WISCASSET — Close, early-season losses didn’t seem to have Lisbon High School boys basketball coach Jake Gentle too worried.
Yes, his Greyhounds sat at 1-4 prior to Thursday’s Mountain Valley Conference contest with Wiscasset, but Gentle’s team had shown an ability to hang tough.
These experiences seemed to help the Greyhounds, who rolled to a 66-44 win, leaving both Lisbon and the Wolverines with matching 2-4 records.
Behind Johnny Yim’s game-high 29 points, Lisbon put together two long runs. The first turned an 11-6 deficit into a 26-13 lead over six minutes that spanned the first and second quarters.
Leading 44-40 with 5:50 remaining in the fourth, the Greyhounds poured it on, running off 18 consecutive points to put the Wolverines away.
“This is a builder for us,” Gentle said. “We know at Monmouth it was a tough one to lose, and the home loss to St. Dom’s. It is a balance right now, with us just trying to figure out what will work for us.”
“We pushed our hardest, and when they got close to us we were able to get inside the paint and score,” said Yim, who had a double-double with 11 rebounds. “Inside, you saw Tyrese (Joseph) and Andrew (Golino) working hard and getting them into foul trouble. We worked hard as a team tonight.”
Three Wiscasset players fouled out, and Lisbon made the Wolverines pay at the foul line, making 22 of 31. Wiscasset also shot poorly, making just 15-of-55 shots from the floor (27 percent) and 10-of-21 from the free-throw line (47 percent).
“We gave ourselves a chance, but we let them take it away from us,” said Wiscasset coach Dana Lawrence. “We tried to live by the outside, and we were not hitting. Then the fouls piled up. Our history is a lot of foul trouble. We need to start to get after it defensively. We just can’t trade baskets with people, and we need to rebound.”
Wiscasset came out strong in the first quarter, with Cody Roberts scoring five points, including a 3-pointer for a 5-3 Wolverines lead. The advantage stretched to 11-6 on a Sean Chubbuck putback with 1:52 remaining in the frame.
But, Lisbon found another gear. Yim hit a pair at the line, and a trey by RJ Sargent and a short jumper from Josh Huston gave Lisbon a 13-11 lead after eight minutes.
The 7-0 Lisbon run continued into the second quarter, with Darren Ward scoring inside.
Leading 15-13, Lisbon strung together an 11-0 spurt. In all, the Greyhounds outscored Wiscasset 20-2 during their run.
“We found a gear that we haven’t found too much this year, and Johnny really took over by attacking the basket and going to the foul line,” said Gentle after watching Yim lead all scorers with 15 first-half points.
Wiscasset pushed back to close the frame, scoring the final eight points to make for a 26-21 contest at the break. Roberts had a team-high seven points, while Russell Marr came off to bench to chip in four.
The Wolverines kept coming in the third, closing to 28-27 on a Brandon Sprague hoop and harm, and a Chubbuck lay-up two minutes later brought the hosts to 33-31.
But, Joseph went hard to the basket for a three-point play, and back-to-back 3-pointers by Sargent and Huston closed the quarter, giving Lisbon a 43-34 lead.
Wiscasset had several players in foul trouble as the fourth quarter began. Chubbuck fouled out seconds into the final frame, but five points from Sprague brought the Wolverines to within four points.
From there, Lisbon began going to the basket. The Greyhounds outrebounded Wiscasset 40-33 in all, including 17 offensive boards.
“What helped is we were in the bonus in the third quarter, and that hurts Wiscasset defensively. They can’t pressure when they are in foul trouble,” said Gentle. “We look to shoot the ball from the outside when it is there, but we need to find that balanced with the dribble-drive. We have some guys inside, like Darren Ward, Tyrese Joseph, Andrew Golino and Joe Philbrick. Our bigs did a great job tonight and really got after it on the defensive glass and offensive glass.”
Yim finished in style, scoring 11 fourth-quarter points.
“He really showed up to play tonight,” said Gentle of Yim. “He is a dynamic player, got to the basket, to the line and hit some outside shots. We need to get the ball in his hands.”
Lisbon shot 35 percent from the floor (19 of 53), with Sargent and Huston splitting 16 points down the middle. Sargent had three steals, Golino three blocks, Philbrick nine rebounds, and Ward six points, five steals and five rebounds.
Roberts paced Wiscasset with nine points, while Sprague had eight points, all coming in the second half, and dished out five assists. Kevin Lynch pulled down 11 rebounds, and Roberts had eight caroms.