PORTLAND — Greely made distance count, and put just enough distance between it and Leavitt to hold off the Hornets’ last-minute comeback attempt.

Fourth-seeded Greely held No. 5 Leavitt scoreless in the second quarter to open up a 27-10 lead then fended off the pesky Hornets, 56-49, in the Class A South quarterfinals at the Portland Expo on Saturday night.

Logan Bagshaw led all scorers with 20 points while Nick Butler added 15 points for Greely (15-4), the three-time defending state champions. Cole Morin led Leavitt (14-5) with 17 points and 15 rebounds while Wyatt Hathaway added 13 points, all in the second half before suffering an apparent ankle injury late.

Trailing 14-10 heading into the second quarter, the Hornets missed all nine of their shots and never went to the free-throw line in the period.

“(Greely) played good defensively,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “But I thought we had some good shots that normally go down for us that we didn’t get and then we got a little frustrated.”

“We didn’t really change anything,” Greely coach Travis Seaver said. “We just talked about a couple of tweaks on personnel. I really thought we did a nice job on Wyatt and Joziah (Learned) and just making sure we were in the right help positions. We had to battle through foul trouble a little bit, but as we switched guys around, we kind of stuck to our game plan and it worked out.”

The Rangers, who made their first three 3-pointers and four of eight in the first quarter, made their first two of the second to go up 20-10. Bagshaw sandwiched a pair of layups around a Butler trey to give the  Rangers a 27-10 halftime lead.

“Twenty-seven (points for Greely) at the half wasn’t an awful number,” Hathaway said. “We felt if the game was in the mid-50s, we were going to have a pretty good shot. But we really didn’t anticipate not scoring in the second quarter.”

Bagshaw, Butler and Luke Gabloff scored nine points apiece in the half while the Rangers held the Hornets’ top scorer, Hathaway, scoreless.

Learned’s 3-point basket ended Leavitt’s drought early in the third quarter as the Hornets slowly chipped away at the deficit while Greely cooled off from beyond the arc (1-for-6). A hoop by Morin, two free throws from Hathaway and a putback by Keegan  Melanson closed the gap to 37-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

Bagshaw got the Rangers back on track from the perimeter with a 3-pointer, then followed with a putback off a missed trey to make it 42-27.

Greely led by as much as 18 with a little more than three minutes left but had to hold off one last surge by Leavitt, which got the Hornets as close as six, 55-49, with 26.7 seconds left.

“I thought we played a really good second half,” Hathaway said. “Credit to our kids, they didn’t pack it in. We talked about getting (the deficit) to 10 at the end of the third quarter, and then if we could get a couple stops and a couple of hoops early in the fourth and get it around six we could have a shot. I think we got it to six but it was a little too late at some point.”

The Hornets graduate two senior starters, four-year starter Morin and three-year starter Keegan Melanson, but have much to look forward to in addition to the accomplishments those seniors can reflect upon.

“For us to get to the tournament for two years in a row is a big accomplishment for our kids,” Hathaway said. “They put in a lot of hard work, a lot of them played a lot in the off-season, and that probably hasn’t been the norm for Leavitt basketball for quite a while. For us to go back-to-back and lose to Kennebunk and Greely (last year), I don’t think is anything to be too ashamed of.”

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