Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Paul Betit
Special to the Press Herald
CUMBERLAND — Bailey Train and Connor Hanley provided the leadership, and Gabe Axelsen provided the spark to help Greely overcome the loss of center Mike McDevitt and run away with a 69-51 victory against Lake Region in a Western Maine Conference boys’ basketball game Friday night.
McDevitt, a 6-foot-7 senior and the Rangers’ leading scorer and rebounder, injured his left ankle while rebounding with about 2:40 left in the second quarter.
“Obviously that was a big thing,” Train said. “Mike is pretty much the show of our team point-wise. He’s one of our biggest leaders.”
On Jan. 7, McDevitt was injured and unable to play in the second half of Greely’s 56-22 victory at Kennebunk.
“We played without him before this year in the Kennebunk game when he got hurt, so we had some experience going in,” Train said.
“Hanley and I knew we had to step up, leadership mainly. A lot of younger guys were probably concerned at the time, so we felt we basically just had to keep people composed and tell them we’ll be fine.”
Train scored 22 points to lead the Rangers to their 12th win in 13 games.
He sank four 3-pointers to bring his career total to a school-record 131.
Hanley followed with 16 points. Moments after McDevitt’s departure, Hanley hit a turnaround jumper from the left side to stop the Lakers’ 8-0 run.
“The nice thing is we have a lot of senior leadership, which was shown (tonight) by Bailey and Connor, and we’ve got guys who can come off the bench,” Greely Coach Travis Seaver said.
Following McDevitt’s departure, Axelsen sank a free throw and a 3-pointer to help fuel an 8-0 run that put the Rangers into a 33-26 lead with 11 seconds left in the first half.
“He can spark a run,” Train said. “He can get a couple of steals and go down and score, hit some 3s. He can get things going real quick.”
Lake Region held a one-point lead twice in the second quarter and trailed by five at halftime.
“In the first half we did what we wanted to do to guard their bigs,” Lake Region Coach J.P. Yorkey said. “Certainly in the first half we were able to capitalize on our mismatches in terms of our quickness and their slowness.”
The Rangers opened the second half with a 13-2 run to build a 46-30 lead with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
“The way we started the second half is certainly not the way we would have liked to do it,” Yorkey said.
“We made a lot of unforced errors. We missed a couple of layups. We missed some free throws. It was unfortunate because we obviously had played hard enough and well enough in that first half to have ourselves in that game.”
Jack Lesure led the Lakers (7-7) with 16 points. Mark Williams added 13.
Seaver said he wasn’t sure about the severity of McDevitt’s injury.
“It’s just an ankle sprain, I think,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes (Saturday) morning.”