GRAY — There was no running away Tuesday night, when Western Maine Conference rivals met on the hardwood.

Gray-New Gloucester jumped out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter, but then went cold, allowing Yarmouth to catch all the way back up. From there it was neck-and-neck, but the Patriots made a slim third-quarter lead stick in a 31-27 Class B South girls’ basketball victory.

Defense ruled the first quarter, and the host Patriots (14-1) were up just 6-4 heading into the second. The lead was 9-8 before Alicia Dumont and Grace Kariotis combined for a 10-0 run.

But then the offense stopped for Gray-New Gloucester for the rest of the half.

“I thought when we were up 19-10, 19-8, I thought, ‘Okay, if we can get a stop or two at the end of the half, get another basket to make it 21-8, I think at that point they’d go away,'” Gray-NG coach Mike Andreasen said. “We still felt pretty good at half being up seven.”

The Clippers (10-5) ended the first half on a 4-0 run, then scored the first eight points of the third quarter to take their first lead at 20-19 with 4:15 left.

Advertisement

Yarmouth coach Christina Strong attributed the run to her team’s zone defense.

“We went back to our initial defensive strategy, which was more pressure on the guards,” Strong said. “We went away from that in the second quarter, and they opened it up with three 3-pointers.”

The teams traded off one-point leads until Bri Jordan’s short jumper with 25 seconds left in the third gave the Patriots a 27-24 advantage. Alison Clark cut it back to one in the closing seconds.

“Alison Clark hurt us,” Andreasen said.

The Yarmouth senior forward had a game-high 12 points and helped keep Gray-NG center Skye Conley to just one basket and four points.

“A lot of teams we’re seeing are very small, and that’s why they’re zoning us,” Conley said. “This team, they’re good defensively and they have height, and they zone us, so it’s kind of like three things that we’re kind of struggling with right now.”

Advertisement

Jordan Grant had an early fourth-quarter basket for the Patriots, which proved to be the only field goal of the period.

Clementine Blaschke cut the deficit to 29-27 by making 1 of 2 free throws with 4:18 left, and in the process Jordan picked up her fourth foul. But the Clippers didn’t do any more damage.

“We just didn’t execute great in the fourth quarter,” Strong said. “It just really came down to our shot selection, and our half-court execution I think shot us in the foot at the end.”

Jordan stayed aggressive, blocking a pair of shots with just over three minutes left. Conley had another on Blaschke with 26 seconds left and the score still 29-27.

“I just knew she was going to go up with it, so I was hoping either block it or get a foul at least,” Conley said. “I knew that an easy two points was definitely not what we wanted at that point.”

Jordan got her hands on the Yarmouth inbound pass, then Conley joined her to force a held-ball, giving possession to the Patriots.

Advertisement

Dumont missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but the Clippers threw away the rebound. Dumont then got another chance and drained both foul shots to make it a two-possession game with 11 seconds left.

“Somebody’s got to step up and make plays,” Andreasen said. “And I guess in the fourth quarter, two foul shots was the highlight of the fourth quarter.”

Dumont finished with seven points, while Jordan led the Patriots with 11.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.