Thursday, December 12, 2013
By STEVE CRAIG, Special to the Press Herald
PORTLAND — Greely made 6 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter to beat Wells 43-38 Tuesday in a Western Class B girls' quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.
Jaclyn Storey of Greely spins past Alison Furness of Wells for a layup during their Western Class B quarterfinal at the Portland Expo. Greely advanced by hitting late free throws for a 43-38 victory.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Ashley Storey of Greely rises to block a shot by Nicole Moody of Wells.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Greely, which made better than 50 percent of its shots from the floor, advanced to a semifinal at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Cumberland County Civic Center against No. 2 York, a 51-42 winner over Gray-New Gloucester.
Trailing by two, Wells (14-6) forced a backcourt turnover with 20.5 seconds left but turned the ball over on the inbound pass. Greely junior Jaclyn Storey was fouled and made both ends of a one-and-one to regain a two-possession lead -- just as her freshman sister had done with 47 seconds to play.
"Free throws are one thing I've really tried to work on," Storey said. "In order to move forward in high school basketball, and any basketball I might play, free throws are going to be very important. Just look at this game. You just have to step up, focus and make them."
Greely (16-3) was 8 of 11 at the line and made 16 of 30 field goals. Wells was 9 of 14 at the line (4 of 9 in the second half) and shot 14 of 43 from the floor.
"I just stressed to them to take care of the ball, have fun, push the ball on offense and take care of it on defense," said Greely Coach Kim Hilbrich.
The Warriors stayed in the game with their hustle -- rebounding better than the taller Rangers, getting loose balls and creating points off turnovers. Wells sophomore sixth-player Nicole Moody was the catalyst with 14 points.
"I think we left more than our pound of flesh on the floor," said Wells Coach Don Abbott said. "I told our girls not to hang their misery on that last inbounds play. We made a Herculean effort to get the ball back to be in that position."
Wells took its only lead with 5:23 left in the third quarter when Jeni Wallingford made a layup after Kelly Beisswanger dived past Greely guard Caton Beaulieu for a loose ball, tipping it ahead to Abby Moody, who assisted on the hoop.
For the rest of the quarter, Wells continued to play with ferocity but scored just one more point.
Greely, struggling with foul trouble, was able to scratch out a hard three-point play by Haylee Munson, a quick-strike 3-pointer from Courtney Nielson and another Munson hoop for a 33-27 lead.
Wells responded in the fourth behind four points each from Nicole Moody and Mariyah Heath to cut the lead to 38-36 with two minutes to play.
After a series of turnovers, Wells looked to foul quickly on an inbounds play, putting Ashley Storey on the line with 47.9 seconds left. At the time, Storey had one field goal and two missed free throws.
This time, she made both.
"I said to my cohorts on the bench, 'This is the place for a freshman. Let's see what she's got,"' Hilbrich said. "I had a smile on my face because I felt good about it."
Greely came out running, and the transition game led to a quick 10-2 lead and a Wells timeout. The break helped Wells regroup, and the insertion of Nicole Moody made a difference.
Moody immediately went to the hole for a basket and finished the half with nine points as Wells cut a 17-9 deficit after the first quarter to 23-22 at halftime.
She also helped raise the defensive tempo. Greely opened the game by making 7 of 9 in the first quarter, but found points harder to come by in the second with transition opportunities cut off and limited looks for Caroline Hamilton (8 points, two 3s in the first quarter).
While Jaclyn Storey was on the bench with two fouls, Wells was able to get sophomore Alison Furness loose underneath for six of her eight first-half points.