CUMBERLAND – Greely sophomore guard Ashley Storey was getting frustrated. Time and again she was open for layups, time and again, the ball rolled out. She had four points at halftime.
That’s when senior guard Caton Beaulieu stepped in.
“Caton told me I’d been making my layups all practice, every practice,” Storey said. “She told me I could do it. The pep talk helped.”
Did it ever. Storey went on to score 14 points in the second half and also finished with 11 rebounds to lead Greely to a 51-41 victory over Freeport in a Western Maine Conference girls’ basketball game Friday night.
Jaclyn Storey, a senior, scored 18 points and had seven rebounds for the Rangers (9-1), who extended their winning streak to eight.
The younger Storey had seven points in the third quarter as Greely outscored Freeport 15-9 to open a 40-29 lead.
“We’ve had trouble defending the 3-pointer all year and the first half was no different,” Greely Coach Joel Rogers said.
“In the second half, instead of going to box-and-1, we went to a 2-1-2 and played (Nina) Davenport man-to-man in our zone. When we went to our zone, they had real trouble figuring us out. Our height took advantage of that, and I think that was the difference in the game.”
Davenport had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead the Falcons (4-5), who had won three straight. Ashley Richardson contributed four points and six rebounds. Vanessa Leigh had six points, two rebounds and two steals.
“The girls played well,” said Freeport Coach Jim Seavey. “Greely’s size just wears you down. We’re physically so much smaller than they are, we played a lot more junk defense than we typically would. Thirty-two minutes of that took a toll on us.”
Davenport (seven points in the first quarter) put the Rangers on notice by hitting a 3-pointer 40 seconds in.
Jaclyn Storey set the tone early for Greely, scoring nine points as the teams were tied at 12 after one quarter.
Greely opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run, including two layups by Ashley Storey. Freeport then scored six straight to tie it at 20.
Haley Felkel’s outside shot pushed Greely ahead, and the Rangers went 3 for 4 from the line to enter the break with a 25-20 lead.
Then came Beaulieu’s pep talk, followed by Ashley Storey’s improved play.
“We had a really good low-post game tonight, particularly in the second half,” Rogers said. “Jaci was phenomenal. Ashley was, too. And Caton, she’s so big for us.”
Still, Davenport wasn’t giving up, slashing through the Rangers for seven points in the third quarter.
“She’s the real deal,” Seavey said. “She’s learning, and she’s making the kids around her a lot better.”
The Storeys accounted for all 11 of Greely’s points in the fourth quarter.
Greely outshot Freeport at the foul line, going 7 for 12 while the Falcons were 3 for 8. The Rangers outrebounded Freeport 26-23.
“Greely’s a program full of tradition, and that’s what we’re trying to build at Freeport,” said Seavey, who led Greely to a Class B state title in 2004.
“The kids are working hard, and it will come. Tonight, the effort was there, you just have to make foul shots and layups. Do those two things and you’ll win a lot of games.”