers to 5-6 in the process.
“It’s good for us to play in close games,” said Greely coach Todd Flaherty. “Last year, we didn’t get that many. This year, we’ve had a lot. It’s good for us to have to execute.”
The Clippers started with a 34-30 home loss to York, then won at Sacopee Valley (47-28). After a 44-35 home loss to Freeport, Yarmouth downed host Fryeburg Academy (38-18). After falling at home to defending Class B state champion Gray-New Gloucester (33-22), the Clippers beat visiting Waynflete, 24-22. After a 45-42 setback at Wells, Yarmouth defeated host Traip Academy (36-28) and visiting Cape Elizabeth (49-36), then, last Thursday, the Clippers fell at Gray-New Gloucester (34-20).
The Rangers had no trouble with visiting Cape Elizabeth in their opener, 85-44. After a 60-48 victory at Wells, Greely fell at Class AA South favorite South Portland, 63-53. A 63-53 home victory over Poland and a 61-35 home win over Falmouth followed before the Rangers were stunned at the horn at Brunswick in a playoff rematch, 65-63. Greely then hit its stride, defeating visiting Gray-New Gloucester (66-44), visiting Gorham, the two-time defending Class AA champion (66-62), host York, in the final seconds, 56-55, visiting Freeport (80-41) and host Oxford Hills (46-39).
Monday, Yarmouth was seeking its first victory over Greely since a 56-48 triumph Jan. 5, 2005 in Cumberland, but instead, the Rangers did enough to make it 24 in a row in the series.
Prior to the game, Clippers senior Sara D’Appolonia was honored. D’Appolonia, who is graduating early to attend the University of Delaware, where she’ll play Division I soccer, was given a Senior Night ceremony early.
The game then commenced and just 21 seconds in, after an Obar steal, DeWolfe made a layup for the game’s first points.
The Clippers’ first points came off a pass from D’Appolonia to Blaschke, who made a layup.
After Clement hit a 3 for the visitors, McNeil countered with one of her own and with 4:21 left in the first quarter, D’Appolonia again passed to Blaschke for a layup and a 7-5 lead.
A 3-pointer from junior Julia Martel put Greely back on top and DeWolfe added a jumper, but with 50.5 seconds on the clock, Blaschke took another feed from D’Appolonia and made another layup to cut the deficit to 10-9 after eight minutes.
Yarmouth hung tough in the second quarter as well.
A bank shot from sophomore Ella Caruso 21 seconds into the new frame gave the Clippers the lead and D’Appolonia added a driving layup to make it 13-10.
The Rangers then ended a 5 minute, 3 second scoring drought when Obar made a layup and with 5:02 to go in the half, D’Appolonia was called for her third foul and she had the sit out the remainder of the period.
A jumper from Obar tied the score, but Blaschke made a layup for a 15-13 lead.
After Clement made two free throws, freshman Calin McGonagle scored on a putback with 2:32 remaining to give Yarmouth its final lead, 17-15.
The final five points of the half went to Greely, as Obar sank a 3 and DeWolfe, after spinning around a defender in highlight reel fashion, made a layup for a 20-17 halftime advantage.
In the first 16 minutes, Blaschke led all scorers with eight points, while DeWolfe and Obar led the Rangers with six points apiece, but it would be Clement who took over in the second half, helping Greely extend its lead.
Just 19 seconds into the third quarter, McNeil buried a 3 from the corner to tie the score, but 22 seconds later, at the other end, Obar’s 3 put the Rangers on top for good, 23-20.
Blaschke answered with a layup, but Obar fed Clement for a layup, extending the lead back to 3.
With 6:18 on the clock, D’Appolonia sank a jumper just inside the 3-point line, but that’s as close as the Clippers would come.
With 5:06 remaining, Clement converted an old-fashioned three-point play, making a layup while being fouled and adding the free throw.
After D’Appolonia was called for her fourth foul with 4:57 remaining, she had to sit again and Greely capitalized.
First Clement was fouled after an offensive rebound and hit two free throws.
Then, after a Blaschke three-point play made it a one-possession game with 2:56 to go, Clement hit a 3, Clement added a free throw and after a foul shot from Yarmouth sophomore Avery May, Clement took a feed from DeWolfe and made a layup and with 52.9 seconds on the clock, Clement converted another three-point play, giving her 16 points in the quarter and helping the Rangers go up by 11, 39-28.
“I had to find a way to score,” said Clement, the youngest sister of former McAuley standout and 2014 Miss Maine Basketball winner, Allie Clement. “I was concerned, but we always find a way to pull it out.”
Early in the fourth period, Obar scored on a putback, but sophomore Adriana Whitlock countered with a jumper for the hosts and Blaschke made a free throw to cut the deficit to 41-31.
Obar stemmed the rally with a 3, but May made a bank shot and McNeil made her final 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 44-36 with 5:20 left.
