Boys’ basketball: Lisbon overcomes cold shooting, tops Telstar


LISBON — Monday night’s score from Manchester Gym is one that some will see in black-and-white, accompanied by no details, and grumble that Maine high school basketball needs a shot clock.

Well, that wouldn’t have helped. A range finder like the one some golfers use, perhaps, but not a shot clock.

Lisbon and Telstar were a combined 27-for-140 from the field in a contest that was high-octane but low-impact. The Greyhounds escaped with a 39-27 MVC boys’ victory that could have substantial late-season impact on the Class C West tournament bracket.

“It was one of those nights where neither team shot very well,” Lisbon coach Jake Gentle said. “You just have to look at it as a bad shooting performance. We hope that doesn’t happen, but I guess it’s a good thing that it happened to both teams or it would have been a more frustrating night for one of us.”

The one hot streak of the evening belonged to Lisbon (3-4), which ended the third quarter with an 11-0 run to grab a 36-23 lead that stood up with ease when both teams sank only one field goal in the fourth.

Johnny Yim drove to the basket twice in the final 38 seconds of the third stanza to punctuate that push. He finished with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“I was cold in the beginning, and then I started picking up with my teammates,” Yim said. “I saw some open lanes and said I might as well use my common sense and get to the hole.”

“There are some times we got a little helter-skelter out there,” Gentle added. “When we slowed down and ran our offense for 20, 25 seconds, we ended up getting an easy look. That’s something we want to get better at is recognizing at certain times when to slow it down and get a better shot.”

Jonah Sautter nailed a 3-pointer to ignite the third-quarter finishing kick. The freshman wound up with eight points for Lisbon, which won despite shooting only 22 percent from the field.

Telstar (2-5) hit 70 points in one previous game and topped 60 in two others, but the Rebels never recovered from a 1-for-20 first quarter and wound up at 16 percent overall.

Maverik Griffin led the Rebels with 11 points. Cameron Pike added eight points and eight rebounds.

“We end up fighting those attitudes. You’ve got to keep going, working through that stuff,” Telstar coach Mike Pelletier said. “It was a physical game. That’s the way they call games here, and we knew that coming in. It was a battle of styles. We wanted to get up and go, they wanted to bang us up on the boards, and they won.”

Lisbon defensive rebounds outnumbered Telstar second chances by a 2-to-1 disparity thanks to the strength of Tyrese Joseph (16 rebounds, three blocked shots), Yim and Joe Philbrick (eight boards) underneath the basket.

Yim rained down two 3-pointers in a 53-second span late in the second quarter. Pike answered with a drive to get the Rebels within 19-12 at the half.

“It definitely helps when we get a couple of 3s,” Gentle said. “Johnny hit a couple, which really helped, because we were pretty stagnant in the first quarter.”

Griffin and Pike combined for 11 points in the third, capped by Pike’s long rebound and coast-to-coast drive to trim the deficit to 25-23 with 3:57 to go.

Telstar only had one more field goal in the game, a Mike Dougherty layup with a minute left.

“Defensively I’m pleased,” Pelletier said. “We’ve changed our defense around completely. We used to be a zone team. Now we’re trying to play (man-to-man) and get after it. Offensively we’ve been putting points on the board. That was by far our lowest point total of the season, and we got frustrated.”

Pelletier credited sophomore Avry Griffin for holding Yim in check for much of the game.

Lisbon continues to play well against teams at its own level in the MVC. The Greyhounds have beaten Oak Hill, Wiscasset and Telstar and lost close games to Monmouth and St. Dom’s.

“I feel we can do a little bit better, but that will come,” Yim said.

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