Greely girls awaken, handle Yarmouth
YARMOUTH—The Greely girls' basketball team has been going toe-to-toe with the best teams in Western Class B this winter, but Tuesday evening, the Rangers get off to a lackluster start at one-win Yarmouth.
Not surprisingly, Greely found itself down six points early, but you can only keep the Rangers and their blockbuster Storey Sister Act down for so long.
Greely closed the first quarter on a 12-0 run, thanks in large part to stellar play from senior Jaclyn Storey and sophomore Ashley Storey, pushed the lead to a dozen by halftime and never looked back en route to a 57-41 triumph.
Jaclyn Storey had a game-high 24 points and stuffed the stat sheet, Ashley Storey added 14 points and the Rangers improved to 13-2, dropping the valiant Clippers to 1-14 in the process.
"I think we came out a little bit slow," said Jaclyn Storey. "We picked up our intensity and it worked in our favor. We've been working a lot on passing into the post and we've gotten strong at it. We play best when we play together. We've never had a game where we've played a full 32 minutes. That's something we still need to do."
Too many weapons
Greely enjoyed a run to the regional final last winter, but lost to Lake Region. In the offseason, Kim Hilbrich was replaced as coach by Joel Rogers and Rogers and his players have enjoyed a tremendous season.
The Rangers opened with a 53-39 home win over Wells, then lost at nemesis York, 39-34, before rattling off nine successive victories: 46-32 over visiting Falmouth, 54-29 at Fryeburg, 37-31 over visiting Cape Elizabeth, 51-44 at Poland, 38-33 over Lake Region, 68-29 over visiting Yarmouth, 58-41 at Traip, 51-41 over visiting Freeport and 30-25 at Falmouth. The run ended with a 62-39 home loss to York, but Greely bounced back last weekend with a dramatic, come-from-behind 44-41 overtime win at Gray-New Gloucester and a 35-25 home victory over Fryeburg.
Yarmouth enjoyed its best season in years last winter, making it to the quarterfinals before losing to Lake Region. The Clippers graduated standout Morgan Cahill and her absence, combined with a small roster and a series of injuries, has led to struggles this season.
Yarmouth opened with an 82-38 loss at Gray-New Gloucester and closed the 2012 portion of its schedule with losses to visiting Lake Region (77-53) and Wells (51-47), at York (70-47) and Falmouth (79-40) and visiting Fryeburg (57-46). The arrival of the new year didn't change the Clippers' fortunes as they fell to visiting Freeport (69-31), host Greely (68-29), visiting Poland (58-35), host Cape Elizabeth (63-35), host Waynflete (58-37) and visiting Gray-New Gloucester (71-35). Last Friday night, Yarmouth broke into the win column, downing host Traip, 56-49. Saturday, the Clippers fell at Freeport, 60-43.
This rivalry has been very one-sided this century. Heading into Tuesday's game, since the start of the 2001-02 season, Greely had won 16 of 18 meetings, including the past 14. Yarmouth's last win was 56-48 in Cumberland on Jan. 8, 2005. Greely took both meetings a year ago, 48-18 in Yarmouth and 56-43 at home.
Tuesday, the Clippers gave their all, but couldn't counter the Rangers' size advantage and depth.
Greely started hot as Jaclyn Storey made a layup and Ashley Storey hit a bank shot, but Yarmouth went on to a 10-0 run.
The Clippers got on the board when junior Grace O'Donnell took a pass from sophomore Sean Cahill and made a layup. Sophomore Shannon Fallon then made a jumper and a layup to give Yarmouth the lead. A bank shot from senior McKenzie Gray and a leaner from O'Donnell gave the Clippers a stunning 10-4 advantage.
Then, the Rangers came to life.
Ashley Storey ended the run with a layup, then set up freshman Margaret Hatch for a layup. After Jaclyn Storey made a free throw, she gave Greely the lead for good, 12-10, taking a pass from sophomore Haley Felkel, making a layup while being fouled and adding the free throw for an old-fashioned three-point play.
After a Jaclyn Storey steal, she fed Ashley for a layup and a bank shot from Hatch made it 16-10 Rangers after one quarter.
In the first eight minutes, Ashley Storey had six points, seven rebounds and two assists, while Jaclyn Storey added six points, with two steals, two assists and a blocked shot. Seven rebounds from Cahill kept Yarmouth in it, but she picked up three fouls in the process.
Greely extended its run at the start of the second quarter on a Jaclyn Storey layup, another Storey layup and a bank shot from Ashley Storey.
