Greely sophomore Anna DeWolfe knocks the ball away from Yarmouth junior Sara D’Appolonia during the teams’ contest Monday night. DeWolfe had a game-high 22 points as the Rangers improved to 4-0 with a 54-37 victory.
Chris Lambert photos.
More photos below.
Y- 10 8 9 10- 37
G- 17 13 15 9- 54
Y- Clark 5-6-16, Langenbach 3-2-8, Blaschke 1-5-7, D’Appolonia 1-4-6
G- DeWolfe 9-2-22, Porter 3-3-12, Obar 4-0-10, Train 3-0-6, Chapin 1-0-2, Clancy 1-0-2
G (7) Porter 3, DeWolfe, Obar 2
CUMBERLAND—Even on a night when one of the state’s best players was in foul trouble, Greely’s girls’ basketball team still found a way to defeat Yarmouth.
For the 22nd time in a row.
The Rangers took control quickly Monday evening on their home floor, getting five points and three quick assists from sophomore standout Anna DeWolfe to open up a 13-2 lead.
While the Clippers hung tough throughout, they never seriously challenged the Class A South favorites.
Greely held a 17-10 lead after one period, behind nine points from DeWolfe, and extended that advantage to 30-18 at halftime, as senior Isabel Porter and freshman Brooke Obar joined in the sharpshooting fun.
While Yarmouth controlled the glass in the second half behind senior Alison Clark and sophomore Clementine Blaschke, it never got closer than 11 points and after DeWolfe was whistled for her third foul, then her fourth early in the third period, the Rangers actually extended their lead to 45-27, as seniors Molly Chapin and Moira Train played key roles.
DeWolfe fouled out with 6:02 to play, but Greely closed the game out and went on to a 54-37 victory.
DeWolfe led all scorers with 22 points, Porter added 12 and Obar had 10 as the Rangers improved to 4-0 and dropped the Clippers to 2-2 in the process.
“I love coaching these girls,” said first-year Greely coach Todd Flaherty. “They work hard. They’re confident and they respect their opponent. They have good heads on their shoulders. They’re really nice girls.”
Greely has long been a premier program and the Rangers have had their way with Yarmouth for over a decade (see sidebar, below).
Last year, Greely won two close games against the Clippers (40-27 at home at 50-41 in Yarmouth) to make it 21 straight in the series.
This winter, a lot is expected of both squads and both teams have lived up to billing in the early going.
After opening with a 46-35 home loss to defending B South champion Gray-New Gloucester, the Clippers won, 28-24, at Lake Region for their first victory over the Lakers in over 11 years and Thursday, rolled at Waynflete, 55-23.
Greely won the 2014-15 Class B title and lost in the Class A South Final to eventual champion York a year ago. This winter, as the favorite, the Rangers handled their first three foes, beating visiting Cape Elizabeth (78-45), host York (72-42) and visiting Brunswick (65-46), as DeWolfe averaged nearly 25 points per contest.
The teams were scheduled to play Saturday, but poor weather postponed the contest 48 hours to Monday.
Yarmouth was seeking its first victory over Greely since a 56-48 triumph Jan. 5, 2005 in Cumberland.
Instead, Greely made it 22 in a row.
The DeWolfe Show started early, as 30 seconds in, after she stole the ball, DeWolfe passed to this year’s freshman sensation, Obar, for a layup to put the Rangers on top to stay.
DeWolfe then canned a 3 and set up Porter for a corner 3 and an 8-0 lead just 1:35 into the contest.
The Clippers got on the board with 6:11 to go in the first, when senior Cory Langenbach made two free throws, but DeWolfe set up Obar for a 3, then took a pass from Train and made a fastbreak layup to extend the lead to 13-2.
“It was good to send a message right at the beginning of the game,” DeWolfe said. “It started on defense.”
“Brooke and Anna play so well together,” said Train. “They know each other. They can tell what the other is thinking. It’s such a great experience playing with them.”
To its credit, Yarmouth didn’t buckle and hung tough, scoring six straight to make things interesting.
A baseline jumper by Langenbach accounted for the Clippers’ first field goal. Blaschke was fouled on an offensive rebound and hit two free throws and Langenbach took a pass from junior Sara D’Appolonia and finished in transition to cut the deficit to 13-8, but DeWolfe seized momentum right back for the Rangers, taking a pass from Obar at the other end and going up for a reverse layup. DeWolfe then added a jump shot before a Blaschke putback made it a 17-10 contest after eight minutes.
DeWolfe had nine points, three assists and a pair of steals in the first quarter and would be just as dominant in the second.
DeWolfe started the new frame with a layup and Obar made a fastbreak layup after a steal by Chapin to extend the lead to 21-10.
After Blaschke made two free throws after yet another offensive rebound, DeWolfe drove for a layup. D’Appolonia made a foul shot, but Porter answered with a pair for a 25-13 lead.
After D’Appolonia banked home a shot, DeWolfe buried another 3. Clark made a free throw, but with 2:02 to go before the half, DeWolfe took a pass under the basket and despite having virtually no angle, somehow got a reverse layup to dance on the rim and fall for Greely’s biggest lead of the half.
Down the stretch, Blaschke and D’Appolonia each made one free throw, but the Rangers took a 30-18 lead to the break.
DeWolfe matched Yarmouth’s scoring output in the first half with 18 points.
