Greely senior Andrew Storey exults after one of his three slam dunks during the two-time defending Class A champion Rangers’ 46-29 home win over rival Falmouth Friday night.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald photos.
More photos below.
F- 9 0 9 11- 29
G- 13 9 9 15- 46
F- Pitre 3-0-8, Simonds 3-0-7, Coyne 2-0-4, Hester 2-0-4, Dilworth 1-0-2, Douglas 1-0-2, Webber-Graiver 1-0-2
G- Bagshaw 6-1-16, Storey 7-0-14, Bernheisel 3-0-6, Boddie 2-0-4, Coppersmith 2-0-4, Cimino 1-0-2
F (3) Pitre 2, Simonds 1
G (3) Bagshaw 3
CUMBERLAND—Greely’s boys’ basketball team isn’t used to losing, doesn’t like losing and it wasn’t a big surprise Friday evening that the Rangers, a week after their first setback in three years, roared back with a vengeance and enjoyed a big victory over rival Falmouth, the team perhaps best equipped to knock Greely off its championship perch.
Rangers senior Andrew Storey scored six points in the first quarter, including a breakaway slam dunk, to help the hosts open up a 13-9 lead.
Greely’s defense was the story in the second period, shutting the Yachtsmen out, and a late jumper from junior Logan Bagshaw stretched the advantage to 22-9 at the break.
Falmouth snapped a nine-minute scoreless drought in the third quarter and got within 11, but junior Jake Bernheisel, who was huge on the defensive end all night, scored four points to help the Rangers stay in control. Junior Michael Simonds made a late 3-pointer to pull the Yachtsmen within 31-18 heading to the final stanza.
There, Greely ended all doubt, as Storey produced another dunk to break Falmouth’s will and the Rangers went on to a 46-29 victory.
Bagshaw led all scorers with 16 points, Storey added 14 and Greely improved to 3-1, beat the Yachtsmen for the eighth consecutive time and in the process, dropped Falmouth to 4-1 on the year.
“This is a totally different team than we’ve been in the past, but the kids responded well,” said Rangers coach Travis Seaver. “We do a good job focusing on who we play and following the game plan. It comes down to preparation and focus.”
Entering play Friday, since the start of the 2001-02 season, the Rangers had beaten the Yachtsmen in 19 of 36 meetings, thanks in large part to sweeping the series each of the past three years (see sidebar, below, for recent results).
Last winter, Greely won, 51-40, at Falmouth in the regular season, then had to hold on for dear life in a 49-47 victory in the Class A South semifinals.
So far, this season, the Rangers and Yachtsmen have lived up to billing as the teams to beat in the region.
Greely opened with a 74-62 home win over Cape Elizabeth, then beat host Wells, the reigning Class B South champion, 61-47, before falling, 62-55, at South Portland last Friday for its first loss since falling to Brunswick in the 2016 Class A South semifinals.
Falmouth, meanwhile, opened with wins at Marshwood (58-40) and Scarborough (60-56). The Yachtsmen then downed visiting Brunswick (64-36) and Biddeford (59-16).
Friday, Falmouth sought its first win in the series since a 60-51 triumph Jan. 10, 2015 in Cumberland, but instead, in front of a raucous crowd that used thundersticks to spark their heroes, Greely controlled play most of the way and got back in the win column.
A floater from Storey opened the scoring and Bagshaw followed with a pullup 3-pointer for a quick 5-0 advantage.
The Yachtsmen answered, as sophomore Nicco Pitre made a jump shot, then drained a 3, but a bank shot from senior Mikey Coppersmith with 4:18 left in the first quarter put the Rangers ahead to stay.
Coppersmith then set up Storey for a layup and with 3:20 to go in the frame, Storey got the ball after a Falmouth turnover and raced in for a resounding slam dunk and an 11-5 advantage.
The Yachtsmen countered with a putback from senior Nik Hester, but Coppersmith banked home a shot. A late bank shot from Simonds pulled Falmouth within 13-9 after eight minutes.
Each team committed seven turnovers in the first period.
In the second quarter, Greely would take better care of the ball and turn to its smothering defense to extend its lead.
Bagshaw got things started with a 3-point shot from NBA-range. After Bernheisel scored his first points, on a bank shot, Bernheisel set up Storey for another dunk.
“It was just my teammates pushing the ball and getting me open,” Storey said.
Then, with just a second to go, Bagshaw hit a jumper from the baseline and the Rangers took a 22-9 advantage to the locker room.
In the first half, Bagshaw and Storey had eight points apiece.
Greely got the first points of the second half, as Bagshaw delivered a pretty no-look pass to senior Lars Boddie for a layup.
With 7:18 remaining in the third period, Hester made a layup, ending the Rangers’ 11-0 run and the Yachtsmen’s 9:00 drought.
Hester set up junior Brady Douglas for a layup cutting the deficit to 24-13, but Falmouth couldn’t make a run, as Bernheisel countered with a baseline jumper and Bagshaw sank a 3.
After a layup from freshman Brady Coyne pulled the Yachtsmen within 29-15, Bernheisel made a layup.
With 7 seconds left, Simonds sank a 3 to cut Greely’s lead to 31-18, but the Rangers ended all doubt in the fourth quarter.
