GRAY – The Poland Knights had more opportunities, but the Gray-New Gloucester Patriots made the most of their chances and picked up a big win in the Route 26 rivalry.

Cody Humphrey led a balanced scoring attack with 16 points, as the Patriots pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 72-62 win.

Gray-New Gloucester shot 50 percent from the field, including 4-for-8 from beyond the 3-point line. The Patriots also held a 36-20 edge on free throw attempts. They shot a healthy 72 percent from the charity stripe, while Poland shot just 50 percent from the line and, while taking 19 more shots, shot 38 percent from the field.

“We knew that a key would be executing offensively, which is something that we’ve been working on, working on, working on, and that came together pretty well tonight,” said G-NG coach Scott Flagg.

Josh Levasseur (14 points, eight rebounds), Jordan Hebert (13 points) and Evan Kenney (10 points) all reached double figures for Gray-New Gloucester. Joe Douglass posted game-highs with 26 points and 14 rebounds for Poland, while Tyler Merchant and T.J. England poured in 12 apiece and Mimi Knowles added 10 points.

The Patriots (2-3) led for most of the contest but didn’t take complete control until the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer by England pulled the Knights within 54-50, but they went cold after that and G-NG responded with a 9-0 run to put its cushion into double digits for good.

“Defensively, we tried to mix it up and do different things, which I thought was effective. I was a little worried with fatigue in the third quarter, but the kids really gutted it out,” Flagg said. “Our rotation was a little thinner than it’s normally been, but the kids dug in in the fourth quarter.”

“Our shot selection wasn’t where we want it to be,” Poland coach Chris Willer said. “When your shots don’t fall, you’re not going to win games.”

Poland (3-2) was able to overcome its shot selection problems in the first half by crashing the offensive boards. Led by Douglass and Merchant, the Knights held an 9-2 edge on the offensive glass and kept themselves in the game while Hebert and Humphrey were lighting it up outside for the Patriots. Back-to-back 3-pointers by the duo gave them their largest lead of the first half, nine points, which they maintained at halftime, up 36-27.

The Knights started to attack the hoop more in the third quarter, as drives by Knowles and Douglass immediately cut the deficit to three. England tied the game for the first and only time in the second half with a 3-pointer to make it 41-41, but the Patriots got a pair of hoops from Humphrey to take a four-point lead into the final quarter.

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