February 1

Schoolboy basketball: Greely pulls away from York

The Rangers take charge in the second half for a 56-41 victory.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

CUMBERLAND — Top-ranked Greely recovered from a sluggish first half Friday night to pull away from York for a 56-41 victory in a Western Class B boys’ basketball game.

click image to enlarge

Greely center Michael McDevitt slips inside for a short jumper during Greely’s 56-41 victory over York Friday night. The Rangers improved to 15-1.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Connor Hanley, who finished with a game-high 15 points for Greely, lofts a jumper in the lane over Matthew Pratt of York.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Greely’s early trouble was partly its own doing and partly York’s, but in the second half the Rangers used better ball movement that led to easy baskets.

Greely (15-1) finally was able to get breathing room against the defensive-minded Wildcats (8-8), who entered the game ranked ninth in the Heal point standings.

York held the Rangers to 17 first-half points but scored only 14 itself.

Patrick O’Shea scored seven points in the third quarter as the Rangers outscored York 18-11.

Leading 19-16, Greely went on a 9-2 run: Michael McDevitt scored inside, Bailey Train hit a 3-pointer and York was called for traveling. Kyle Wood then scored on back-to-back inside baskets.

The quarter ended with the Rangers up 35-25. McDevitt, a 6-foot-7 senior, collected his fourth foul with 5:28 left and went to the bench. He didn’t return but the Rangers handled his absence well. A basket by Ross Hogan of York made the score 42-32 and the Wildcats followed with a steal but couldn’t score.

Connor Hanley and the foul shooting of Train kept Greely safely ahead the rest of the way.

Train and Hanley combined for 17 of Greely’s 21 fourth-quarter points. Train had his second 3-pointer of the game at the start of the quarter and was 6 of 6 from the line, and Hanley had three baskets and two foul shots.

“We came out a little slow but at halftime we told ourselves that we had to pick up the pace a little bit,” said Hanley, who finished with 15 points.

“York plays very physical and they’re good on defense.”

Once the baskets started to fall for the Rangers in the second half, their offense clicked, but it took them a half because of York’s tough defense.

“It seemed like we came out a little sluggish,” said Greely Coach Travis Seaver. “York did a nice job clogging the middle in the first half. What they lacked in height they made up for with hard work. We also had much better ball movement in the second half. When the shots start falling, a lot of good things happen.”

Seaver cited the work of Wood, another player who gives the Rangers good size.

The 6-4 Wood scored two timely baskets to help Greely gain some distance.

“I thought Kyle Wood played terrific on the boards,” said Seaver. “That was a big help. The last four minutes of the game, we controlled the ball pretty well.”

Train finished with 12 points. Adam Legg led the Wildcats with 14.

York never led but also didn’t go away.

“I’m very proud of our defensive effort,” said York Coach Randy Small. “We played the game just the way we wanted to. Our defense has gotten better as the season has gone along. Offensively we had some looks and couldn’t make them, while Greely did. We missed some layups. I thought we bothered them on defense the whole game. We had to gamble on defense in the last four minutes.”

York, which is competing for one of the last tournament spots, will finish the regular season with games against Fryeburg Academy and Lake Region.

“I think we need another win to get into the tournament,” Small said.

Greely will close the season with games against Wells and Cape Elizabeth.

Hanley said the goal is straightforward.

“We want to go into the tournament strong and not lose any games we feel we shouldn’t lose,” he said. “It was good to get this game and put it away at the end like we did.”

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

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

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