GRAY — Poland was in a zone, but Gray-New Gloucester was in the zone.

The Patriots worked the ball around and sank their shots to beat the Knights 59-31 in a Class B South girls’ basketball game Friday night.

“The last two games, our offense has kind of come around again,” Gray-NG coach Mike Andreasen said. “What’s nice about tonight is they threw zone at us. I thought we moved the ball well against the zone, which we’ve had issues with, so that was a nice sign.”

Poland’s match-up zone defense forced Gray-NG into jumpers, but the Patriots busted the zone by shooting well.

“They took the shots we wanted them to take; they made them,” Poland coach Mike Susi said. “It’s why we play that match-up zone is because want people to take longer shots, we want people to take shots from the short corner, because we feel like layups are going to kill us more than the jump shots.”

Gray-NG scored the first seven points of the game, prompting Susi to call a timeout less than two minutes into the game.

“Just calm down. Just relax,” was Susi’s message. “I think sometimes we get in our own heads a little bit, and sometimes it works just to call a timeout.”

The Knights absorbed the message. They halted the Patriots’ scoring for several minutes, while Morgan Brousseau hit a 3-pointer and set up Jessica Seeley with an easy layup with a pass through traffic and Sarah Moody drained a trey, and an eight-point scoring run over several minutes put Poland ahead 8-7 with about 1:45 remaining in the first quarter.

That lead was short-lived, though, because Gray-NG’s Alicia Dumont hit a trey on the other end to take the lead back, and at the end of the period, the Patriots led 15-12.

“That’s a good team,” Andreasen said. “And some early jitters — we got down early, came back, dug in defensively.”

The Patriots’ shooting in the second quarter was too much, though. Freshman Jordan Grant scored five straight Gray-NG points two putbacks and a free throw, but the rest of the team’s points in the period came from jumpers: Dumont hit a trey and a jumper, Izzy DeTroy hit a pair of jumpers, Brianna Jordan made a 3 and Skye Conley sank a long jumper.

By halftime, the score was 34-19.

“Tonight it seems like we were making most of our shots and we were really together as a team,” Dumont said.

“We shot with confidence every open shot we did take. Our passing seemed better, and overall we continued to bring the intensity and didn’t let down.”

The Patriots continued to add to their lead while holding the Knights to 12 second-half points.

With 2:13 minutes left in the game and the Patriots up 57-27, Andreasen removed his four seniors, Dumont, Conley, DeTroy and Grace Kariotis to a standing ovation that lasted most of a full timeout.

“All four of these seniors have been with me for all four years on the varsity,” Andreasen said. “These kids, they’ve really put in a lot of work, sweat a lot, and they’ve really given it everything they’ve got. They’re good players.”

Dumont led all scorers with 15 points. DeTroy added 12, Conley finished with 11 and Grant had nine for Gray-NG.

The Patriots finish the regular season 17-1 and possess the top seed in the B South regional playoffs. They head into the postseason at the top of their games.

“All that hard work, and now we get to play the fun part of the season,” Andreasen said.

“We just to to work on a few things, keep ourselves sharp — because the last two games, I think we’ve been sharp. We beat Freeport the other night by a similar score (58-29), and Freeport and Poland are both (11)-win teams, so they’re playoff teams.”

Nathalie Theriault led Poland with nine points, while Moody, Seeley and Brousseau each contributed six.

The Knights will likely take the seventh seed into the B South playoffs.

“If the seed is right, I think we can go a long way,” Susi said. “I think my girls would love to play Gray again, because I don’t think that they feel like we played the best game that we could, we didn’t play 32 minutes tonight.”

Comments are not available on this story.