"We had to battle back," said Ashley Storey. "We worked on our pressbreaker a lot this past week. We weren't making the right pass. Coach was mad and called timeout and told us to get going. We broke the press and got open layups. When we could get it inside, we did. We try to play the best we can."
With 3:49 to go before halftime, Clippers sophomore Lane Simsarian made a bank shot to end the 16-0 Rangers' spurt and a 7 minute, 19 second drought.
Jaclyn Storey answered with a pair of foul shots, but O'Donnell drained a jumper. Greely junior Jordynne Copp took a pass from Ashley Storey and made a layup before Cahill hit a free throw. A driving layup from Ashley Storey made it 28-15 Rangers. After O'Donnell got a point back at the line, Greely junior Abigail Nielsen hit a long jumper. As time wound down, Cahill made a layup after a steal to pull Yarmouth within a dozen, 30-18, at the break.
The Clippers never made a serious run in the second half.
Ashley Storey set up Copp for a layup to start the third period scoring. After O'Donnell made a bank shot, Cahill scored on a putback to cut it to 32-22. Ashley Storey scored on a putback, but Fallon answered with a driving layup. Felkel then made her presence felt, taking a pass from Ashley Storey and making a layup, then stealing the ball and making another layup for a 38-24 advantage.
Gray countered with a layup, but Jaclyn Storey scored on a putback. After a Cahill bank shot, Copp took a pass from Ashley Storey and made a layup, Ashley Storey scored on a leaner and Hatch hit a free throw. After Yarmouth junior Monica Austin made a 3 (a rarity for the team in recent seasons), Ashley Storey set up her big sister for a layup in the waning seconds to make it 47-31 heading for the fourth.
There, Simsarian made a free throw, but Ashley Storey hit a runner and Jaclyn Storey converted a driving layup. An Austin jump shot and an O'Donnell free throw brought Yarmouth within 51-35, but Jaclyn Storey made two foul shots. After Cahill scored on a putback, Jaclyn Storey made a leaner. Austin answered with two free throws, but Greely senior Aibgail Ferrar made a jump shot for the Rangers' final points. A runner from Fallon accounted for the 57-41 final score.
Jaclyn Storey didn't just make nine field goals and six free throws for a game-high 24 points, she also had eight rebounds, two steals and three blocks. Ashley Storey added 14 points, 13 boards, two steals and a blocked shot.
"Ashley's a really great player," said Jaclyn Storey. "She has amazing ability. She'll probably go on to college and play a high level. Playing with my younger sister is just great. Not something many people get to do. We know we'll look back when we're older and it will be an unforgettable experience."
Copp finished with six points, Hatch had five (to go with six rebounds), Felkel four (along with three steals) and Ferrar and Nielsen two apiece.
Greely had a 32-20 rebounding advantage and hit 7-of-9 free throws, but did commit an uncharacteristic 29 turnovers.
For Yarmouth, O'Donnell led the way with 10 points and five steals. Cahill managed to stay in the game despite her foul troubles and had nine points, 10 boards and three steals. Fallon added eight points, Austin had seven, Gray four and Simsarian three.
The Clippers did a good job handling the ball, turning it over only 15 times, but missed an abundance of easy shots and went just 6-of-17 from the free throw line.
"As I said to the girls, if we made the layups and half the foul shots we missed, we would have beaten them," Yarmouth coach Jay Lowery lamented. "That goes to show where we are as a team. We're not far off the mark. The kids played hard tonight and they feel good about it. It's been a year that's been challenging. We have a bit of a depth issue here. We haven't had Shannon since five or six games in. Sean just came back Friday. We rotate seven players in. We swing some freshmen up for some experience."
Yarmouth (18th in the Western B Heal Points standings) finishes its season with games at Poland and at home versus Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth.
"We go to Poland and I think we have a really good shot," Lowery said. "Cape is tough. They play really tough. Falmouth is deep and tough. We can change things (for the contenders)."
Greely (fourth in Western B) is hoping to finish strong and wind up as high as possible in the standings, but has three tough games remaining. Friday, the Rangers go to Lake Region. Next week, Greely hosts Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and closes at Cape Elizabeth.
"We need to finish strong," Ashley Storey said. "We want to win the rest of our games and stay in the top four and not have a prelim."
"Getting to full strength before tournament is something we've trying to do," said Jaclyn Storey. "It's pretty open this year. There's no one team on top. We lost to York twice. York lost to Lake Region twice. We beat Lake Region. Throw in teams like Leavitt and Spruce Mountain and there are a lot of strong contenders. It should be a lot of fun in the tournament. You don't know what will happen."