GRAY — The host Patriots kept running, and running, and running against visiting Wells in a Western Maine Conference boys basketball game on Thursday, all the way to a 52-28 victory.

Gray-New Gloucester went on a 32-2 run stretching from the first quarter to the third that took the Patriots (3-1) from a deficit to a comfortable lead. Andreas Kariotis scored a game-high 23 points, including 14 consecutive points during the game-altering run.

“Andreas spent the offseason in the weight room. He gained 20, 25 pounds of muscle. Last year he was strictly perimeter,” said GNG head coach Ryan Deschenes. “He’s a tough matchup for any team in our league.”

The Warriors (0-4) led 8-3 with 1:33 left in the opening quarter before Deschenes called a timeout. That’s when the run began. The Patriots scored the final four points of the quarter, including a layup by Tyler St. Pierre with 10 seconds left, but Wells still led 8-7.

“I was very, very excited about how we came out in the first quarter against a very good team,” said Wells head coach Troy Brown.

St. Pierre got a steal and a layup one minute in to give the Patriots a lead they didn’t relinquish. A 10-0 GNG run was ended when Cole Greaves ”“ who scored a team-high 10 points for Wells ”“ hit an elbow jumper midway through the second.

“They gave us everything we could handle for a quarter and a half,” Deschenes said of Wells.

The Patriots then ran off 22 consecutive points, with a rebound attempt by Kariotis proving to be a fateful play for both teams. Kariotis went up for the rebound against Wells’ D’Andre Woods and Nate Booth, with both players receiving fouls ”“ Woods a personal foul and Booth a technical for bringing down Kariotis to the floor with him.

“He crashed the boards, him and Nate got tangled up, things happen; that’s just the way it is,” said Brow, who noted that he has a team rule that a player who receives a technical foul must sit out the rest of the game.

Kariotis was awarded four foul shots and he made them all. He made a reverse layup on the ensuing possession, then got a put-back followed by a layup off an inbounds pass to extend the Patriots’ lead to 27-10 at half.

Kariotis scored the first four points of the second half for GNG before David Chanlatte made a layup to give a different Patriot player some points. But the long run continued until Riley Dempsey hit a free throw for Wells with 4:28 left in the third. By that point the Patriots had a 35-10 lead.

A 5-0 run by Wells drew the Warriors closer, but they still trailed 41-20 heading into the fourth quarter, with Kariotis matching Wells’ total scoring output.

“Kariotis is obviously their best basketball player,” said Brown.

Kariotis hit a 3-pointer ”“ the only one of the night for the Patriots ”“ to finish off his night. He was outscoring the Warriors before taking a permanent seat on the bench. A strong finish by Greaves pushed Wells’ total above Kariotis’ personal performance.

Greaves is one of only two seniors on the team ”“ Booth is the other ”“ and the Warriors start three sophomores. Thursday night’s game was a learning experience against a senior-laden GNG team.

“We played 24 minutes of decent basketball, and eight minutes of not very good basketball,” said Brown. “We need to put it all together, if we’re going to beat any team in the Western Maine Conference ”“ it doesn’t matter who they are.”

The Warriors return to the court on Monday, when they host Freeport.

Sports Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.

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