CAPE ELIZABETH — Greely came out determined Tuesday night to end a five-game losing streak to Cape Elizabeth.

The task became easier when Cape’s standout player, Theo Bowe, missed the game with a high fever.

With Greely standout Sam Johnston leading the way with a game-high 24 points, the top-ranked Rangers cruised to a 68-50 victory in a Western Maine Conference boys’ basketball game.

Johnston scored the game’s first five points and keyed a 17-2 run in the meat of the quarter that all but won it.

Johnston had 11 points in the first quarter as Greely (11-1) led 22-8 after one, and 18 in the half for a 33-18 lead.

It was 53-26 after three quarters. The reserves played the fourth with Cape’s unit outscoring Greely’s, 24-15.

“My teammates gave me the ball,” said Johnston.

Johnston said the Rangers weren’t sure whether Bowe would play until soon after running onto the floor.

“We didn’t see him but we still had to come out with a lot of intensity even if he wasn’t playing,” said Johnston.

“I had never beaten Cape in my high school career. That was taking a toll on me. If we don’t play them in the playoffs, this was my last chance to beat them.”

Johnston did his part but got plenty of help from his teammates.

Tanner Storey and Michael McDevitt dominated the boards, which triggered the Rangers’ fast break.

Reserve Bailey Train hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter. Nick Clarke scored eight points in the third and finished with 10.

Bowe, the leading scorer in the conference at 25 points per game, had 34 points on Jan. 4 as Cape beat the Rangers 55-41 at Cumberland.

This was a different Rangers team.

In the first meeting, Greely turned the ball over against Cape’s press. While their ballhandling still needs improving, the Rangers have cut down on turnovers.

“We work on it every day,” said Coach Ken Marks.

Greely lost three games to Cape last season, including a season-ending loss in the Western Class B tournament. A tournament loss in 2009 and the first game this season made it five straight losses.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Marks said.

“With Theo not playing, I was afraid we would lose our energy but we maintained it. I thought we did a good job getting the ball inside. Without Theo, Cape is a different team. They tried but they couldn’t get it done.”

Cape (9-4) was led by point guard Cam Brown, who finished with 18 points. Brown scored all of his team’s first- quarter points (8).

“No excuses,” said Cape Coach Jim Ray. “We try to develop balance with the other guys. They have to shoulder the load because something like this can happen at any time. It’s a team game and the team has to step up. Theo gives us so much in leadership and confidence that it’s difficult to replace.

“The poor kid loves these types of games. Theo wouldn’t have missed it unless he was really down and out.”

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]