POLAND — With only one loss this season, the Gray-New Gloucester girls' basketball team didn't have a whole lot to show for it in the standings.
Thursday night, the Patriots knew it was an opportunity to do something about that.
"We were coming in 4-1 but had a tough Heal Points seeding," said Gray-NG coach Mike Andreasen. "We hadn't played anybody of quality. Tonight, we had a chance to change that."
The Patriots (5-1) got the jump on Poland early and built a quick lead and barely looked back in a 52-41 win. The victory bumped Gray-NG up to sixth in Western B, one spot ahead of the Knights (3-4).
"Michele Dehetre knocked down a couple of 3's right away and got us going," said Andreasen. "Then from there, our defense the first half, we gave up eight points, and that's a good offensive team."
Poland struggled from the floor to start. The Knights missed their first seven shots of the game and missed their first seven to start the second quarter, finishing 3-for-20 in the half.
"We haven't shot so poorly at home all season long," said Poland coach Darren Littlefield. "We just got ourselves in a hole and had to chip away to get back into it."
Haylee Cote led the Patriots with 14 while Maria Valente had 12. Dehetre finished with 11. Poland got 19 from Emily Bolduc, who battled foul trouble for much of the game and scored 15 of her points in the final quarter.
"We didn't make some shots that we usually make here this year," said Littlefield. "That was the tough part. We had several opportunities and had some open looks and couldn't knock them down."
Dehetre started the game with back-to-back 3's as Gray-NG opened the game with nine straight points. Melora Lavoie had Poland's first basket with 1:49 left in the quarter.
Gray-NG added to the lead in the second with 3's by Cote and were up 22-8 at the half. Bolduc had just two free throws and three fouls at that point while Michaella Arsenault had just two points.
"We keyed on them and played good team defense," said Andreasen.
The lead was up to 25-10 early in the third, but the Knights made a run. Poland used a 10-2 run and cut the gap to 27-20 on a Lindsay Theriault 3 with 3:42 left.
Gray-NG responded with two free throws from Valente and a short jumper. Then 3's by Dehetre and Cote to start the fourth had the lead back up to 40-22.
"We knocked down a couple of 3's," said Andreasen. "That's what we do. We're a decent offensive club. We managed to put up 52 points against an good Poland club."
Six straight free throws by Bolduc in the final minute cut the lead to single digits.
"I couldnt' ask for anymore," said Littlefield. "They played right up until the final buzzer."