CUMBERLAND—The legend of Ashley Storey continues to grow, the legend of Haley Felkel is just beginning and the Greely girls’ basketball team rolls merrily along.
Saturday afternoon against visiting rival Falmouth, the Rangers dug an early 4-1 hole, but controlled the rest of the game, as Storey put on a stat sheet-stuffing performance and Felkel sparkled as well.
Greely closed the first period on a 13-2 run to seize control. In the second quarter, Felkel had seven points and while the Yachtsmen, behind senior Ally Hickey, stayed close, the Rangers took a 27-18 advantage to the break.
In the first half alone, Storey had nine rebounds and four steals, to go with seven points and she really opened up the offense in a third quarter explosion.
Storey tallied 12 points, doing it inside and out, and Greely’s nine-point lead mushroomed to 19 by period’s end. From there, the Rangers’ defense suffocated any possible Falmouth comeback hopes and Greely went on to a decisive 54-28 victory.
Storey led the way with 24 points, 12 boards, four steals and two blocked shots and Felkel wasn’t far behind with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals as the Rangers improved to 4-1 with their fourth straight victory and in the process, snapped the Yachtsmen’s three-game win streak and dropped them to 3-2.
“This was a big win for us,” Storey said. “If we had lost, it would have left a nasty taste in our mouths. We knew we had to come out here and give it all we’ve got.”
Falmouth and Greely both expect to do big things this winter and after an initial hiccup, each squad has lived up to billing.
The Yachtsmen dropped their opener, 63-49, down at York, then defeated host Wells (36-26), visiting Poland (44-29) and Tuesday, outlasted visiting defending Class B state champion Lake Region in overtime (42-41).
The Rangers lost on Opening Night to visiting Western B co-favorite Gray-New Gloucester (59-47), then righted their ship with victories over host Freeport (62-26), visiting Kennebunk (64-33) and host Yarmouth (50-29).
The teams have played twice (sometimes three times) almost every year this century and since the start of the 2001-02 season, entering play Saturday, Greely had won 16 of 26 meetings (see sidebar, below), thanks in large part to capturing 10 of the past 11.
Falmouth did snap a nine-game skid to the Rangers last winter, winning the first encounter, 53-45, on its home floor, but in Cumberland, Greely prevailed in the rematch, 55-44.
The Yachtsmen were hoping for their first win on the Rangers’ floor since Dec. 7, 2007 (52-44), but Greely continued its hex on its neighbor.
Falmouth started quickly when sophomore Adelaide Cooke knocked down a baseline jumper 21 seconds in.
After the Rangers got on the board courtesy a free throw from sophomore Moira Train, Yachtsmen sophomore Alaina Birkel drained a jumper for a 4-1 lead.
That would prove to be Falmouth’s highwater mark.
A layup from sophomore Molly Chapin, followed by a 3 from Train gave Greely the lead for good, 6-4.
With 3:08 left in the first period, Storey scored on a putback while being fouled and added the free throw for the old-fashioned three-point play and a 9-4 advantage.
After Felkel scored her first points, on a jumper in the lane, Falmouth snapped the Rangers’ 10-0 run when Birkel hit a jumper. Greely then got a layup from Chapin and a free throw from sophomore Isabel Porter to go up, 14-6, after eight minutes.
The Yachtsmen kept things close in the second quarter.
A 3-ball from sophomore Maddy Adams started the frame and drew the visitors within five, but Felkel answered with a 3, Storey scored on a layup after a nice spin move, then Storey hit a jumper for a 21-9 advantage.
After Hickey went coast to coast for a layup and her first points, Felkel hit a jumper. Hickey canned a 3, but Felkel countered with a long jump shot and a 25-14 lead.
After a free throw from Falmouth senior Jess Burton, Hickey made a layup after a steal to cut the deficit to eight, but Rangers junior Maddie Cyr made two foul shots. Late in the half, Burton made one free throw and the Yachtsmen trailed, 27-18, at the break.
In the first 16 minutes, Felkel led all scorers with nine points, while Storey had seven points, nine rebounds and four steals.
Storey then went wild in the third quarter.
Just eight seconds in, Storey took a pass from Felkel and made a layup. Felkel added a layup after a steal to push the lead to 31-18.
After Hickey countered with two foul shots, Storey scored on a runner. Yachtsmen sophomore Abby Ryan made a 3 to cut the deficit to 10, but Greely got the next 11 points.
First, Felkel fed Storey for a layup. Storey then hit a leaner and Storey drove for a leaner, was fouled and hit the free throw to complete the three-point play. Porter then knocked down a 3 and Storey added a foul shot and with 2 minutes left in the third, the Rangers were firmly in control, up, 44-23.
A left-handed layup from Burton ended the run and a 4:42 drought, but Greely took a 44-25 lead to the final stanza.
Storey had 12 points in the third period and did a little of everything.
“We’re seeing her ballhandling skills,” Rangers coach Joel Rogers said. “She went into the lane, went behind her back to get into the paint and pulled up for a jump shot. Tell me who else at 6-3 can do that?”
“(Storey’s) such a tough matchup,” said Yachtsmen coach Mari Warner. “We doubled inside quite well. That’s why she took it outside, then she started taking it to the hole. We didn’t prepare for that. We have to prepare for her inside and out.”
Falmouth got single free throws from sophomore Hadley Wiggin and Burton to start the fourth quarter before Storey scored on a baseline jumper, Felkel made a layup after a steal, Storey showed her shooting acumen by burying a 3, then Felkel made a 3 of her own for 10 straight points and a 54-27 lead.
“In the first few games, I was a little nervous to shoot and my shot wasn’t really falling,” Felkel said. “My teammates really support me. If I’m not having a good shooting night, I try to step up in other aspects like rebounding and I try to pass to make us the best team we can be.”
