When Greely needed resuscitation, the Rangers turned to their experience.
Seniors Connor Hanley, Bailey Train and Mike McDevitt rallied top-seeded Greely in the fourth quarter Saturday to stave off an upset bid by eighth-seeded York and escape with a 41-38 win in a Western Class B boys’ basketball quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.
Stymied for three quarters by the opportunistic and defensive-minded Wildcats, Greely outscored its Western Maine Conference rival 16-5 in the fourth quarter.
The veteran trio accounted for all of the Rangers’ points in the decisive fourth quarter. Hanley made 7 of 8 free throws, Train had five points and McDevitt added two baskets. Hanley and McDevitt did it while saddled with four fouls each.
Greely (18-1) advanced to the semifinals against fourth-seeded Yarmouth (15-4) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The Clippers downed fifth-seeded Cape Elizabeth, 45-43.
Like their last regular-season meeting, the Wildcats shut down Greely’s tall and talented offense. The halftime score, 17-14, was the same as the last time, only reversed, with York on top. The difference this time was that the Wildcats controlled matters for almost three quarters rather than just one half.
“York did exactly what they wanted to do for the first 20 minutes of the game,” said Greely Coach Travis Seaver. “We didn’t play well until halfway through the third quarter. York did a nice job of taking things away and we didn’t respond well. We can learn from this. We grinded it out and get to play again, which is fortunate.”
Trailing 33-25 entering the fourth quarter, the Rangers started cutting into York’s lead right away.
The rally coincided with McDevitt’s return with 7:37 remaining. His impact was immediate. He hit a jump shot from the side to make it 33-29. Train followed with one of two from the line.
Adam Legg hit a free throw for York, then a free throw by Hanley and a basket by Mark MacGlashing of York made it 36-31. The Rangers then went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good. Two foul shots by Hanley made it 37-36.
The Rangers burned a minute and a half off the clock by keeping the ball away from York after a Gallagher basket cut it to 39-38.
Hanley hit two from the line with 12.7 seconds left. York called a timeout to set up Gallagher for a tying 3-pointer, but York forced a long pass across the court that was corralled by the Rangers, who called a timeout with 2.6 seconds. On the inbounds pass, the Rangers sent an arching pass to the 6-foot-7 McDevitt, who batted the ball as time expired.
“The ball went under my legs,” Gallagher said of the inbounds pass. “There was no call on the play. We just have to deal with it. I feel awful right now, but we had a great season. I’m proud of my teammates. We were forcing things in the fourth quarter, but other than that I thought we played a great game.”
Hanley has been a defensive leader for the Rangers, but in the second half of the season he’s shown his offensive chops.
“Connor was great tonight,” said Seaver. “He really picked it up in the third quarter when Mike was on the bench with four fouls. Connor is very versatile and a great player. His free throws at the end were huge.”
Hanley finished with 16 points. Gallagher scored 15 for York.
“In the second half, our offense was more free flowing,” said McDevitt. “We played to our tempo. York took our stuff away in the first half. That’s a credit to them. I think we kind of wore York down in the fourth quarter. We had kids hit some big shots.”
Seaver said he was confident putting McDevitt back in at the start of the fourth quarter.
“Mike’s a smart player,” said Seaver. “He did a good job the rest of the way of not putting himself in trouble. He’s earned the trust to be on the floor in tough situations.”
Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: