Yarmouth High looked every bit the top seed in the Class B South boys’ basketball tournament Saturday afternoon, taking early control and running away for a 71-44 quarterfinal victory over No.9 Gray-New Gloucester at the Portland Expo.

Behind their inside players – 6-foot-7 senior Alek Medenica and 6-6 junior Nolan Hagerty – the Clippers controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Patriots 41-25, forced 19 turnovers and held them to just 29 percent shooting.

Medenica scored 22 points with 13 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocked shots while Hagerty added 10 points, eight rebounds, six steals and three assists.

“We limited them and the opportunities they had in the half-court,” said Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith. “I didn’t think we took care of the ball very well in the offensive end or I didn’t think we were focused well in the offensive end tonight.

“But defensively when you get five guys working that hard, good things happen. I was happy with that.”

Yarmouth (17-2) will play Oak Hill, a winner over Lincoln Academy, in the regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cross Insurance Arena. Gray-New Gloucester finished 10-10, with three of the losses to the Clippers.

The Patriots took a 3-0 lead on a 3-pointer by John Villanueva (10 points) but Yarmouth scored the next nine points to take control. Medenica scored the first seven as the Clippers began to show their defensive skills. With their big men controlling the inside, Yarmouth pressured Gray-New Gloucester’s shooters and didn’t give them any room to move.

“They really locked in on our shooters, we have guys who can really make some shots,” said Patriots’ Coach Ryan Deschenes. “We usually make eight to 10 3s a game and they held us to four. So we tried to go inside-out early on and get our bigs involved.

“But they’re just so big and so long and so strong.”

It was 15-8 Yarmouth after one quarter. The Clippers expanded it to 36-15 at the half as Medenica and Hagerty combined for 11 second-quarter points. Yarmouth also forced 16 of Gray-New Gloucester’s turnovers in the first two quarters.

Gibson Harnett added 15 points for the Clippers, along with four steals.

“I was worried about this game, I was worried how we would start, how we would come out,” said Yarmouth’s Smith. “So I was happy with how we played for 32 minutes and how it worked out for us,”

“We fell short last year so it’s redemption time,” said Medenica. “The team’s excited. We’re ready to go into these next three days of practice and lock in for Thursday.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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