Greely girls hold off improved Yarmouth

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Greely freshman Anna DeWolfe shoots over Yarmouth junior Isabel Bates during the Rangers’ 50-41 win Tuesday night. DeWolfe had a game-high 18 points.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.


Greely 50 Yarmouth 41

G- 16 3 18 13- 50
Y- 14 4 13 10- 41

G- DeWolfe 7-3-18, Porter 3-8-15, Train 4-0-10, Chapin 1-2-4, Felkel 1-0-3

Y- Clark 6-1-13, Langenbach 5-2-12, J. Kirk 2-5-9, Hattan 1-3-5, Blaschke 1-0-2

G (5) Train 2, DeWolfe, Felkel, Porter 1

G- 15
Y- 20

G: 13-22
Y: 11-17

YARMOUTH—It isn’t often that both teams come out of a game feeling pretty good about what transpired, but that was the case for the winner and loser of Tuesday’s Greely-Yarmouth girls’ basketball contest.

The defending Class B champion Rangers beat the up-and-coming Clippers for the 21st time over the past 11 seasons, but it sure didn’t come easily.

Yarmouth announced that it had come to play when it shot to a 14-8 first quarter lead behind the strong play of junior Cory Langenbach. Greely rallied to lead, 16-14, after eight minutes and took a 19-18 lead into the second half.

There, Rangers junior reserve Isabel Porter made her presence felt, making eight free throws to help the visitors open up a 37-31 advantage.

Down the stretch, Greely answered every Clippers’ foray and managed to hold on for a 50-41 victory, their fourth in a row.

Freshman Anna DeWolfe led all scorers with 18 points and Porter added 15 as the Rangers improved to 7-2 and dropped Yarmouth, which got 13 points from junior Alison Clark and a dozen from Langenbach, to 4-5 in the process.

“The last time we played them, they kept it close,” Porter said. “You can never count Yarmouth out. They’re scrappy and aggressive. They don’t give up.”

Coming to life

Greely, as it did a year ago en route to the championship, struggled at times early in the season, but appears to be hitting its stride.

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). After a 57-49 home loss to Gorham, Greely downed visiting Falmouth (71-34), Morse (76-41) and Poland (67-46).

Yarmouth, meanwhile, despite its youth, has been very competitive. 

The Clippers lost, 36-27, at Gray-New Gloucester in their opener, then dropped a 39-29 home decision to Lake Region. After getting in the win column with a 42-23 home victory over Waynflete, Yarmouth lost at Greely, 40-27, then downed visiting Maranacook (65-22), host Poland (28-24) and host Sacopee Valley (34-19) before losing at Lincoln Academy, 34-26.

Greely’s earlier win over Yarmouth marked its 20th straight, but was closer than many in past seasons. 

Tuesday, the Clippers were seeking their first victory over the Rangers since Jan. 8, 2005 (56-48 in Cumberland) and their first over Greely in Yarmouth this century, but despite the Clippers’ solid 32-minute effort, Greely was too much to handle.

When DeWolfe opened the game with a leaner and junior Moira Train knocked down a 3-pointer for a 5-0 lead 49 seconds into the contest, it appeared the Rangers were on their way to another decisive victory over Yarmouth, but instead, the Clippers went on a  14-3 run to turn heads.

Langenbach got Yarmouth on the board with 6:27 to go in the opening stanza with a runner while being fouled and added the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play. 

After DeWolfe made a free throw, Langenbach set up Clark for a layup and with 4:29 left in the first, Clark scored on a putback for a 7-6 lead.

A DeWolfe layup gave Greely the lead back, 8-7, but Langenbach hit a jumper, got a runner to rattle home, then made a jump shot before junior Johanna Hattan added a foul shot for a 14-8 advantage with 2:22 to go in the frame.

The Rangers quickly clawed back, as Porter sank a 3, junior Molly Chapin was fouled while shooting a 3 and made one free throw and after a Train steal, Porter made a layup to tie the score.

A layup after a steal by DeWolfe in the final minute put Greely back on top, 16-14, after eight minutes.

Neither offense was very productive in the second period.

Train got things started with a long 3 with 7:21 to go before halftime, but the Rangers wouldn’t score again in the first half. 

The Clippers ended Greely’s 11-0 run with a Langenbach free throw with 6:31 remaining in the half, Hattan set up sophomore Jessica Kirk for a layup and Kirk made a foul shot to cut the Rangers’ lead to 19-18 at halftime.

Yarmouth might have managed to hold the lead at the break, but 12 turnovers held the Clippers at bay.

While most on hand expected Greely to pull away in the second half, it didn’t happen.

Yarmouth took the lead back when Hattan made two foul shots with 6:27 to go in the third quarter, but senior Sarah Felkel put the Rangers on top with a 3, snapping a 9 minute, 13 second drought.

After a Clark free throw, Train set up DeWolfe for a fastbreak layup, but Kirk scored on a leaner and Kirk set up Clark for a layup with 4:15 to go to give the Clippers the lead for the final time, 25-24.

With 3:37 remaining in the third, Porter was fouled while shooting a 3 and drained all three free throws. After Kirk again set up Clark for a layup to tie the score, Porter sank two foul shots to put Greely ahead for good, then was fouled again and sank one of two attempts before Chapin hit a jumper for a 32-27 lead.

