GRAY — Yarmouth stepped on the gas in the the second half of its 47-32 boys basketball road win over Gray-New Gloucester on Thursday.

Liam Hickey hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to spark the Class B Clippers (12-1) as they pulled away from the Class A Patriots (9-5).

Hickey’s first 3 came with 5:42 left in the third and the third with less than one minute remaining. In that time, Yarmouth’s lead went from two points to 12.

“It’s hard to say how big that was; that was the game,” Yarmouth coach Jonas Allen said. “It changed the game completely because it went from a possession or two, to a little cushion. They had Jay Hawkes get in foul trouble, and it changes their team a lot, so that stretch with Liam, those are shots that he lives for and he’s that kind of kid.”

Yarmouth senior Peter Psyhogeos praised Hickey and other teammates for their performance, especially since the Clippers played most of the game without starter Sutter Augur, who left with an injury in the first quarter and didn’t return.

“I think just the toughness that everyone played with,” Psyhogeos said. “Cole Snyder really stepped up, rebounded, made shots. Liam made some huge shots, and Sutter Augur went out early, so that forced everyone to step up. He’s a huge part of our team. Some other underclassmen stepped up into that role and it was great to see.”

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The Patriots only scored six points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer by Anthony Prescott with 1:27 remaining, and fell behind 34-22 heading into the fourth.

The Clippers then outscored Gray-NG 13-10 in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

‘ONE OF THE BEST DEFENSES’

Yarmouth (12-1) dominated the offensive and defensive boards in the first quarter, amassing eight rebounds, including three apiece by both Matt Waeldner and Cole Snyder.

Evan Hamm made a layup with 2:08 left in the opening period to give the Clippers a 10-5 lead, its largest until 3:23 remained in the third quarter, then at the end of the first blocked a Patriots shot to keep the score 12-7 heading into the second.

Nate Hebert scored seven points in the first half to keep the Patriots within striking distance.

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With six minutes left in the second quarter, Gray-NG senior guard Jay Hawkes picked up his third foul and put Yarmouth into the double bonus. However, the Clippers shot made only 1 of 7 free throws in the period.

“It’s unfortunate,” Gray-New Gloucester head coach Ryan Deschenes said. “I think Jay is the best overall player in Class A and he just didn’t have any flow. There were a lot of offensive fouls that could have gone either way and (he) played, what, six minutes tonight? He was going to guard Peter (Psyhogeos). Defensively, that switched things around and we got away from our original matchups, then we were missing a big-time scoring threat.

“They do a good job of staying in front, cover gaps and they’re longer than I thought. They challenge every shot at the rim and they have five guys on a string. It’ll be one of the best defenses we face in the state.”

Joshua Michaud drilled a 3-pointer to pull the Patriots within two points, 14-12, with 5:44 left in the first half, but Gray-NG only mustered three more points in the second, and the Clippers led 19-15 at halftime.

Psyhogeos scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the first half.

“He’s one of the best players around,” Allen said. “He’s playing at Bates College next year, and every time someone asks me about Pete I stumble over my words. He’s a leader, he’s a winner, a baller — whatever positive attribute you want to put on him, it’s him. He’s decided to make himself great and it’s due to his work ethic.”

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Hawkes picked up his fourth foul early in the third. He checked back into the game for Gray-NG at the start of the fourth quarter, but seven seconds later was called for a charge and fouled out of the game.

Prescott hit a layup, was fouled and then made the free throw to pull the Patriots within 36-26 with 6:15 to play, but Snyder blocked back-to-back shots for the Clippers a few possessions later to prevent the deficit from shrinking further.

Allen was happy with the Clippers’ performance against a tough team in a difficult gymnasium.

“We prepared to play at Gray-New Gloucester, and Gray-New Gloucester is one of the hardest places to play,” Allen said. “Not only because of the environment but because of the pressure his team puts on you, the physicality, the nonstop in your face basketball, and it’s all we’ve talked about for three days. We’ve been doing things at home to get ready for this, it was a super physical game, we had a decent game plan and at the end of the day the guys played good, tough basketball.”

Psyhogeos hit three free throws late in the game after a technical foul was called on Gray-New Gloucester. After starting poorly at the free-throw line, the Clippers made 5 of 6 in the fourth quarter.

Hebert and Prescott led Gray-New Gloucester with eight points apiece.

The Patriots’ loss is their second in a row after their eight-game winning streak was halted by York on Tuesday.

“We just need to play our game,” Deschenes said after the game. “We didn’t look to trap as much. I think the last two games, two tough teams, and you get afraid of trapping good teams, good players, and we’ve just got to do it. We have to get back to our game defensively, and that’s what makes our offense go.”

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