When the Gray-New Gloucester and Lake Region girls’ basketball teams take the floor, no introductions are needed.

“We’re so familiar with each other and our personnel,” Lake Region Coach Paul True said.

The Patriots and Lakers battled again Thursday afternoon with their stonewall defenses in a Class B South semifinal. Lake Region showed more experience and created a bit more offense to beat the defending state champions, 34-31 at Cross Insurance Arena.

Gray-New Gloucester defeated Lake Region in the semifinals the previous two years – in overtime in 2016 and by four points last year.

“This means everything. It goes way back between us,” said Lake Region senior guard Chandler True, who led the Lakers with 12 points. “This was our final chance to get revenge.”

Lauren Jakobs added 10 points for fourth-seeded Lake Region (15-5), which will play No. 3 Freeport (16-4) for the regional title at 1 p.m. Saturday. Freeport won the only regular-season meeting, 59-47 on Feb. 2.

Top-seeded Gray-New Gloucester, which had one starter returning from its championship team, is done at 15-5.

“We knew coming into the season it was going to be a building process,” Patriots Coach Mike Andreasen said. “We built probably a little faster than I thought, to be honest.

“But when you get to the playoffs, it’s not about seeds, but who can get it done. Chandler True has been through this before. Jakobs has been through this before. Lake Region, those kids really have a high basketball IQ … Our kids, we’re still kind of developing.”

That IQ and experience was evident when the Lakers adjusted their offensive thinking. Normally, Lake Region likes to shoot 3-pointers. But those shots were not falling.

“Once we start shooting, if we don’t feel it, we know we have to play inside,” said Jakobs, a senior forward. “It worked for us.”

Of the Lakers’ 14 baskets, 11 came on drives, one from a pass inside and two on fast breaks.

Nothing was easy against the Patriots’ defense. Gray-New Gloucester led 7-6 after the first quarter.

“Everything today was just difficult,” True said.

It was even harder for the Patriots’ offense, as the Lakers focused on sophomore forward Jordan Grant (13 points, 10 rebounds) and junior guard Bri Jordan (six points).

“We know they try to pass into (Grant),” said Jakobs, who matched up against Grant inside. “Everyone was just helping (double-team) on her, and on Bri.”

Grant hit a layup to start the second quarter, but the Patriots did not score again in the half, as Lake Region took a 14-9 lead at the break.

“There’s a lack of big-game experience for a lot of our kids,” said Andreasen, who had no seniors on his roster. “They got a baptism by fire, and today it was pretty hot out there.”

Lake Region stayed in front throughout the second half, leading by as many as seven points. Gray-New Gloucester hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

When the Patriots tried to stop True and Jakobs, the Lakers could go to guard Shauna Hancock or Brooke Harriman, both of whom scored six points.

Though Lake Region was the No. 4 seed, the Lakers were the only Class B team to beat the Patriots this season, 38-34 in the season opener. In their second meeting, Gray-New Gloucester squeaked out a 42-41 victory.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.