The Gray-New Gloucester girls basketball season got off to a delayed start, with the Patriots unable to practice for the first week of preseason during a COVID-19-related school shutdown.

But coach Mike Andreasen liked what he saw in his Patriots in the early days of preseason. He felt, after a couple of down seasons, they were ready to turn the corner.

And here they are, sitting in fifth place in Class A South with an 11-5 record and the chance to shake up the standings if the Patriots can beat second-ranked Greely at home on Wednesday.

“I’ll say this, 11-5 has exceeded my expectations,” said Andreasen. “I thought if we got to .500, it would be a good year for us. The teams we were playing, they all had a lot of kids back this year.

“But it’s been good. I do see good things moving forward.”

What the Patriots lack, said Andreasen, is that signature victory. Of their 11 victories, they’ve only defeated one team ranked ahead of them in the Heal point standings, that being fourth-ranked Mt. Ararat, 48-37 on Jan. 18. Otherwise, they’ve lost to Greely (64-45), Class B South top-ranked Wells (57-39), Class A South top-ranked Brunswick (70-31), Class B South fifth-ranked York (49-28) and Class B south fourth-ranked Yarmouth (30-28).


“We’ve really taken care of everybody at our (talent) level,” said Andreasen. “We’re young and learning as we go. And we’ve done what we’re supposed to do.”

The Patriots win close games — they’re 6-1 in games decided by 10 points or less — and play as a team.

“We don’t have the star power,” said Andreasen. “My kids, we’re really disciplined as a team. That’s our brand. Our kids play together, get good shots, and if you play good defense every time and if you share the ball to get good shots, then good things can happen to you.”

He added, “We’re not going to beat ourselves. There are teams that are better than us, but they better be better than us on that night, because if they’re not, we’re going to give them a run for their money.”

FREEPORT HAS RAISED some eyebrows over the last few weeks. The Falcons, 5-10 in Class A South, are extremely young, with eight freshmen on the 12-player varsity roster (and 16 freshmen in the program), but have played some of the best teams in the Western Maine Conference extremely tough lately.

Entering Monday’s game at Greely, the Falcons had gone 2-3 in their last five games. The losses were 40-37 against North Yarmouth Academy (No. 2 in Class C South), 30-23 against Gray-New Gloucester and 53-50 against Yarmouth.


“We’re playing really hard,” said coach Seth Farrington. “The girls are playing their tails off, working really hard. They’re doing everything that’s asked of them. They’re really learning on the fly.”

Farrington starts three freshmen, and his first three players off the bench are freshmen. The Falcons are being led by senior Mason Baker-Schlendering, who is averaging over 12 points and 16 rebounds per game while blocking 3.5 shots.

“Defensively she is amazing,” said Farrington. “She covers up a lot of mistakes that we make.”

Freeport will end up with only 17 games in the regular season. The Falcons lost two games because of COVID-related shutdowns and were only able to pick up one replacement — the game with NYA.

CHEVERUS MAY END up with just 16 games instead of the traditional 18. The Stags, who are second in Class AA North, canceled their game at Hampden Academy last Wednesday and then had a game with Massabesic on Friday postponed because of a snowstorm.

Cheverus Athletic Director Amy Ashley still hopes to make up the Massabesic game but is running out of days. The final day of the regular season is Thursday.

“We’re hoping to get it in, but I’m not optimistic,” she said.

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