Storey squashed any Falmouth comeback hopes with his third dunk, this one after a fake and a drive in the regular offense.
“Drew’s great,” Seaver said. “He’s super-athletic and very active and is always around the basketball.”
Coppersmith then set up Boddie for a layup and a 35-18 advantage with 6:30 remaining.
Simonds countered with a layup, but Bernheisel fed Storey for one at the other end.
After Simonds set up sophomore Sean Dilworth for a layup, Bagshaw made a free throw.
Yachtsmen senior Jackman Webber-Graiver made a layup after a steal, but Coppersmith found Bagshaw for a layup and Storey made a layup to extend the lead to 42-24 with 1:51 to play.
Pitre sank a 3, but Bagshaw and senior Joe Cimino answered with layups before a jumper from Coyne brought the curtain down on Greely’s 46-29 victory.
“As a team, we try to be strong together and lock up on defense,” Storey said. “A big shout out to Jake, he really stepped up on defense.”
“I thought we did a good job on their players,” Seaver said. “(Defense has) been a big focus for us the last week. We have to be a great defensive team and the guys are starting to buy into it. We’re starting to see defensive leaders, which is nice.”
Bagshaw had a game-high 16 points to go with three steals.
Storey added 14 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Bernheisel finished with six points (five rebounds and three assists), Boddie and Coppersmith (five rebounds, three assists) had four apiece and Cimino contributed two.
The Rangers took just four free throws, making one, but had a 27-26 rebounding advantage and overcame 15 turnovers.
Every Greely player in uniform saw action Friday, with one exception.
Senior standout Zach Brown, who has been sidelined with a hand injury, did suit up, but didn’t see the floor.
Rest assured that he’ll be welcomed back with open arms as soon as he’s ready to go.
“It’s been rough without him,” Storey said. “He’s a great player and an all-around good guy and we’re just trying to get through until he gets back.”
“Zach is a great player and we’re a different team when he’s on the floor,” Seaver said. “It’s been a grind. It’s nice to see him back in uniform. The other guys have done a good job picking up things Zach does really well for us.”
Falmouth’s top scorer was Pitre, with eight points. Simonds scored seven points before fouling out. Coyne and Hester finished with four apiece and Dilworth, Douglas and Webber-Graiver all added two.
The Yachtsmen went 32 minutes without attempting a single foul shot and turned the ball over 18 times.
“You can’t win a game and not get to the foul line,” said Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “We just weren’t being aggressive and they were playing great defense. You have to attack the pressure. We didn’t. We deferred to the pressure. You can’t score the ball when you turn it over. They were a little more aggressive and a little more prepared than we were. We were coming off two easy wins. I thought we could back into it, but they made plays. They’re legit. That’s what champions do.”
The rivals aren’t scheduled to play again this winter, but there’s a good chance they’ll square off late in the regional tournament in February.
Falmouth looks to bounce back Thursday when it meets Cape Elizabeth at the Portland Exposition Building. Two days later, the Yachtsmen meet York at the same venue.
“We have the pieces that we can be successful,” Halligan said. “We just have to find how they go together. We’re in the middle of it. We’ll see how respond. It’ll be interesting.”
Greely is back in action next Friday at Brunswick. The Rangers are then idle until Jan. 3 when they play host to Gray-New Gloucester.
“We have to keep pushing hard in practice and have composure,” Storey said. “I think we still have a ways to go, but I think (winning again) is doable.”
“I love this team,” said Seaver. “It’s one of the most competitive teams we’ve had as far as heart. It’s about learning to win. Even with the success we’ve had, nothing is given. I think we have to get healthy and we need more experience. Expectations are still high for us.”
Greely junior Logan Bagshaw defends Falmouth freshman Brady Coyne.
Falmouth sophomore Nicco Pitre and Greely senior Andrew Storey battle for a loose ball.
@ Greely 57 Falmouth 56
Greely 54 @ Falmouth 44
@ Falmouth 55 Greely 52
Falmouth 60 @ Greely 51
@ Greely 57 Falmouth 53 (OT)
@ Falmouth 69 Greely 55
@ Falmouth 63 Greely 45
Falmouth 68 @ Greely 45
Falmouth 55 @ Greely 48
@ Falmouth 53 Greely 51 (2 OT)
@ Greely 45 Falmouth 36
Greely 49 @ Falmouth 48
Falmouth 74 @ Greely 63
@ Falmouth 73 Greely 63
Falmouth 54 @ Greely 49
Greely 61 @ Falmouth 38
@ Greely 63 Falmouth 52
@ Falmouth 65 Greely 56
Western B quarterfinals
Greely 50 Falmouth 49
Greely 53 @ Falmouth 40
Falmouth 64 @ Greely 55
Western B semifinals
Greely 63 Falmouth 40
Falmouth 57 @ Greely 53
Greely 77 Falmouth 73 (3 OT)
Falmouth 58 @ Greely 39
@ Falmouth 54 Greely 36
@ Falmouth 64 Greely 38
Falmouth 51 @ Greely 42
@ Greely 57 Falmouth 45
Western B semifinals
Greely 62 Falmouth 45
Greely 56 @ Falmouth 52