Girls’ basketball: Patriots stun Falcons

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RUMFORD — Things came together for Gray-New Gloucester at the right time in a Class B preliminary girls’ basketball game.

Maria Valente and Heather Cote combined for 39 points, including five 3-pointers in a fast-paced fourth quarter as No.10 Gray-New Gloucester ran off with a 58-50 upset win against No.7 Mountain Valley at Puiia Gymnasium.

The teams play in different conferences, but there wasn’t any hesitation by Gray-New Gloucester, which utilized its uptempo game in the first quarter.

Gray-New Gloucester advances to play York in a quarterfinal game next Tuesday at the Portland Expo.

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“They shots the lights out,” Mountain Valley coach Tammy Gallant said, regarding the Patriots making their first seven shots in the fourth quarter. “Gray-New Gloucester deserves a lot of credit. We tried to come back, but those 3’s really made a big difference.”

Mountain Valley pulled to within four points on two occasions on treys by Ayla Allen and guard Makayla White (14 points) early in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots had the equalizer. Valente, a freshman, drained a 3-pointer, and on the following a turnover, Cote buried a long trey. Valente (22 points) and Cote (17) each hit another trey to give the Patriots a 49-36 lead, with 4:09 left to play.

“Mountain Valley was getting off some good shots off,” G-NG coach Mike Andreasen said. “We needed to make them shoot off the dribble, especially Chrissey Briggs (three treys) because she was deadly if left to shoot from a stand still. But then those (five) threes by us came.”

The teams combined for 16 from beyond the arc, including eight in the fourth quarter.

“Maria had been our high scorer all year,” Andreasen said. “Surprisingly, she has a bad hand and hasn’t been able to practice this week.”

Allen scored 13 of her team-high 18 points in the final frame. The senior, who had been honored for having reached 1,000 career points, came alive by scoring 11 of the Falcons first 14 points.

“They really took Ayla out of her game,” Gallant said. 

Allen had been held to five points through three quarters, while being guarded closely by senior captain Maggie Chaplin (10 points).

“In the second half, we didn’t have Chrissy Briggs take the ball out of bounds,” he added. “Their guards were tall and we wanted to get her the ball. Plus, we put her on the right side and swung the ball around to her.”

In the third quarter, the teams struggled by making two treys each. Briggs hit two while Cote and Chaplin each buried one. Gay-New Gloucester led 33-27 after three quarters.

“Our transition game was OK once it got going,”Andreasen said. “We had trouble getting going against Mountain Valley’s matchup zone. The big thing was that we wanted to use all 84-feet (length of court).”

The Falcons’ Brooke Dolloff (eight rebounds) was in foul trouble, so Makenzie Gallant came in and scored nine points. Chaplin buried a trey at the buzzer to give the Patriots a 27-20 lead at halftime.

The Falcons shot 25 percent through three quarters, but made nine of 17 shots in the fourth. The Patriots shot 42 percent and committed 18 turnovers.

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