Gray-New Gloucester’s Brianna Jordan muscles her way past Lake Region’s Chandler True, left, and Shauna Hancock, right, as she heads to the basket for a layup during the first half of a game last month. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Gray-New Gloucester girls’ basketball coach Mike Andreasen expects the world of junior guard Bri Jordan.

“We ask her to be our best player on both ends of the court, which is really hard,” Andreasen said. “And in addition to that, be our leader.”

Jordan is one of five juniors on a team without a single senior, but the only one who saw significant varsity time in her first two years — she was a starter as both a freshman and a sophomore, when the Patriots were state runners-up in 2016 and Class B champions in 2017.

But Jordan doesn’t feel like the world is on her shoulders, and she isn’t focused on being Gray-NG’s best player on both ends of the court.

“Um … I don’t really think of it that way,” Jordan said. “I think I rely on my teammates to help me out, obviously, and you just gotta step up when you need to, and knock down shots, knocking down layups is really important for our team.”

The team is really important to Jordan. Every question about her receives an answer focused on the her and her teammates.

She ranked in the top 10 in only one category — No. 10 in assists at 3.2 per game — in the Western Maine Conference stats heading into last weekend’s games. However, she is still filling up the stat sheet with points, rebounds and steals. And, among the conference’s Class B teams, it’s hard to find a player more important to her team’s success.

“I love playing with Bri,” sophomore Eliza Hotham said. “She’s a really great team player and she definitely holds us together, and she’s very good.”

The Patriots (12-4) are in first place in the B South Heal point standings. They took over the top spot with a 46-36 win over then-No. 1 Poland on Friday, in what was a classic Bri Jordan performance.

The 5-foot-11 guard threw a pass that traveled most of the length of the court over the top of the defense to Jordan Grant, who scored an easy layup for the game’s first points. It was a pass that Jordan converted a number of times Friday, usually to Grant or Hotham, who led the team with 15 and 10 points, respectively.

“We have a lot more speed this year, so we’re able to run the court more. So throwing those longer passes is something I’ve worked on more than I did last year,” Jordan said.

Jordan finished with nine points, all in the first half and at important moments as the Patriots pulled away from their rivals, highlighted by a 3-pointer late in the second quarter.

Probably most important of all was the defense she played on Nathalie Theriault, who ranks second in the WMC in scoring (18.0 ppg). Theriault was held to five points — part of that was missing shots that she normally makes, but Jordan’s defense decreased the number of quality looks Theriault had.

“Bri, we make her guard the other team’s best player, we make her handle the ball, we ask her to score a lot,” Andreasen said. “So, that’s a lot to put on a kid who last year didn’t have to do a lot of those things.”

Jordan did do a lot of those things last year, but she also was surrounded by four seniors — Grace Kariotis, Alicia Dumont, Izzy DeTroy and Skye Conley — who also could handle those roles.

Jordan still was a key player on last year’s state championship team, especially in the postseason. She scored to seal wins over Lake Region (with a late-game layup) in the B South semifinal and in the state title game (two free throws), and took over the regional final against Lincoln Academy to earn the tournament MVP award.

She and Grant, only a sophomore, are the only rotation players left from the 2016-17 squad. And considering the experience she gained in her first two seasons, Jordan is expected to be a leader.

Again, though, Jordan isn’t overwhelmed by this responsibility. She might be the only captain, but she’s not the only leader.

“Anyone on our team can do it, we can all be leaders,” Jordan said. “So somebody just has to step up.”

Gray-NG finishes the regular season with games at Cape Elizabeth on Tuesday and at home Thursday against Freeport, which is right behind Poland for second place in B South. A win by either team might wrap up the top spot in the regional playoffs.

Jordan said the Patriots also haven’t been overly concerned about their place in the B South standings.

“We’re a young team and I think going into this season we were a little bit underestimated,” she said, “but going throughout the season I think people are starting to notice us again.”

Gray New Gloucester’s Brianna Jordan pushes past Houlton’s Aspen Flewelling during the Class B girls’ state championship at the Augusta Civic Center last March. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)