Gray-New Gloucester coach Mike Andreasen has seen enough of Bri Jordan to know how she can change a game at either end of the floor. After she locked down Poland senior Nathalie Grant in the Patriots’ 47-37 win over the Knights on Thursday, Andreasen made it clear how highly he thinks of his junior forward’s ability at the defensive end.
“Everybody talks, everybody says the best defender around, this or that. I don’t like to make those judgments. I do know that I’d take (Jordan). I’d take her pretty fast,” he said. “If you said to me ‘Give me one lockdown defender out of anybody you’d seen,’ she’d be pretty high on the list.”
Jordan limited Grant to 10 points and, more impressively, without a field goal until a little four minutes were left in the game. She is a big reason why the Patriots have held three of their first four opponents under 40 points and are 3-1.
As its 3-3 record would indicate, its been a bit of an up-and-down start for Dirigo, But coach Travis Magnusson likes what he has seen from his Cougars so far.
“I am really, really happy with how we’re playing,” he said. “These guys are competing hard in practice. They’ve got great team chemistry. We’ve gotten some huge wins early on and we’ve been in some other games.”
Playing four Class B teams in their first six games, the Cougars have been in win-one-lose-one mode so far. The season couldn’t have gotten off to a much worse start than the Cougars’ 71-48 loss to rival Mountain Valley, but they bounced back with an impressive 61-35 win over another Class B school, Oak Hill.
A 58-35 setback against the third B school, Spruce Mountain, was followed by a 66-65 thriller over defending C South champion Winthrop. Dirigo fell to the second C school on its schedule, Boothbay, 65-55, before righting the ship again right before the holiday with a 51-35 victory over Class B Lisbon.
The Cougars are 3-0 at home, 0-3 on the road.
Rambler role players
Despite graduating 80 percent of their starting lineup and eight seniors overall, the Winthrop Ramblers are 5-1 and shaping up to be one of the contenders in Class C.
The Ramblers have filled the offensive void left by MVC Player of the Year Jacob Hickey and forward Garrett Tsouprake with a talented junior class led by Jared McLaughlin and Nate Leblanc and 6-foot-8 center Cam Wood, the lone remaining starter.
But the key to continuity for coach Todd MacArthur is team defense and role players who bring the intangibles to the floor each night. Two standouts in that department are also juniors, point guard Beau Brooks and forward Sam Figueroa, whose playmaking abilities helped McLaughlin go off for 29 points in last Tuesday’s 79-61 win over Richmond.
“There are a lot times as coaches that we look at the stat sheets and they get us all excited and we analyze that stuff over and over,” MacArthur said. “But a crucial part of the game is the stuff you can’t see on a stat sheet.”
“Figueroa and Beau Brooks exemplified the meaning of those plays tonight. They did the dirty work,” MacArthur said. “They got down and played good ‘D.’ They got their teammates open. They made good passes. They rebounded the basketball. They penetrated gaps. They did the things that they’re supposed to do to be leaders and for us to be successful.”
Staff Writer Wil Kramlich contributed to this story.
Gray-New Gloucester junior forward Bri Jordan not only scores for the Patriots, but also draws their toughest defensive assignments.