With 23.5 seconds remaining, Hickey made a foul shot and that brought the curtain down on Greely’s 54-28 victory.
“We came out and knew we had to lock down on defense and shut down Hickey because she’s a good player,” Storey said. “We had to box out and get rebounds and I think we did that tonight.”
“We didn’t play the game they wanted us to play, we played our game,” Felkel said. “This game, we locked down on defense. We were unselfish. We passed well and I was really proud of our defensive communication, especially in the second half.”
“We went to the rim and got to the foul line,” Rogers added. “If we keep doing that, we’re going to be a team to be reckoned with. Falmouth’s very athletic and they have skilled players. Obviously, Hickey is one of the finest around. We did a much better job defensively today. I’m very happy about to hold them to 28 points. They’re physical and we started rebounding better. Offensively, we’ve stepped it up a little bit.”
Storey’s stat line dazzled, as she had a double-double (24 points, 12 rebounds) and also collected four steals while blocking two shots.
“(Ashley) has such natural ability,” Felkel said. “She’s so good. She can shoot from the outside and get it in low. Overall, she’s a great player.”
Felkel was something special as well, scoring 16 points, adding four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“Haley usually passes into me and she’s a great passer, but she had a breakout game tonight,” Storey said.
“Haley is the inspirational leader for us,” Rogers said. “Her motor doesn’t stop. She works harder than anyone else on the court. Her shot has come along for us this year. There were at least four times tonight when she fought for a rebound. (She and Ashley have) played together since fourth grade. They know each other so well.”
Chapin (six rebounds), Porter and Train all had four points, while Cyr (six boards) added two.
“Isabel and Maddie played well off the bench,” Rogers said. “Isabel is as good a defensive player as we have and Maddie helped us on the boards. My sophomores are coming around. They’ll be big contributors for us.”
The Rangers won the battle on the glass, 34-28, committed 16 turnovers and sank 7 of 12 free throws.
For Falmouth, Hickey led the way with 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
Burton had five points (and eight boards), Birkel four, Adams and Ryan three each, Cooke two and Wiggin one.
The Yachtsmen committed 17 turnovers and made just 7 of 16 foul shots.
“For some reason, we were sluggish,” Warner lamented. “I don’t know where that came from. Our transition on both ends was very poor. That’s what I was unhappy about.”
Falmouth won’t play another countable game until the new year, when it welcomes Cape Elizabeth Jan. 3. The Yachtsmen will have a chance to avenge their first loss when they welcome York three days later.
“This is just one game, it’s not where we’re going to be at the end of the season,” Warner said. “We play everybody twice. I have no problem playing Greely again. We still have stuff to work on.”
Greely, meanwhile, does have one more game this calendar year, at Poland on Dec. 30. The new year brings an immediate test at Fryeburg Academy on Jan. 2.
This team does have Gold Ball aspirations and they’re legitimate, even if there’s still work to do.
“We need to continue our defense and keep knocking down shots,” Storey said. “Everyone’s stepping up with that.”
“I’m not playing college basketball, so this is my last shot,” Felkel said. “We want to win together. We’re very close. We have one goal in mind and we plan to see it through. We need to treat every game like we’re going for the Gold Ball.”
“I really wanted this win to be sure we go into break on the right mindset because the tough part of the schedule is coming up,” Rogers added.
Greely senior standout Ashley Storey soars for a 3-point shot. Storey led all players with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Falmouth sophomore Maddy Adams drives past a Greely defender.
Falmouth sophomore Alaina Birkel looks for an open teammate.
Falmouth senior Jess Burton goes up for a shot.
Falmouth senior Ally Hickey races up the floor.
Falmouth coach Mari Warner tries to get her team to respond during a timeout.
@ Falmouth 53 Greely 45
@ Greely 55 Falmouth 44
@ Greely 46 Falmouth 32
Greely 30 @ Falmouth 25
Western B prelim
@ Greely 42 Falmouth 40
Greely 37 @ Falmouth 30
@ Greely 43 Falmouth 37
@ Greely 36 Falmouth 27
Greely 41 @ Falmouth 34
@ Greely 63 Falmouth 39
Greely 60 @ Falmouth 27
@ Greely 62 Falmouth 59
@ Falmouth 58 Greely 40
Falmouth 52 @ Greely 44
@ Falmouth 49 Greely 45
Western B semifinals
Falmouth 47 Greely 44 (OT)
@ Falmouth 54 Greely 41
Falmouth 62 @ Greely 46
Falmouth 35 @ Greely 27
@ Falmouth 69 Greely 63 (3 OT)
Falmouth 57 @ Greely 30
Greely 45 @ Falmouth 44 (OT)
Greely 56 @ Falmouth 10
@ Greely 48 Falmouth 22
Greely 67 @ Falmouth 32
@ Greely 69 Falmouth 17
Greely seniors Haley Felkel (5) and Ashley Storey celebrate the Rangers’ 54-28 home win over Falmouth Saturday. Felkel and Storey combined for 40 points as Greely won its fourth in a row.
Ben McCanna photos.
More photos below.
F- 6 12 7 3- 28
G- 14 13 17 10- 54
F- Hickey 3-3-10, Burton 1-3-5, Birkel 2-0-4, Adams 1-0-3, Ryan 1-0-3, Cooke 1-0-2, Wiggin 0-1-1
G- Storey 10-3-24, H. Felkel 7-0-16, Chapin 2-0-4, Porter 1-1-4, Train 1-1-4, Cyr 0-2-2
F (3) Adams, Hickey, Ryan 1
G (5) H. Felkel 2, Porter, Storey, Train 1