Out of a timeout, Yarmouth got a putback from freshman Clementine Blaschke, but Porter was again fouled on a 3 and this time sank two shots.

“I was just doing my rhythm,” Porter said. “I knew I had to hit those shots to keep our lead.”

“Isabel was a little frustrated in the first half, then she got penetration in the second half and picked apart the zone,” said Greely coach Joel Rogers. “She’s a top-notch foul shooter.”

With under a minute to go, DeWolfe sank a 3 (she was fouled on the shot, but missed on her attempt to complete the four-point play) for an eight-point lead before Clark’s short jumper pulled the Clippers back to within six, 37-31, heading for the fourth quarter.

There, Yarmouth never gave in, but the Clippers never made a serious run either.

After Chapin made a free throw for the Rangers, Kirk made a layup to cut the deficit to 38-33, but DeWolfe took over, making both ends of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity, then driving for a layup to push the lead to nine.

Langenbach got two points back with a layup, but Train hit a runner. After Kirk made two free throws, DeWolfe set up Train for a layup.

A Hattan layup pulled Yarmouth within seven, but again DeWolfe answered with a layup.

With 1:34 to play, Kirk made two foul shots, but 30 seconds later, Porter drove and scooped home a shot to bring the curtain down on Greely’s 50-41 victory.

“It was fun,” DeWolfe said. “I like close games. The biggest difference was our defense. We stepped it up in the second half.”

“Our 3s weren’t working, but we made quality plays in the second half to win,” Rogers said. “It was a team contribution. I was a little leery about holding the ball if they didn’t come out of the zone. I spread the zone and Anna and Moira and our skilled ballhandlers came through. We got layups, made foul shots.”

As has frequently been the case this winter, Greely was paced by DeWolfe, who had 18 points (as well as five rebounds, three steals and three assists).

“Anna’s brought a lot of energy to the team,” said Porter. “She’s not afraid to take the ball to the hoop. She’s one of the shortest players on the team, but she powers through.”

Porter, who made so many clutch shots during the Rangers’ title run last season, had 15 points (including 8 of 10 foul shooting) despite banging her head in the first half and having to leave the game for a brief time.

“I was going up for a shot and someone else grabbed the rebound and another girl hit her head on mine,” Porter said. “It was just a little bump.”

Train had 10 points (and a game-high five steals), Chapin finished with four and Felkel added three. 

“Anna’s ability to rebound was a big part of (the win),” Rogers said. “Moira played well. Molly grabbed key rebounds.”

Senior Lexi Faietta didn’t score, but had three steals. 

The Rangers overcame 15 turnovers and made 13 of 22 foul shots.

Getting closer

Yarmouth’s effort was paced by Clark’s 13 points and five rebounds. Langenbach had 12 points and three boards. Kirk finished with nine points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists. Hattan added five points and Blaschke had two (to go with five rebounds).

The Clippers turned the ball over 20 times and hit 11 of 17 free throws. They had a slight (18-17) edge on the glass.

“We wanted to try and slow the game down and take care of the ball,” said Yarmouth coach Chris Strong. “We did a good job of that in the first half. We fouled a 3-point shooter three times in the third quarter. That changed the tempo of the game. This was our best offensive effort against a very good team. It’s very encouraging.”

The Clippers’ effort was duly noted by the Rangers.

“After I saw Yarmouth’s game against Lincoln Academy after we barely beat Lincoln in a holiday tournament game, I knew it would be tough,” Rogers said. “Chris is just an outstanding coach. She’s got the kids fired up. I can’t say enough about what she’s done with the program. If they keep playing like that, I see nothing but great things for them.”

Second half

The Clippers and Rangers begin the second half of the regular season this weekend.

Yarmouth (now ninth in the Class B South Heal Points standings) will go to vastly improved Freeport Saturday night, then plays at Wells Tuesday.

“The last two games we’ve had against Lincoln and Greely, to play them so close is huge for us going into the second half of the season,” Strong said. “We have to recognize we can compete with the best. I can see confidence building in individual play and in team play. I feel the offensive execution is a weak spot, but we’ll continue to work on it. Defense has been steady. We have to play great defense all the time. We’re having fun.”

Greely (third behind York and Fryeburg Academy in Class A South) returns to action Saturday at Biddeford, then has a big test next week, hosting Fryeburg Academy Tuesday and going to currently undefeated York Friday. 

“We can still do things better,” said DeWolfe. “We have to step up on defense the whole game.”

“The games we’ve lost have been close,” Porter said. “We weren’t really playing as a team at the start of the season, but we’re really coming together.”

“This is the fun part,” Rogers added. “This was a perfect game for us to get ready for next week. I expect us to finish very strong. We just want to keep getting better, then we’ll make our mark in the tournament.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Yarmouth junior Cory Langenbach, who led the Clippers with 13 points, shoots the ball as Greely junior Isabel Porter defends.

Greely senior Maddie Cyr drives past Yarmouth freshman Clementine Blaschke.

Yarmouth sophomore Jessica Kirk and Greely freshman Anna DeWolfe chase after the ball.

Greely senior Sarah Felkel is defended by Yarmouth junior Johanna Hattan.

Greely junior Moira Train hoists a 3-point shot over Yarmouth junior Alison Clark. 

Greely freshman Anna DeWolfe shows her skills with a between the legs dribble.

Yarmouth junior Johanna Hattan shoots as Greely senior Sarah Felkel defends.

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