FREEPORT — The Freeport Falcons and Gray-New Gloucester Patriots met Thursday in a regular-season finale featuring two of the top boys’ basketball teams in Class B South.

The first-place Patriots buckled down in the second half, holding the third-seed Falcons to just six points in the second half on the way to a 59-26 win. Both teams appreciated having a challenging right before the postseason begins.

“We played a good, solid game tonight after a really tough game against Cape where we won it by six,” Gray-New Gloucester coach Mike Andreasen said. “The kids kind of wanted to jump back on the court. It’s a good, really quality, well-coached team in Freeport. To end up with a pretty good win like this, we’re happy moving forward.”

“You always want to play the best,” Freeport coach Seth Farrington said. “It’s a good measuring stick right before the tournament. We’ll look at what we need to work on and get better.”

Led by Caroline Smith and Rachel Wall, Freeport took an early lead. Each had four points in the first four minutes. Hannah Groves beat the Patriots press upcourt for an easy two to put the Falcons up 10-9 and forcing Gray New Gloucester to take a timeout with 3:41 remaining in the opening quarter.

“They beat our press,” Andreasen said. “Our press has been our bread and butter. They shredded it basically. We had to take the press off. Once we took the press off and got to a half-court set we looked pretty good.”

Samantha Fortin cut to the basket for two out of the timeout to give the Patriots the lead. Soone thereafter, a Brianna Jordan jumper that give Gray-New Gloucester the lead for good, as it closed out the quarter up 15-12.

Jordan added a pair of treys early in the in the second quarter, but the Falcons answered. Smith found Wall cutting to the basket for two and then added a bucket of her own on the next possession.

“It was a good first quarter, and good first few minutes of the second quarter,” Farrington said. “Then we kind of fell off.”

“Bri Jordan is one of the best defensive players around,” Andreasen said. “She had the unenviable task of having to chase Caroline Smith around. Caroline’s solid, she’s just so so good. She can shoot it, she can drive, she can rebound and pass. I thought Bri did a good job with her.”

Gray-New Gloucester ended the half on a 9-0 run. Eliza Hotham knocked down a 3-ponter and followed it up with a drive inside. Hotham’s five points sparked the run that closed the half and gave the Patriots a 34-20 lead.

The second half was more of the same from the Patriots, who frustrated the Falcons with their half-court defense. Gray-New Gloucester outscored Freeport 12-2 in the third quarter and shot 6-for-11 from the field. Jordan Grant led a balanced attack with four points. The lead was 46-22 after three.

“I liked our energy,” Andreasen said. “I thought even when we didn’t make a good play, we at least did it hard.”

Gray-New Gloucester kept up the defensive pressure in the fourth and force Freeport to make only 1-of-5 shots from the field. Wall scored five of Freeport’s six second-half points.

Alexa Thayer chipped in four points in the final quarter for the Patriots as they cemented the 59-26 victory.

“We just need to get back to who we are,” Farrington said. “Defending the ball, taking care of the basketball, and we’ll go from there.”

The Patriots finish the regular season as the top team in Class B South, with a record of 16-2. Jordan and Hotham each finished with 10 points, while Grant chipped in 9.

Freeport finishes as the third seed at 14-4. Wall led the Falcons with 11 points, while Smith added 6.


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