PORTLAND — Playing without one of its top scorers for the final quarter and a half, top-ranked Cape Elizabeth scored the last eight points Thursday night and again denied Greely in the Western Class B boys’ basketball semifinals with a 51-43 victory at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

It was the third straight year the Capers (19-1) beat the Rangers in the semifinals, and each was different.

Two years ago, it wasn’t that close. Last year, Cape won on a last-second basket. This time, it was 43-43 with just under three minutes left.

Fourth-seeded Greely (14-6) must wonder what it has to do to win.

And the Capers did it without Conor Moloney, their best 3-point shooter, who hurt his ankle with 4:42 left in the third quarter and missed the rest of the game.

Moloney was walking on his ankle in the locker room after the game, and Coach Jim Ray hopes to have him available for a regional final rematch against second-seeded Falmouth (19-1) at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center.

”These kids have a tremendous amount of character,” said Ray.

Greely went scoreless over the final 4:33, but not for a lack of opportunities. The Rangers had four 3-point attempts and several inside shots, but nothing would drop.

”We got the ball where we wanted it,” said Greely Coach Ken Marks. ”Our strategy was to get the ball inside. But you have to have an outside game, too, and we didn’t.

”Cape has speed, quickness and a perimeter game.”

In a game of spurts, Cape Elizabeth, seeking a third straight regional title, had the last one.

It started with a steal by Theo Bowe with the score 43-43. He knocked the ball away from Sam Johnston, off another Cape player and back to Bowe, who dribbled the length of the floor for a basket.

That came with 2:13 left, just after the Rangers made a 9-2 run to tie it.

After Matt Dunn of Greely missed a 3-pointer, Capers reserve Matt Donovan hit 1 of 2 from the line to make it 46-43 with 1:26 left.

Over the next 1:12, the Rangers kept the ball in the offensive end. One 3-pointer was blocked, another tipped, and both times Greely regained possession.

Cape finally got the ball with 14 seconds left, and after a timeout, Bowe made 1 of 2 from the line. Greely had one last 3-point attempt before two Bowe foul shots and a last-second basket by Ben Brewster provided the final margin.

”I think our experience in big games helped,” said Bowe. ”We stepped it up and we got big performances from guys off the bench, like Joey Doane.”

Doane made two 3-pointers. His second ended the third quarter to give Cape a 41-34 lead.

Bowe opened the fourth with a basket, but Cape went scoreless until Bowe’s steal with 2:13 left.

Before that, Greely ran off nine straight to tie it. It started with two foul shots by Johnston. Trevor Tierney, who took charge inside, scored. Tanner Storey scored inside and Dunn hit a 3-pointer to tie it.

”It was nerve-racking at the end. We got a little sloppy with the ball in the fourth quarter,” said Ray.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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