“It’s tremendous to watch (Anna) play,” said Flaherty. “I don’t want to say she’s the best player I’ve had because I’ve had some great boys’ players, but she’s the best player I’ve coached. She’s unbelievable. She’s worked hard on her skills, but she has a court sense most people don’t have. She knows where everybody is and she has a feel for the pace of the game. She has an extra gear.”
Blaschke’s seven points and seven rebounds (five on the offensive glass) kept the Clippers within hailing distance.
Greely ended all doubt in the third quarter.
Train started the second half with a floater. After Clark converted an old-fashioned three-point play (layup, foul, free throw), Porter buried a 3. Clark answered with a leaner, but DeWolfe set up Obar for a 3 and after DeWolfe picked up her third foul but remained on the floor, she was fouled and sank a pair of free throws for a 40-23 lead.
With 5:04 remaining in the third, DeWolfe picked up her fourth foul, sending her to the bench, but the Rangers didn’t miss a beat, actually adding a point to their lead before the end of the period.
After Clark made a layup for the Clippers, Porter set up Chapin for a layup. Clark made a layup at the other end, but Greely freshman Katherine Clancy made a jump shot and Porter added a free throw for a 45-27 advantage at the end of three.
In the fourth, Greely finished it off.
DeWolfe returned to the game and made a layup and Train added a layup for a 22-point lead, but with 6:02 to go, DeWolfe picked up her fifth foul, ending her night.
D’Appolonia converted two free throws, but Porter countered with a corner 3. After Clark made two foul shots, she banked home a shot, then made both ends of a 1-and-1 to cut the deficit to 52-35 with 2:58 to go, but Train stole the ball and made a layup and even though Langenbach scored on a late putback, but the Rangers went on to a 54-37 victory.
“We came out strong, then we got in foul trouble a little bit,” Train said. “We came back and ended strong.”
“We started off strong and we’re still trying to work on a few things,” DeWolfe said. “We’ve got a lot of talent on the team. We’re putting it all together. Everyone steps up in different games and plays a role.”
“We hit some shots early, but I thought their zone was very effective,” Flaherty added. “That gives us something to work on. They wanted to play a low scoring game.”
DeWolfe had 22 points despite playing less than three quarters. She also had five assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
“I didn’t stay very disciplined, but other teammates stepped up,” DeWolfe said. “That was good. It was good for other kids to get in. It was good for their experience.”
Porter added 12 points, Obar had 10 and Train six (to go with eight rebounds, five assists, three blocks and a steal).
“I try to do whatever I can to help the team win,” Train said. “We’re all trying to win a state title.”
“Moira was hurt a little bit early, so she’s just rounding into basketball shape,” said Flaherty. “She’s critical all over the floor for us.”
Chapin and Clancy added two points apiece for Greely, which turned the ball over 11 times and made 5 of 8 foul shots.
Yarmouth was paced by Clark, who had a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds. Langenbach had eight points (along with six rebounds and two steals), Blaschke seven (to go with 10 rebounds, five on the offensive glass) and D’Appolonia six (as well as five assists).
The Clippers outrebounded the Rangers, 36-26, and made 17 of 24 free throws, but they committed 15 turnovers.
“It was a tough start,” said Yarmouth coach Christina Strong. “They’re everything people say about them. They have it all. They don’t just have two scorers, they’ve got seven. They’re aggressive. We knew they’d press us fullcourt. We tried to slow it down, but you get caught up in the momentum. We weren’t making our putbacks. We outrebounded them and had a lot of offensive rebounds. We didn’t capitalize. We adjusted our defense to account for their outside shooters, then they adjusted their offense and put the high post in. When they added someone in the middle, it changed things. It was a tough matchup.
“I feel like we played with grit. We didn’t lie down. We changed things up several times and the girls handled it because they’re smart.”
The teams will meet again Jan. 10 in Yarmouth. Both have work to do in the meantime.
Yarmouth won’t have long to lick its wounds. Tuesday, the Clippers go to Maranacook. Thursday, in the finale of the 2016 portion of the schedule, Yarmouth is home against Sacopee Valley.
“We need to continue to tighten things up and make better passes,” Strong said. “We have to win these games, then we’ll play in a good Christmas tournament to stay fresh. We’re still jelling.”
Greely has a huge test Tuesday, when it visits defending Class AA champion Gorham, arguably the state’s finest girls’ squad.
“It should be a good game,” DeWolfe said. “We’ll go in confident. It should be fun.”
“We’ll relax and go play,” said Flaherty. “Obviously, they have very good players, but we do too. We’ll play our game and see how things work out. Gorham will show us things we need to work on and hopefully, we’ll show them some things they need to work on too. It’ll be competitive.”
The Rangers then close 2016 with a visit to Morse Thursday.
“It’s been a fun season so far,” Train said. “I love this group. We hope to do something special. I’m excited.”
Greely freshman Brooke Obar knocks down a 3-point shot.
Greely senior Isabel Porter goes up for a shot in traffic.
Greely freshman Katie Fitzpatrick drives on Yarmouth sophomore Clementine Blaschke.
Yarmouth junior Sara D’Appolonia drives past Greely freshman Brooke Obar.
Yarmouth sophomore Clementine Blaschke defends Greely freshman Katherine Clancy.
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