GRAY — Gray-New Gloucester finally put together the run that put Greely away and earned the Patriots a 68-52 Class A South boys basketball victory on Tuesday.

Gray-NG (3-1) had multiple game-altering runs in the first three quarters, but the Rangers (1-3) kept answering with runs of their own to get back in the game.

“I was just chatting with the guys, we had a few breakdowns defensively … and every time they punched us, we answered back,” first-year Patriots coach Ian McCarthy said. “And we’ve got some guys that are clutch on this team, so anytime we need a little extra, they find that gas in the tank and they step on it.”

Greely trailed 35-22 at halftime but opened the second half by scoring nine straight points to get within four points, 35-31.

The Patriots weren’t too anxious when the Rangers got so close.

“Not really,” John Patenaude, who tied for the team-high with 18 points, said. “I know how good we are. It doesn’t matter if they go up, we’re still probably going to come back.”


And, once again, Gray-New Gloucester bounced back.

Noah Hebert finally ended the drought with a 3-pointer. The Rangers stuck with Gray-NG until the final two minutes of the third, when the Patriots scored eight consecutive points and took a 50-36 lead into the final quarter.

A basket by Noah Hebert and a steal and bucket by Aidan Hebert extended the run to 12-0 and Gray-NG’s advantage to 54-36.

“Noah and Aidan, the twins, are the most clutch players I’ve ever coached,” said McCarthy, who was a Patriots assistant for several years before taking over as head coach when Ryan Deschenes left for Gorham after last season.

The Rangers kept fighting in the fourth, but the Patriots kept answering.

“We did pretty good,” Gray-New Gloucester senior Nate Hebert, who also scored 18 points, said. “We struggled making shots at times, but we stuck through it, played good defense, we were efficient at times, and really stepped up when we needed to.


“When they had that big run, we persevered, got through it, and came out that fourth quarter with energy.”

Either Patenaude, who transferred to Gray-New Gloucester from Poland in the offseason, or Nate Hebert — or both — were involved in each Gray-New Gloucester run. As were Noah (12 points) and Aidan Hebert (nine points), Nate Hebert’s nephews.

Defending four scorers who can drive to the hoop and shoot from the outside is a challenge, Greely coach Travis Seaver said.

“Obviously, we focused on Nate, trying to get him out of rhythm — which I think we did a good job of, he hit a couple tough shots,” Seaver said. “But, yeah, that’s the thing: they can spread the floor, and when you collapse, they’ve got a couple other guys that can consistently score from the perimeter, so it’s tough.”

Nate Hebert, Patenaude and Noah Hebert each made two 3-pointers, while Aidan Hebert and Carter Libby, who contributed six points, sank one apiece for Gray-New Gloucester.

Despite their offensive prowess, Nate Hebert said defense is an important part of the Patriots’ identity.


“We’re kind of a defensive team,” he said. “You talk about offense, but all of us can play defense, we can all guard one through five, and you know, that’s just what we do.”

The Patriots start five players with similar size and a lot of athleticism. Aidan Hebert is the point guard and his similarly built twin Noah is a center/forward alongside Libby. Nate Hebert and Patenaude man the swing positions.

“Defense is really scrappy, absolutely,” McCarthy said. “The twins are very long, we’ve got other guys that have stepped up as well. So hopefully — that’s an area of focus, we plan on getting better and better throughout the year.”


Seaver said that each time the Rangers rallied back they were on the verge of making it a different game.

“We did a great job kind of staying in, battling back, but then we were just always one possession away,” he said. “So kudos to these guys. It’s probably our hardest game that we’ve played, for four quarters, but kudos to Gray, they hit some big shots, obviously.”


The scoring runs began in the first half.

The teams swapped baskets early in the game before a tie-breaking 3-pointer by Patenaude began a 7-0 stretch that gave Gray-New Gloucester a 13-6 lead.

The Rangers countered with an 8-0 run and ended the first quarter with a 14-13 advantage.

Treys early in the second by Aidan Hebert and Nate Hebert put the Patriots up 19-14. Logan Vergara scored Greely’s first points of the quarter, but then the Patriots poured in eight straight to lead 26-14.

Gray-NG made five 3-pointers in the second quarter and took a 13-point lead into halftime. Patenaude led the way with 12 first-half points for the Patriots, and Nate Hebert scored 10. Both players hit two 3s.

Kade Ippolito led Greely with eight first-half points and finished with a team-high 16 points. Jackson Leding added 13 points, including nine after halftime.


“Kade, I mean, we’re trying to get him to be more present in the paint,” Seaver said of Ippolito. “He’s a great defensive player and kind of a force on the boards. So we’re trying to get him more involved on the offensive end, but he does his thing on defense. He’s one of our best defenders, all over the floor, not just in the paint. I don’t know how many rebounds he had, but my guess is 15, 16, something like that.”

Gray-New Gloucester has won three consecutive games (over Mt. Ararat, Westbrook and Greely) by at least 16 points after dropping the season opener, 75-54, to defending Class A South champion Falmouth.

“We’re feeling confident,” Nate Hebert said. “Started off slow, but now we’re into it, now we’re getting a run, we’re getting our rhythm.”

The Patriots have two more games this week, at Lake Region (2-1) on Thursday and at Marshwood (0-4), which ousted Gray-NG from the postseason last winter, on Saturday.

Greely hosts Fryeburg (2-1) on Thursday.

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