Storey girls lead Greely to win over Yarmouth
CUMBERLAND—If Western Maine Conference girls' basketball coaches thought Greely junior Jaclyn Storey was a handful, they can't be very pleased with the addition this winter of her younger sister, Ashley, a freshman.
Suffice it to say, the two Storeys stole the show Tuesday night in a home tilt with up-and-coming Yarmouth.
Ashley Storey had four layups in the game's first three-plus minutes and finished with 19 points, while Jaclyn added 13 points and helped hold Yarmouth senior standout Morgan Cahill in check as the Rangers pulled away for a 56-43 win, improving to 12-3, while dropping the Clippers to 6-9.
"We did a good job," said Greely's first-year coach Kim Hilbrich. "We're starting to pull everything together and look for each other. Yarmouth's had a good series of games. I told the girls to be ready. They're hungry. They came out and played a good game."
Twice the production
While the Greely girls are in their usual spot among the top contenders, Yarmouth is very much on the rise after a 1-17 campaign in 2010-11.
The Clippers, under first-year coach Jay Lowery, opened with losses to Gray-New Gloucester (50-39) and Lake Region (67-25), then snapped a 19-game skid with a 42-39 upset win at Wells. After close home losses to York (40-35) and Falmouth (33-27), Yarmouth won at Fryeburg (32-28) to close the 2011 portion of the season.
The new year began with losses at Freeport (53-52) and at home to Greely (48-18). The Clippers edged host Poland, 44-43, then lost a tough one at home to Cape Elizabeth, 41-39, to drop to 3-7. Yarmouth's resurgence began with an impressive 49-33 home triumph over Western C contender Waynflete. After a 55-41 loss at Gray-New Gloucester, the Clippers dispatched visiting Traip (55-48) and Freeport (46-37).
The Rangers, who made it to the semifinals a year ago before losing to nemesis York, earned early confidence and have only built on it.
Greely dropped its opener at Wells (49-43), then put it together, beating visiting York (for the first time in 10 tries, 43-41), host Falmouth (37-30), visiting Fryeburg (39-29), host Cape Elizabeth (49-23) and visiting Poland (47-31). The new year didn't start auspiciously with a 40-27 loss at Lake Region. Four straight victories followed as the Rangers downed host Yarmouth (48-18), visiting Traip (42-31), host Freeport (53-38) and visiting Falmouth (43-37). After a 40-30 loss at York, Greely downed visiting Gray-New Gloucester (53-44) and host Fryeburg (47-37).
This rivalry has been very one-sided this century.
Over the past 10 years, prior to this meeting, Greely had won 15 of 17 over Yarmouth. That includes a 47-29 victory in the 2004 Western B semifinals. Last year, the Rangers rolled both at the Clippers (44-16) and at home (52-22).
The trend continued Tuesday, although Yarmouth was much more competitive than it was in the first meeting this season.
Ashley Storey made an impact from the get-go, taking a pass from her sister for a layup just 20 seconds in. After Yarmouth senior Jeanna Lowery tied the score with a driving layup, Ashley Storey made a bank shot, then took another pass from Jaclyn and made a layup for a 6-2 lead.
A leaner from Clippers senior Morgan Cahill and a jumper by freshman Lane Simsarian tied the score, but another Ashley Storey layup put Greely ahead to stay, 8-6.
"I was just getting rebounds and open looks," Ashley Storey said.
Ashley Storey then passed to Jaclyn for a layup and junior Caton Beaulieu set up senior Caroline Hamilton for a layup and a 12-6 advantage. After Simsarian made a layup after a steal, senior Ellie Weickert's leaner made it 14-8. Sophomore Sean Cahill converted an old-fashioned three-point play (layup, foul, free throw), but Beaulieu made a layup and senior Haylee Munson drained a 3-ball to make it 19-11 Rangers after eight minutes.
In the first period alone, Ashley Storey had eight points, four steals, two rebounds and two blocked shots and Greely further benefited from nine Yarmouth turnovers.
Lowery went coast to coast for a layup early in the second quarter, but Jaclyn Storey made a layup (from Beaulieu) and Ashley Storey did the same thing to push the lead to 23-13.
After Morgan Cahill made two free throws, Ashley Storey sank a foul shot and Jaclyn Storey drained a jumper. Sean Cahill hit a bank shot, but Hamilton set up Ashley Storey for a layup and Greely was in command at the half, up, 28-17.
Yarmouth was hanging with the Rangers much better than it had the first time around, but couldn't overcome 21 turnovers.
Greely pushed the lead to 31-17 on a Hamilton 3, but Morgan Cahill answered with a jumper. After Beaulieu made a free throw, Simsarian made a layup after a steal. Jaclyn Storey then scored on a putback and Munson set up Ashley Storey for another layup and a 36-21 advantage.