That would prove to be the Clippers’ last hurrah, as Obar hit a backbreaking 3 with 4:58 to go.
D’Appolonia set up May for a layup 55 seconds later, but after McNeil missed a 3 which could have cut the deficit to six, Obar buried a long jumper with 1:46 on the clock and 37 seconds later, two Clement free throws brought the curtain down on Greely’s 51-38 victory.
“Yarmouth’s played some very close games,” Flaherty said. “Their zone is good. They’re very athletic. (Chris Strong) does a good job coaching them up. They played good defense today and I thought we did too. That needs to keep happening. That’s been the difference for us.”
Clement led all scorers with 23 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. She also had four steals and blocked two shots.
“It’s intense, but all my teammates have been great to me,” said Clement. “Coach believes in me and that helps. It’s been a lot of fun.”
“Camille got some rebounds, she played good defense, she did a little of everything for us,” Flaherty said. “She was excellent.”
Obar had another steady effort with 19 points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists.
“Brooke had a really good game and that helped,” said Clement. “It was a team effort all the way through.”
DeWolfe was held to six points, all in the first half, but she had seven rebounds and five assists.
Martel added three points.
The Rangers had a 36-22 rebounding advantage, overcame 15 turnovers and hit 10 of 14 foul shots.
Yarmouth was paced by Blaschke’s 14 points. McNeil added nine, May had five, D’Appolonia four (to go with four assists) and Caruso (four rebounds), McGonagle and Whitlock two apiece.
The Clippers only made 3 of 8 free throws and committed 24 turnovers.
“We were right there,” said Strong. “I’m proud of how everyone stepped up and handled pressure. We talked at halftime about getting Clementine good looks and that pressure would increase on her, so we needed to get an outside game going and Margaret stepped up and did that. I was pleased with our defensive effort. (Greely’s) superb in transition and finding the open shooter. We wanted to slow the game down. Tonight was a great indication of where we are, that other people are stepping up. Adriana and Ella did a great job handling ball pressure. Their roles will increase.”
Both teams are thinking about their postseason prospects and both have work to do.
Yarmouth (eighth at press time in the Class B South Heal Points standings) has a makeup game at nemesis Lake Region Wednesday, in a playoff rematch, then goes to Freeport Friday in what will be D’Appolonia’s final game.
“It’s been such a great experience coaching her,” said Strong, who just happens to be D’Appolonia’s mother. “I know she’s ready for the next step and I’m excited for her.”
After sandwiching trips to Cape Elizabeth and Old Orchard Beach around a home game versus Wells, the Clippers host Poland and Lake Region to close the regular season.
“We’re on the cusp,” said Strong. “We need to have another win for sure and try to pull an upset somewhere.”
Greely (first in Class A South) is idle until Friday when it hosts Fryeburg Academy. After playing at Westbrook and Gray-New Gloucester, the Rangers visit Cape Elizabeth, host York, then close at Fryeburg Academy.
“We have to clean some things up,” Flaherty said. “We turn the ball over too much at times. We need fewer defensive breakdowns. We need to get better at what we do.”
Yarmouth senior Sara D’Appolonia, joined by her father, Seb D’Appolonia, mother, Chris Strong, brother, John D’Appolonia, and sister, Katelyn D’Appolonia, was honored before her final home game. Sara D’Appolonia is graduating early in advance of playing soccer at the University of Delaware.
Greely freshman Camille Clement defends Yarmouth junior Clementine Blaschke at the basket.
Yarmouth sophomore Avery May shoots over Greely junior Emma Spoerri.
Greely junior Anna DeWolfe goes up for a shot.
Yarmouth senior Sara D’Appolonia looks to pass as Greely junior Julia Martel defends.
Yarmouth freshman Margaret McNeil looks for an open teammate.
Greely 50 @ Yarmouth 29
@ Greely 54 Yarmouth 22
@ Greely 51 Yarmouth 28
Greely 51 @ Yarmouth 22
@ Greely 68 Yarmouth 29
Greely 57 @ Yarmouth 41
Greely 48 @ Yarmouth 18
@ Greely 56 Yarmouth 43
Greely 44 @ Yarmouth 16
@ Greely 52 Yarmouth 22
@ Greely 57 Yarmouth 28
Greely 59 @ Yarmouth 27
Greely 40 @ Yarmouth 36
@ Greely 49 Yarmouth 36
@ Greely 62 Yarmouth 37
Greely 62 @ Yarmouth 22
Greely 52 @ Yarmouth 33
@ Greely 49 Yarmouth 43
Yarmouth 56 @ Greely 48
Greely 44 @ Yarmouth 40
Greely 41 @ Yarmouth 33
Yarmouth 42 @ Greely 38
Western B semifinals
Greely 47 Yarmouth 29
Greely 39 @ Yarmouth 34
@ Greely 42 Yarmouth 27