GRAY — Gray-New Gloucester found its rhythm in the second quarter and then took control of the game in Saturday’s 71-57 boys basketball victory over York.

Once the Patriots (11-1) did get going, they showed why they have won 11 consecutive games and why they are so difficult to match up with.

“It’s tough, you know, besides the two kids,” Wildcats coach Jerry Hill said of Gray-NG’s Nate Hebert and John Patenaude, “they’ve got other kids that can put the ball in the basket, too.”

The Patriots — ranked third in the Class A South Heal point standings and ninth in the Varsity Maine poll — were playing their first game since an 81-53 win over Yarmouth on Jan. 9, and they struggled to score early against York (11-2).

The Wildcats, meanwhile, were hitting their shots and led 16-11 at the end of the first period.

“It was a slow start,” first-year Gray-NG head coach Ian McCarthy said. “Defensively, they’re tough, they’re physical. We knew they would be. We just needed to get into a flow. We were a little bit rusty, we had 12 days off. And, you know, it’s an unfortunate schedule, but it is what it is; we knew that it would take us a bit to kind of come out of that.”


Hebert kept Gray-NG within striking distance by scoring seven points in the opening quarter.

He continued to spark the offense in the second, playing a key role in the Patriots scoring the first 10 points of the quarter.

A 3-pointer by York’s Derek Parsons ended Gray-NG’s scoring streak, but the Patriots answered with a 6-0 run to build a 27-19 advantage. By halftime, they led 32-21.

The Wildcats were limited to five points in the second quarter. McCarthy said Gray-New Gloucester’s defense didn’t change, the intensity of the defense changed.

“We picked up our pressure,” he said. “… We were playing the same defense, but we were too lax on the inbounds pass. So we made a commitment to just step up, not let it in easy, make them work a little harder in the backcourt.”

Hill said that while the Patriots found their shooting touch, the Wildcats lost theirs.


“We went through a stretch in the second quarter where we couldn’t put the ball in the basket and they took advantage of it,” Hill said.

Hebert tallied 15 of his 20 points in the first half.

Patenaude was held to eight points — and left early in the fourth quarter with a hand injury — but the Patriots exhibited the firepower of their offense, which has scored at least 68 points in nine consecutive games.

“We try to find the hot hand,” Aidan Hebert, Nate’s nephew, said. “With the team that we have, we always will have someone that’s on. And we try to find that, and we try to attack it. Looking at mismatches as well, and just being smart about the game.”

Aidan Hebert had the hot hand in the second half, scoring 18 of his game-high 24 points after intermission, including a steal that he took down the court for a dunk with about two minutes left.

“I saw my opportunity. I mean, the fans love it. Like, it just felt so good after …” Aidan Hebert said. “I mean, I had the open lane, so I had to take it.”


“The crowd was waiting for it. They needed it, absolutely,” McCarthy said. “And I saw his eyes light up when he came done wide open, so we knew he was going to throw that down.”

Aidan Hebert also had six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and played strong defense against Wildcats big man Lukas Bouchard, who is much taller than any of Gray-New Gloucester’s starters.

“It all came down to Aidan guarding their big guy,” McCarthy said. “That allowed us to stay home on their shooters, we didn’t have to double … I mean, he just did a tremendous job.”

Bouchard finished with eight points.

“We try to always go through Lukas Bouchard with our offense,” Hill said. “But they did a good job, you know what I mean? When he got the ball, they swarmed him, and it made it hard for him to get to the basket, too.

“So, again, credit to them, you know, they gave us fits offensively, made it hard for us to get into really a nice offensive flow, until later in the game we started hitting some shots.”


York is one of the best teams in Class B South, and showed as much by continuing to battle. The Wildcats even got within single digits a few times in the final 90 seconds, but Gray-New Gloucester made enough free throws to keep York’s comeback bid from becoming too serious.

Ryan Cummins helped fuel the fourth-quarter resurgence with a pair of 3s. The Wildcats hit three treys in the fourth quarter after making only one in the first three periods.

Cummins finished with a team-high 14 points. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Reece MacDonald and Derek Parsons added 12 points apiece for the Wildcats, who have been playing without leading scorer Connor Roberge and Haydn Forbes, both senior captains — “But, you know, that’s not an excuse. We’ve played five games without them,” Hill said. He said both players should return next week.

Hill said he was disappointed in Saturday’s result but not in the Wildcats.

“We competed, which is really the most important thing,” Hill said. “And I think, if anything, it’s going to prepare us for the state tournament. I can’t imagine we’re going to see anybody as good as them in the state tournament — or better than them, that’s for sure.”

York plays again Tuesday at Lake Region (4-8). Gray-New Gloucester is off until Thursday when it plays at Yarmouth (6-6).

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.