After Sean Cahill scored on a putback, Jaclyn Storey set up Ashley for a layup. Morgan Cahill made a free throw, but Jaclyn Storey somehow banked home a hook shot over Morgan Cahill while being fouled, then sank the free throw for a 41-24 lead.
The Clippers closed the period on a 6-0 run, a Morgan Cahill made a jumper and sank two free throws and at the horn, sophomore Grace O'Donnell hit a runner to draw Yarmouth within 11, 41-30.
The Rangers ended all doubt in the fourth.
After Ashley Storey and Morgan Cahill traded layups, Jaclyn Storey made two free throws and Beaulieu made a layup after a steal to make it 47-32.
Lowery answered with a layup, but Hamilton made a layup and Munson (from Ashley Storey) added a layup to stretch the lead to 51-34.
Morgan Cahill hit a free throw and Sean Cahill scored on a putback, but Munson sank three out of four foul shot attempts and it was 54-37 with 2:37 to play.
After Clippers freshman Shannon Fallon and Weickert traded two free throws, O'Donnell scored on a putback and Fallon hit a jumper to bring the curtain down on Greely's 56-43 triumph.
The Rangers continue to evolve into a top-notch contender.
"It was a lot tougher this time, but it's hard to stop us when we play as a team," Jaclyn Storey said. "We went through an adapting period, but we're coming into our own."
"We took care of the basketball and played good defense," Hilbrich said. "Being a new coach, it's taking some getting used to. They're coming around and they're doing what we're asking them to do."
Ashley Storey dominated to the tune of 19 points, six steals, three rebounds, two blocked shots and two assists.
She's had no trouble making an impact as a freshman.
"I'm close with the girls," Storey said. "We've gotten along well."
"I knew (Ashley would) be a big help," Jaclyn Storey said. "I love playing with my little sister. She's brought a lot of experience. Her AAU team played in Nationals this summer. That's an experience most of us don't have."
"Ashley belongs here," Hilbrich added. "She's going to be a great player for us in the future. I'm excited about all she does and contributes to the team."
Jaclyn Storey finished with 13 points, six boards and three steals. More importantly, she never let Morgan Cahill get in a groove.
"We knew (Morgan's) a big part of their team," Storey said. "I personally play with her in AAU. I know her style of game. I got put on her initially. We knew we had to help a lot on her and we did."
"We played really good defense, I think," Ashley Storey said. "Jackie was good on Cahill. She shut her down. All we needed to do was shut her down since she's a big part of their team. We only let them get one shot."
"Jackie did the job," Hilbrich added. "It's not just Jackie. It's a team effort. She had help all around. They did a good job talking to each other and helping each other."
Munson added eight points, Hamilton had seven, Beaulieu five (along with six rebounds) and Weickert four.
Senior Courtney Nielsen didn't score, but had three rebounds and a game-high seven steals.
The Rangers had 20 steals, 17 turnovers and made 10-of-21 free throws.
For Yarmouth, Morgan Cahill led the way with 14 points. She also grabbed nine boards and had two blocks. Sean Cahill had nine points and 10 rebounds. Lowery was solid with six points and four rebounds.
"Jeanna had a very good game," coach Lowery said. "She controlled the ball."
Simsarian also had six points and three steals. O'Donnell (five boards, three steals) and Fallon each added four points.
The Clippers had a 30-23 rebounding edge, but were doomed by 32 turnovers. They hit 9 of 12 foul shots.
"Greely's defense is good," Lowery said. "We fell further behind than we expected. We had to go man-to-man full court to try to get turnovers. We're a young team. We didn't take care of the ball.
"It's a lot better than the first (Greely game). I think (the girls) learned tonight they can play with some of those better teams. You have to remember, there wasn't a basketball program last summer. We've done this five, six weeks. The kids have learned a lot."
Yarmouth's girls (now 10th in the Western Class B Heal Points standings) are back in action Thursday at home versus Poland, where Morgan Cahill should eclipse the 1,000 point mark on Senior Night (she's 11 points shy). The Clippers then go to Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and finish the regular year at Falmouth Feb. 10.
"I think we'll make a prelim," Lowery said. "We have six wins this year. We've beaten a couple good teams. We could wind up 8 or 9."
Greely (ranked fifth) is home with top-ranked Lake Region Friday, goes to Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and finishes Feb. 10 at home against Cape Elizabeth. If the Rangers wind up fourth or higher, they'll avoid a preliminary round playoff game.
"If we work hard and work on offense and keep getting the open shots we'll be good," Ashley Storey said.
"For the tournament, we need to buckle down and play like we know we can play," said Jaclyn Storey. "We see glimpses, then have silly mistakes. If we play like we can all the time, hopefully we can go far."
"We still need to take care of the basketball," added Hilbrich. "We have to believe in ourselves and that we can stick with anybody in the league. It's all about defense. We're stressing that and rebounding."