Gray-New Gloucester’s Brianna Jordan left, grabs a loose ball before Freeport’s Catriona Gould, right, can get to it during the first half of Thursday’s game. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

GRAY — Gray-New Gloucester locked down the top seed in Class B South, but Freeport made the Patriots earn it.

The Patriots outlasted the Falcons in a battle for the top spot Thursday, winning 52-43 in each team’s season finale.

“This is a game that reminded us a little bit of a tournament game in that it’s tight till the end, it isn’t pretty, but it’s whatever team seems to make a play or two more,” Gray-NG coach Mike Andreasen said.

The game featured six lead changes, but it seemed like more and it seemed like the lead was always up for grabs.

None of those lead changes came in the fourth quarter, but Freeport stayed close until the end, and even cut the lead to one point, 38-37, when Taylor Rinaldi made a 3-pointer with less than four minutes to play.

But on the next possession, Gray-NG’s Eliza Hotham swished a trey of her own, and the Patriots held at least a four-point advantage the remainder of the game.

“That was big,” Andreasen said. “She buried it.”

“Every time it seems like they punched, we counter-punched,” he added

Also big was the Patriots’ rebounding, which led to second-chance opportunities for Gray-NG and prevented Freeport from having many.

“We did not hit the glass offensively or defensively,” Freeport coach Mike Hart said.

Gray-NG’s Jordan Grant was especially stalwart on the boards, which played a role in her game-high 26 points. The sophomore, who typically scores chunks of her points in transition, also was forced her to to earn points in the post. She even suffered a bloody nose late in the first half.

“They were fronting us a lot, and I know … they were double-teaming me,” Grant said. “So sometimes we’d have to look to the other side, get it to Sam (Fortin).”

Samantha Fortin, also a sophomore, came off the bench to score eight points, including six in the second half.

“Sam did a really good job underneath tonight,” Grant said. “She had a really good game.”

Andreasen said that Gray-NG was thrown off by Freeport using a taller lineup than expected, and that helped the Falcons take a 16-11 lead after one quarter. But Gray-NG, facing a bit of a gut-check, responded by holding Freeport to three second-quarter points and led 22-19 at half.

“Once it got to be 16-11 early, my concern was they might run away from us, and make it a double digit lead,” Andreasen said.

“We were down, and we pulled through and kept playing hard,” Grant said.

The Falcons took the lead early in the third, 25-24, on Jessie Driscoll’s three-point play.

Gray-NG took it back a few minutes later when Bri Jordan (eight points) drove for a bucket. The Patriots never lost the lead, but the Falcons never let up.

“We gritted it out,” Andreasen said.

Freeport (14-4) will likely take the third seed in to the postseason.

“They played hard,” Hart said. “We just didn’t execute down the stretch, and they did a better job executing what they needed to do.”

Taylor Rinaldi hit three 3-pointers and led the Falcons with 15 points. Caroline Smith and Driscoll each scored 11.

Gray-New Gloucester’s Jordan Grant, right, hauls in a rebound before Freeport’s Megan Cormier, left and a host of other players can get their hands on the ball during the first half of Thursday night’s girls’ basketball game. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Freeport’s Megan Cormier, right, can’t stop Gray New-Gloucester’s Brianna Jordan as she puts up a floater that went in for two points during the first half of Thursday’s game. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Freeport’s Megan Cormier blocks the shot of Gray-New Gloucester’s Jordan Grant as she heads to the basket for a layup during the first half of Thursday’s game. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

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