GRAY — Todd Flaherty knew this wouldn’t be easy. It never is when his Greely High girls’ basketball team plays Gray-New Gloucester.

And it wasn’t Thursday night with the Patriots’ defense often frustrating the potent Rangers. But in the end, Greely guard Anna DeWolfe took over the fourth quarter and the Rangers remained unbeaten.

DeWolfe scored 11 of her 23 points in the fourth and added three steals as Greely pulled away from Gray-New Gloucester, 53-45.

“I think this is going to be a good team builder for us,” said Flaherty. “Everybody played well. It was a team win.”

Greely, top-ranked in Class A South, improved to 7-0. Gray-New Gloucester, top-ranked in Class B South, dropped to 6-1.

The Patriots led by five at the half – holding the Rangers to five points in the second quarter – and by six early in the third before Greely went on a 7-0 run sparked by the defense of guard Julia Martel.

She made three consecutive steals, scoring twice on breakaway layups and setting Camille Clement up for a 3-pointer to turn a 29-25 deficit into a 32-29 lead.

“That changed the game,” said Flaherty. “That two or three minutes that Julia had changed the game for us.”

Martel was injured with 18 seconds left in the third quarter, taking a hard fall on her elbow. She didn’t return – Flaherty said he thought she would be fine – but her absence sparked the Rangers, who were already without star guard Brooke Obar, out with an ankle injury

DeWolfe beat the third-quarter buzzer with a floater in the lane to make it 36-36. Then Greely scored the first eight points of the fourth, holding the Patriots scoreless for the first 4:26.

“When the game gets a little rough we always play for each other,” said DeWolfe. “We played mostly for Julia in the fourth quarter.”

Clement, who had 13 points, opened the scoring in the fourth with a cutting layup. DeWolfe scored the next six – two steals setting up two baskets – to increase the lead to eight.

Gray-New Gloucester twice got within six points but with 1:33 left, DeWolfe hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 51-42.

“I think this was a good test for us,” said DeWolfe. “When we’re down we all come together as one to dig out of the hole and we did that really well today.”

The Patriots were led by Eliza Hotham with 14 points and Jordan Grant with 13.

Gray-New Gloucester Coach Mike Andreasen also thought this game would be good for his team, even with the loss.

“They’re one of the best teams in the state, A, B, C, AA, whatever,” he said. “They’ve beaten everybody. To play with them means we’re a pretty good team.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH