Greely sophomore Logan Bagshaw launches a 3-point shot during the defending Class A champion Rangers’ season-opening 66-50 win at Cape Elizabeth Friday night. Bagshaw had 21 points in the victory.
Joe Carpine / 365 digitalphotography.com photos.
More photos below.
G- 19 17 16 14- 66
CE- 14 8 14 14- 50
G- Bagshaw 7-2-21, Brown 7-3-17, Storey 5-2-12, Kane 4-1-9, Coppersmith 1-1-3, Bernheisel 1-0-2, Eisenhart 0-2-2
CE- Bowe 9-2-25, Hartel 5-1-11, Lockwood 3-1-7, Hare 1-0-3, Mullen 1-0-3, Carpenter 0-1-1
G (5) Bagshaw 5
CE (7) Bowe 5, Hare, Mullen 1
CAPE ELIZABETH—The more things change, the more they stay the same for Greely’s boys’ basketball team.
Friday evening at rival Cape Elizabeth, the defending Class A champion Rangers raced to an early lead, got out in transition, moved the ball and there was an even a Bagshaw draining 3-point shots.
This wasn’t the championship version, however, but Greely’s 2017-18 edition, and these Rangers might just become something special too.
Greely scored the game’s first six points and behind strong play from junior Zack Brown and three 3-point shots from sophomore Logan Bagshaw, grabbed a 19-14 lead after one quarter.
The Rangers then started the second period on a 13-1 run and took a 36-22 advantage to the break.
The Capers, behind senior sharpshooter Finn Bowe, crept within six early in the second half, but after Greely coach Travis Seaver declined to call timeout, Bagshaw hit back-to-back 3s and Brown followed with a layup to break the game open again.
The Rangers took a 52-36 lead to the fourth quarter and Cape Elizabeth never got closer than 11 points as Greely went on to a 66-50 victory.
Bagshaw led the way with 21 points, Brown added 17 and Greely extended its win streak to 23, its regular season streak to 22 and handed the Capers a season-opening loss for the second year in a row.
“The first game is usually the hardest, because you don’t know what to expect,” said Brown. “Everyone was feeling a little nervous, so coming out on top was really important for us.”
After numerous painful playoff ousters, Greely finally broke through a year ago and left no doubt that it was the premier team in Class A and one of the best in any class, as it rode the brilliance of Mr. Maine Basketball winner Matt McDevitt and his talented classmates, Jordan Bagshaw and Ryan Twitchell, to a 22-0 season, which was capped by a 59-43 victory over Messalonskee in the state final in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score suggested.
After graduation took its toll, consensus held that the Rangers would come back to pack this winter, but at first blush, it appears Greely has simply reloaded.
Cape Elizabeth, meanwhile, went 12-8 in 2016-17, losing, 43-38, to Falmouth in the Class A South semifinals. The Capers are back in Class B this winter and along with Yarmouth. are considered a team to beat.
Entering play Friday, the Capers held a 21-16 edge in games played since the start of the 2001-02 season (see sidebar, below), but this time around, the Rangers quickly showed that they have every intention of staying atop the standings as they kept the good times rolling.
Both teams were cold early, but with 5:31 to go in the first quarter, Greely went on top to stay when junior Mike Coppersmith set up Brown in transition for a layup.
Logan Bagshaw then passed to junior Andrew Storey for a layup and Storey set up Brown for a layup and a 6-0 lead.
“Logan and Andrew are stepping in and playing a huge role for us this year,” Greely coach Travis Seaver said. “They played great tonight.”
With 4:11 left in the opening stanza, Cape Elizabeth cut the deficit in half as senior David Hare drained a 3-point shot, but senior Jack Kane scored on a putback and Bagshaw hit a 3 for an 11-3 Rangers’ lead, forcing Capers coach Jim Ray to call timeout.
Junior Andrew Hartel got a point back for the hosts at the foul line, but Greely sophomore Jacob Bernheisel countered with a jumper. Bowe got his first points, on a leaner, and senior Andrew Lockwood added a putback to cut the deficit to five, but Bagshaw drained another 3.
Bowe countered with a 3, but Bagshaw hit another 3. Then, with time winding down, Bowe stepped back and sank another 3 to make it 19-14 Greely after eight minutes.
Bowe had eight points in the first quarter, but Cape Elizabeth turned the ball over five times and Bagshaw had nine points to help the Rangers get the jump.
“It’s nice to play a bigger role this year,” said Logan Bagshaw, who wears the same number (3) and looks and shoots a lot like his brother (Jordan is starting this winter for the University of New England men’s team). “The team’s helping me get into it. I felt good early. I knocked down a couple 3s and that gave me confidence.”
“(Logan’s) still got a lot of learning to do, but he can really shoot the ball like his brother,” Brown said.
Greely opened up its lead even further in the second period.
Coppersmith got things started with a layup after a steal, Brown made consecutive bank shots and after Storey stole the ball and slammed it home, Brown stole the ball, made a layup while being fouled and added the ensuing free throw for an old-fashioned three-point play and a 30-14 advantage with 3:17 to go in the first half.
A free throw from Capers junior Tanner Carpenter ended the 11-0 run and a 4 minute, 43 second drought, but Coppersmith set up Storey for a layup. After Hartel hit a leaner and Bowe made a runner, Brown countered with two free throws. Freshman Nathan Mullen made a 3 for the hosts, but with 31.7 seconds to go, Bagshaw scored on a putback for a 36-22 Rangers’ lead at halftime.
“I thought the first half was good, to go into the locker room up 14,” Seaver said. “I’m pretty happy how we came out and played. We’ve preached defense. Cape always comes out and plays hard and plays smart. We were fortunate enough to force turnovers and get out in transition where we want to be.”
In the first 16 minutes, Brown had 13 points and Bagshaw added 11, which overshadowed Bowe’s 10 points.
The Capers then came out sizzling in the third period and made things very interesting.
But only for a moment.
Twenty seconds into the second half, Hartel scored on a leaner. Bowe then made a 3 and after a steal, Bowe sank another 3-ball to cut the deficit to 36-30.
Seaver declined to call timeout and Greely transitioned to offense and rewarded his faith, as Bagshaw hit a critical 3 of his own.
With 5:28 remaining, Bagshaw rimmed home a long 3-pointer and 27 seconds later, Coppersmith set up Brown for a backdoor layup and just like that, the Rangers’ lead was back up to 14, 44-30.
“I did think about a timeout and I almost took one, but the ball was down the court quickly and I have a lot of trust in these guys already,” Seaver said. “We have guys who can make shots, but it could have gone the other way.”
A Hartel putback ended the run, but Kane converted an old-fashioned three-point play and Storey added one of his own. Bowe hit a spinner, but Bagshaw made a putback. A putback from Lockwood as time expired pulled Cape Elizabeth within 52-36 with eight minutes to go.
In the fourth quarter, the Capers tried to make a run, but couldn’t draw any closer 11.
After Coppersmith set up Kane for a layup to start the final stanza, Lockwood made a layup for the hosts, but Brown set up Kane for a layup, Bagshaw set up Brown for a layup and with 5:57 to go, Kane blocked a shot at one end and at the other, Brown passed to Storey for a dunk and Greely’s biggest lead, 60-38.
After Lockwood made a free throw, Bowe hit a jumper. Storey got a point back at the line, but Hartel made a layup, Bowe hit two foul shots, Bowe set up Hartel for a layup and with 3 minutes on the clock, Bowe sank his final 3, pulling the Capers within 61-50.
They wouldn’t score again, however, and the Rangers promptly put it away.
After Bagshaw and Coppersmith each made one foul shot, inside the final minute, Bagshaw made a free throw and senior A.J. Eisenhart sank two more and that accounted for the 66-50 final score.
“Intensity and talking on defense, being aggressive going to hoop, that all helped,” Bagshaw said. “We were ready to play. We didn’t let (Cape) get in our heads. We kept answering everything. I like this team. We’re unselfish and we play well together.”
“This was big for our confidence,” said Brown. “People thought since we graduated a lot of starters, we wouldn’t be as good. I think we’re still as good, maybe not as good on offense, but we’ll succeed in transition. Coming off last year, being undefeated, we want to keep that streak going. We were mostly worried about Bowe and Hartel. They’re (Cape’s) main scorers. We knew if we shut them down, we’d have a good shot at winning.”
“Even in a 15-, 16-point game, you feel uncomfortable against Cape,” Seaver added. “This was a good experience for us. This is a totally different group of guys. We play a different style. Even the guys who were here last year, they’re being asked to do different things. They understand that it’s their turn.”
Greely placed three players in double figures, as Bagshaw led all scorers with 21 points (including five 3s, to go with eight rebounds and four assists),
Brown finished with 17 points (and six steals).
“Zack is a guy who does a little bit of everything,” Seaver said. “He scores, he plays great defense. He’s so important to us. He’s our quiet leader.”
Storey added a dozen (to go with five rebounds).
Kane had nine points (as well as five boards and three blocked shots), Coppersmith three (to go with four assists) and Bernheisel and Eisenhart two apiece.
The Rangers made just 11 of 21 free throws and turned the ball over 19 times, but had enough firepower to prevail.
Cape Elizabeth had a 31-30 edge on the boards, but turned the ball over 26 times and made just 5 of 9 foul shots.
Bowe led all scorers with 25 points. He also had 10 rebounds and five steals. Hartel was also in double figures with 11 points. Lockwood had seven points, Hare and Mullen three apiece and Carpenter one.
“We’ve got to make better decisions,” Ray said. “We had opportunities through the course of the game, but we didn’t take advantage of any turnovers on the offensive end. There’s a learning curve to this game. These kids are very coachable. It’s a very good group and they’ll learn and get better. We focus on defense on getting three stops in a row, but we played the whole game without three stops in a row. They had some turnovers, but we would give it right back, then they would transition and score.”
The teams will meet again Jan. 30 in Cumberland. Both teams will likely be vastly improved by that juncture.
Of more immediate concern, the Capers look to get in the win column Tuesday when they visit Fryeburg Academy.
“The preseason is so short and it’s so tough,” said Ray. “You play a rivalry game right out of the chute and they’re clearly further along than we are. We didn’t have enough balance. That’s something we’ll need. Finn is Finn, but if we can’t develop balance, his life will be miserable.”
The Rangers, meanwhile, play their first home game Tuesday when defending Class B South champion Wells pays a visit.
Despite its strong initial showing, Greely knows it can improve.
“We have to talk more on defense,” Brown said. “Our goal every game is to hold teams under 40 points and they were a little over that tonight. We also had too many turnovers.”
“We have to do better rebounding,” Seaver said. “With our size and athleticism, I thought we missed opportunities. We can still be better in the halfcourt too.”
Greely junior Mike Coppersmith goes up for a shot.
Greely junior Zack Brown dribbles the ball as Cape Elizabeth junior Aman Hagos defends.
Cape Elizabeth senior Liam Jacobson and Greely junior Andrew Storey meet in midair.
Cape Elizabeth senior Finn Bowe and Greely senior Jack Kane (35) and junior Zack Brown fight for a rebound.
Cape Elizabeth junior Aman Hagos is defended by Greely sophomore Logan Bagshaw.
Cape Elizabeth senior David Hare dribbles the ball.
@ Greely 62 Cape Elizabeth 44
Greely 58 @ Cape Elizabeth 41
@ Greely 73 Cape Elizabeth 47
@ Cape Elizabeth 45 Greely 38
Cape Elizabeth 61 @ Greely 41
@ Cape Elizabeth 61 Greely 39
Western B quarterfinal
Cape Elizabeth 68 Greely 51
Greely 51 @ Cape Elizabeth 47
@ Greely 71 Cape Elizabeth 62
@ Cape Elizabeth 56 Greely 47
Cape Elizabeth 54 @ Greely 46
@ Greely 59 Cape Elizabeth 47
Greely 56 @ Cape Elizabeth 46
Cape Elizabeth 55 @ Greely 41
Greely 68 @ Cape Elizabeth 50
@ Cape Elizabeth 66 Greely 55
Cape Elizabeth 57 @ Greely 46
Western B semifinal
Cape Elizabeth 51 Greely 43
Cape Elizabeth 72 @ Greely 64
Greely 59 @ Cape Elizabeth 46
Western B semifinals
Cape Elizabeth 46 Greely 45
Greely 60 @ Cape Elizabeth 46
Cape Elizabeth 75 @ Greely 71 (2 OT)
Western B semifinals
Cape Elizabeth 48 Greely 39
Greely 62 @ Cape Elizabeth 55
@ Greely 49 Cape Elizabeth 47 (2 OT)
Cape Elizabeth 60 @ Greely 50
@ Cape Elizabeth 48 Greely 47
@ Cape Elizabeth 48 Greely 40
@ Greely 46 Cape Elizabeth 41
Cape Elizabeth 40 @ Greely 36
@ Cape Elizabeth 46 Greely 31
Greely 57 @ Cape Elizabeth 38
Cape Elizabeth 47 @ Greely 37
Western B semifinals
Greely 50 Cape Elizabeth 37
Cape Elizabeth 64 @ Greely 49
Greely 58 @ Cape Elizabeth 54