January 28, 2013

High School Notebook: Missed chance for Gray-NG

From staff reports

After Greely High edged Gray-New Gloucester 44-41 in overtime in a Western Maine Conference girls' basketball game Friday night, Patriots Coach Mike Andreasen knew his team had missed a great opportunity.

Gray-NG held a seven-point lead early in the third quarter and had a chance to win in the closing seconds of regulation, but missed a layup.

"It was good for us," he said. "At the same time, it was disheartening. Right now we're 10-3. We are 10-0 against everyone else, 0-3 against Greely, Lake Region and York. Those are the three teams we're chasing.

"It's been a goal of ours this year to see if we can play with those kids. We showed we can play with them. But we haven't shown we can come out on top."

Ansdreasen, who is hobbled on crutches (he stepped on his cat and fell down a flight of stairs), then expressed concern about Gray-NG's Saturday game against Cape Elizabeth, wondering if the tight game might have taken too much out of his players.

Well, the Patriots lost their second game of the weekend Saturday, to Cape 45-28, getting outscored 27-10 in the second half.

GREELY, MEANWHILE, swept its pair of weekend games, beating Fryeburg Academy 35-25 on Saturday.

The Rangers will be without point guard Caton Beaulieu for a while as she recovers from a back injury. But Coach Joel Rogers was impressed with how Abby Nielsen stepped in for her.

On Friday she had seven points, including a huge basket in the fourth quarter. She had seven on Saturday as well.

"She stepped into the role with only three days of practice," said Rogers, after Friday's game. "And she did a great job for us."

LAKE REGION senior 5-foot-10 forward Kelsey Winslow may not be the first player to pop up on opposing coaches' scouting reports. That honor goes to dominant junior center Tiana-Jo Carter. Getting past the Lake Region guards' quick, relentless pressure is item No. 2.

But Winslow showed again Saturday night she does require attention. Winslow scored a team-high 16 points in a 61-39 win against York. All of her shots came from short range, either baseline jumpers or a finish on the break.

"We did OK in the first half but in the second half she might as well have been operating in a 10-foot circle," York Coach Rick Clark said of Winslow, who is now averaging 13.3 points a game.

Winslow said if she can beat an opponent to a scoring spot, the Laker guards will get her the ball.

"I try my best. That's what I try to focus on," Winslow said.

At the defensive end, she matched up all night with Wildcat 6-foot-1 senior Emily Campbell and held her to four points.

"She's an amazing athlete and plays every play hard," Lake Region Coach Paul True said of Winslow. "She matches up many times with the other team's top offensive threat. (Campbell) is a tough matchup. She can shoot the 3 or post up. By having Kelsey guard her, that allowed (Carter) to roam around in the paint and control the boards."

FRYEBURG ACADEMY'S boys' basketball team won the game it had to win to greatly improve its chances of making the Class B tournanent, downing Greely 46-37 Saturday at Fryeburg.

Fryeburg, now 6-8, entered the game ranked 12th and in the last qualifying spot. Greely (8-6) was ranked seventh. Walker-James Mallory scored 15 points to lead the Raiders. Point guard Bright Amoako added nine points.

The Raiders have four games remaining, all important, of course, but the win over the Rangers, who had beaten Fryeburg by six points earlier in the season, was the key.

AFTER NOT playing for a week, top-ranked Falmouth (14-0) picked up two wins over the weekend. The Yachtsmen beat Wells 70-36 on Friday and Poland 67-42 on Saturday. Falmouth has four games remaining, with the critical one at York on Feb. 5. The regular season ends Feb. 8.

Coach Dave Halligan was able to give his starters plenty of rest against Wells. That was important with back-to-back games. The Yachtsmen showed their depth in both games. On Friday night, Thomas Coyne and Nick Burton came off the bench to score 16 and 13 points respectively. On Saturday, big men Jake Horning and Andrew Thornton scored 12 and eight points respectively.

Falmouth will be favored in the upcoming Western Class B tournament -- by how much depends on its next game with York. If the Wildcats are more competitive than they were the first time the teams met, then the tournament just might be a little closer than most people think.

IT WAS a nice atmosphere for high school basketball Thursday night at the Portland Expo when the Portland and Deering boys played for the first time in the regular season. Portland ended a two-game losing streak with a 44-37 win. Both teams have two losses heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, and the crowd reminded one of what the Western Maine Class A quarterfinals will be like on Feb. 15-16 at the Expo.

Both teams wrap up the regular season Feb. 8 at Deering in what could be a game for the top seed in the tournament.

Thursday's game was low-scoring through three quarters and defense ruled. It opened up in the fourth, with Deering having by far its best quarter of the night with 17 points. Portland's 12 points were enough to hold on, and a big improvement from its two previous games when it scored only five and two fourth-quarter points respectively.

Deering's offense struggled in the first three quarters, scoring nine, five and six points. Portland slowed down the Rams' strong interior game and they couldn't hit from outside until the fourth.

-- Staff Writers Mike Lowe, Tom Chard and Steve Craig contributed to this report.

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