February 16

Western Class B boys’ basketball: Yarmouth fights off Cape Elizabeth

The Clippers hang on for a 45-43 quarterfinal victory.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Nate Shields-Auble scored inside to give Yarmouth the lead with a minute and a half remaining, and the Clippers withstood a couple of Cape Elizabeth looks in the waning moments to advance in the Western Class B boys’ basketball tournament with a 45-43 quarterfinal win Saturday at the Portland Expo.

click image to enlarge

Ethan Gage, left, of Yarmouth contends for a rebound with Quinn Hewitt of Cape Elizabeth as John Hall of the Capers watches Saturday during Yarmouth’s 45-43 victory in a Western Class B quarterfinal at the Portland Expo. Yarmouth will meet top-ranked Greely in the semifinals Thursday night.

Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

David Murphy of Yarmouth drives the lane and draws contact from Justin Guerette of Cape Elizabeth.

The fourth-ranked Clippers (15-4) will play Greely at 9 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The third game of the season between these rivals was considerably closer than the two in the regular season, which Yarmouth won by 14 and 12 points.

“Cape has the perfect type of team to make it close in the tournament,” said Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith.

“They have the ball-handlers to control the tempo. We knew it would be close. We had to go out and win this, and we did.”

The difference this time for the fifth-seeded Capers was that they hung around and had a chance for the upset.

“We got behind early in both of the regular-season games,” said Cape Coach Jim Ray. “Both teams know each other so well.”

Jack O’Rourke hit a 3-pointer with 1:51 left to put the Capers ahead 43-42.

But the 6-foot-4 Shields-Auble got good position inside and scored to give the Clippers the lead for keeps, although they couldn’t exhale until the final buzzer.

“It was a rehearsed play,” said Shields-Auble. “Ethan Gage gave me a good pass.”

It was a wild ride for both teams in the remaining time. Cape missed a baseline drive, then got the rebound but stepped on the line.

Cape’s last chance to take the lead came on a 3-pointer from the corner by Marcus Donnelly with five seconds remaining. The shot was long, and Adam LaBrie was fouled with 4.6 seconds.

“Marcus had a good look and he didn’t hesitate,” said Ray. “He’s a kid who came off the bench and had the presence to take the shot. I give him all the credit.”

LaBrie made the first of two foul shots.

The second bounced to the Clippers’ David Murphy, who, in a fit of excitement, tossed the ball in the air.

A little prematurely, as it turned out. The ball went to Justin Guerette of the Capers, who launched a desperation heave that would have won it but was well off the mark.

“He’ll hold onto the ball the next time,” said Smith.

Yarmouth led 14-9 after the first quarter. It was 24-20 at the half and 37-33 after three quarters.

“It was our senior leadership that was the difference,” said Smith.

David Murphy sparked the Clippers with 10 points in the third quarter. He finished with 16.

Eddie Galvin led Cape with 11 points before fouling out with 1:10 left. O’Rourke finished with 10.

The Capers also lost Ethan Murphy to five fouls with 21 seconds remaining.

“We missed too many foul shots,” said Ray. “We have a lot of players returning, but we know we have to get better.”

Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

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