GRAY — Gray-New Gloucester has had some trouble closing out close games this winter, but Friday evening, at home against a Yarmouth squad that simply wouldn’t quit, the Patriots made enough big plays to earn a critical victory.

Gray-New Gloucester led almost the whole way, but after letting a 10-point second quarter lead slip away, the Patriots bounced back with an 18-1 run in the third quarter to break it open. The Clippers got as close as six points down the stretch, but the Patriots managed to hold on for a 58-52 win.

Gray-New Gloucester got 16 points from star John Martin, but also got key contributions from Hunter Colby, Ryan Lachance and Zack Pomerleau to improve to 4-2.

“I’m very pleased because we haven’t responded well to runs this year,” said Gray-New Gloucester Coach Ryan Deschenes. “This is a step in the right direction.”

The Patriots enjoyed a fast start, getting five quick points from Martin to go up 9-3, but the Clippers battled back to even it at 11 on a jumper from Ashanti Haywood. Colby put Gray-New Gloucester on top again with two free throws, before a three-point play from Pomerleau made it 16-11 Patriots after one quarter.

After Lachance scored on successive putbacks and Pomerleau added a layup following a pretty stop-and-start move, Gray-New Gloucester was up by 10, but reserve Caden Middleton sparked a 7-0 Clippers run to end the half. Jonny Torres’ fadeaway jumper capped the run and pulled Yarmouth within 26-23.

Torres made a 3 to pull the Clippers even 26 seconds into the third quarter, but that only awakened the Patriots.

Gray-New Gloucester’s run was highlighted by a pair of drives to the basket by Pomerleau, a Lachance pass that deflected off Martin’s hand and into the basket and a 3-pointer from Colby that made it 39-26.

“Yarmouth’s a really good team and we scouted them well,” Colby said. “We knew they’d make runs and we knew we had to answer.”

Yarmouth appeared to gain momentum when Torres converted a three-point play with 6.1 seconds to go, but as time wound down, Martin set up Wyatt Edwards for a 3 and a 49-35 lead heading for the fourth.

There, the Clippers kept rallying, but the Patriots kept answering and while Torres, who finished with a game-high 22 points, drained one last 3, it wasn’t enough and Gray-New Gloucester prevailed.

Colby finished with 15 points, Pomerleau had 12 and Lachance added six points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

“(Yarmouth) defended John well and he did some nice things for us, but we had other guys step up and that’s where we’re better this year than last year,” said Deschenes.

The Clippers also got double-digit production from Haywood (14 points), but they turned the ball over 18 times and fell to 1-4.

“We started slow in the first half, came back, tied it, then the same thing happened in the second half,” said Yarmouth first-year coach Jonas Allen. “It’s been our pattern all year. Another thing is we didn’t execute on offense tonight. We still have a big upside. There’s no panic in me and I don’t sense any panic in the team.”