GRAY — Gray-New Gloucester wanted to play an up-tempo game Tuesday night and after a few minutes, it was apparent the Patriots had achieved what they set out to do.

Team defense and the scoring of Adam Jensen proved too much for Maranacook of Readfield as Gray-New Gloucester breezed to a 61-36 victory in a Western Class B schoolboy basketball tournament preliminary game.

Jensen scored 28 points as the eighth-seeded Patriots (11-8) advanced to the quarterfinals against top-ranked Greely at 4:45 p.m. Saturday at the Portland Expo.

“The defense was the key,” said Coach Tony DiBiase. “We wanted to get in their face and make the game fast. When you do that, the other team can make mistakes.”

And the ninth-ranked Black Bears (10-9) made their share, including three quick turnovers that put them in a 6-0 hole.

Seth Miller finally hit a 3-pointer from the side for Maranacook, but the Patriots scored the next seven points, five by Jensen, who totaled 11 in the first quarter.

The Patriots led 20-8 after one and 32-14 at halftime.

Nick Bennett sparked the Patriots in the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from the corner after Maranacook opened with two baskets.

“Jensen had a big offensive game but the other guys contributed,” said DiBiase. “Those 3-pointers by Bennett were big. The overall flow of the game was the key for us. Heath Martell banged inside with their big guy. I thought everyone contributed and did a good job.”

The Patriots will make their second trip to the quarterfinals in three seasons. Their opponent two years ago – Greely.

“They beat us pretty good two years ago but we played them tough at our place this season,” said senior Ryan Cavallaro. “We’re excited about getting to the quarterfinals. We’ve been thinking about this all season.”

Cavallaro cited his team’s defense.

“We put the defense pressure on at the start of the game and tried to keep it on the whole game,” he said. “We wanted to keep our fast pace the entire game.”

The Black Bears had their only success going inside to 6-foot-6 sophomore center Kyle Boucher, who scored 17 points.

“We knew we had to contain him,” said DiBiase.

Boucher got loose inside for nine points in the third quarter, but the Patriots were well in control by then.

Martell finished with 12 points.

The Patriots lost twice to Greely in the regular season. The Rangers won a blowout at home but the game at Gray was closer.

“It will be a big challenge for us, no question,” said DiBiase. “But our goal is not just to get to the quarterfinals. Our goal is to win and keep moving up in the tournament.”

 

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