CUMBERLAND — It’s usually necessary to maintain perspective on these early-season games. But there is no question that Wednesday night’s Class A South girls’ basketball game between York High and Greely High had added significance.

The two teams are expected to be among the best – if not the best – teams in the class, so this was an early-season test.

And the visiting Wildcats scored the better early grade.

After giving up the first eight points, York slowly gained control with an aggressive defense and balanced offense, and pulled away in the second half to beat Greely, 78-64.

Chloe Smedley scored 23 points and Shannon Todd had 20 for York, which forced the Rangers into 23 turnovers – nine in the third quarter when the Wildcats outscored Greely, 27-14.

“Across the board they played wonderful defense,” said Greely Coach Joel Rogers. “They covered well out front and we had a lot of problems handling the ball.”

York is 2-0 while Greely is 1-1.

This was an entertaining game from the start, with both teams running hard and shooting freely. Greely jumped out with its 3-point shooting. The Rangers shot 12 of 21 in 3-pointers for the game.

In fact, two of their first three baskets were 3-pointers for an 8-0 lead. It was at that point that the Wildcats realized they needed to pull together.

“We weren’t mentally ready for what they gave us in those first three minutes,” said Wildcats Coach Rick Clark. “We didn’t react well to that. I don’t call timeout after 45 seconds very often. But they hung in there and hung in there, and that started making them think they could do it.”

And when Emma Thomson scored a buzzer-beating layup to end the first half, York was within 37-35 and had all the momentum.

“That’s when I knew it was going to happen,” said Smedley. “That’s when I knew we were going to win the game.”

York took the lead for good on a Smedley jumper with 3:35 left in the third, making it 43-42. Greely kept within two on a power move inside by Maddie Cyr, but York went on a 13-4 run to end the third quarter for a 62-51 lead. Todd had five points in the run, and Smedley and Mia Briggs each hit a 3-pointer.

“I think we played really together, we played as a team very well,” said Todd, who plans to play at Northeastern University. “Everyone was hot. There was not one person who wasn’t playing awesome. And we played great D.”

And they kept going at the Rangers in the fourth, making sure Greely couldn’t mount a comeback.

“Those first five minutes we were really shaky,” said Smedley. “I think we were a little stunned and realized we had to step it up, and that’s what we did the rest of the game.”

Briggs and Lily Posternak each added 12 points for York, with Posternak adding five steals.

“It was a good win against a good team,” said Clark.

Greely was led by freshman guard Anna DeWolfe, who scored 25 points, 19 in the first half. Cyr and Molly Chapin each had 10.

Rogers said his team has a lot of work to do.

“The kids aren’t there yet,” he said. “They just aren’t there yet.”