CUMBERLAND — Greely High School finally found the aggressive-style of basketball it was looking for Tuesday night.
Greely coach Travis Seaver made attacking the rim a point of emphasis prior to the opening tip against visiting Poland and the Rangers responded.
After back-to-back single-digit losses to Yarmouth and Falmouth in which free throws made the difference, Greely got to the charity stripe 29 times, knocking down 18 in a 69-57 victory over Poland.
“I thought we did a better job,” Seaver said. “We hadn’t done that for a couple games and I did think that we did a better job of attacking the rim and it’s nice to see.”
Leading the charge for the Rangers was their tallest player — 6-foot-5 forward Matt McDevitt. McDevitt was a threat from every spot on the floor in the offensive end. He was arguably most effective from behind the arc, hitting a game-high four 3-pointers.
“I’ve been waiting for that game since we went up north in the preseason in Presque Isle,” McDevitt said. “It just felt great. The ball felt great coming out of my hand.”
McDevitt finished with 27 points.
Even when he wasn’t scoring he was drawing double teams and getting Poland’s forwards in foul trouble. Zack Lowe, John Fossett and Alan Young all battled foul trouble and all three had four fouls in the third. Lowe picked up his fourth late in the third and Fossett and Young each were tabbed with their fourth in the final quarter.
“Matt’s a versatile player,” Seaver said. “He’s going to draw people in and create mismatches because he play both inside and outside.”
The Rangers (3-3) never trailed and took advantage of a slow start by the Knights. Poland (2-4) scored just seven points in the opening quarter. Three consecutive buckets by Young pulled Poland within 13-11 early in the second quarter before McDevitt knocked down a pair of 3s and a jumper during a 12-2 run.
The Rangers led 31-21 at the break.
A 7-0 run to start the second half pushed Greely’s advantage to 17 — its largest lead of the game. A three-point play by Fossett with 4:25 remaining in the third ended Poland’s scoring drought to start the second half. It triggered a 9-0 run to cut Greely’s lead down to eight.
“We had no intensity to start the game and finally when we got it going we were already in a ten-point deficit and just played even with them the rest of the game,” Poland coach Tyler Tracy said. “They got up ten half way through the second and then we started playing hard and it stayed ten the entire game.”
The Rangers had an answer for every run the Knights could muster. When Poland cut it to 47-39 on a 3 by Ryan Twitchell with 5:48 to play, McDevitt responded with a 3 of his own to push the lead back to double digit. A 3 by young again pulled the Knights within eight, but two McDevitt free throws, a basket by Caleb Normandeau and a 3 by Calvin Soule made it 57-42.
“We shot pretty well,” McDevitt said. “We answered them pretty well. We’re an inexperienced team but we know how to play down the stretch.”
Gabe Axelson joined McDevitt in double figures with 10, eight coming in the second half. Normandeau had eight and Soule seven.
Young led the Knights with 21 points. He scored 15 in the fourth quarter. He was joined in double figures by Fossett (11) and Trevor Saunders (10).