Fifth-seeded Gray-New Gloucester used precision shooting Saturday, negating fourth-ranked Spruce Mountain’s transition game for a 57-34 victory in a Class B South boys’ basketball quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.

The Patriots (12-7) will meet top-ranked Wells (13-6) in a semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cross Insurance Arena.

“The more you score the more we get them out of what they want to do, and we keyed on that transition, just trying to deny outlets so they can’t get that easy pass and deny that reversal right away,” Gray-New Gloucester Coach Ryan Deschenes said. “They caught a few open looks and they made them. They’re really good shooters but for the most part, we made them work extremely hard on offense.

“They have three guards who can shoot really, really well, so we keyed on that all week against their offense and what they like to do. We were just trying to take away what they were trying to do and that’s what (our) guys did really well. We had a great week of practice.”

Besides dropping seven 3-pointers on the Phoenix (13-6), Gray-New Gloucester was 12 of 15 from the foul line.

The Patriots’ offense was matched by the defense as Gray-New Gloucester built a 26-10 halftime lead.

Spruce Mountain, which was bolstered all season by perimeter shooting, failed to hit shots when needed.

“I thought we settled. I thought we settled a lot for things that we are comfortable doing,” Coach Scott Bessey said. “Things that we are not comfortable doing are the things that I think we needed to do.

“Settling for 3s I thought cost us a little bit. We didn’t get many things in transition. When transition opportunities were there, I thought we struggled to make the right decision. Didn’t get a lot of easy looks and the easy looks we did get, we missed. We had some bunnies that we typically make that didn’t go in.”

Bessey also said the Phoenix made “uncharacteristically” too many turnovers.

“I thought we turned the ball over on a lot of occasions where we typically didn’t during the season,” he said. “I thought when it came to confidence and a little bit of mental toughness, they had the edge.”

Zack Pomerleau (three 3-pointers) and 6-foot-5 center Hunter Colby each scored 12 points for Gray-New Gloucester. John Martin finished with 11.

“Before the game, I wasn’t shooting that well and I just didn’t want it to get in my head,” Pomerleau said. “I’m emotional player and if I let that stuff get in my head, I won’t do it.

“We planned a lot for their offense. We knew they were a high-tempo team … so we just practiced their half-court offense… and we just knew what was coming. So we just planned really well for this. We had our best defensive performance of the year.”

Senior Mason Shink led the Phoenix with nine points.

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