Jakob Bernheisel, left, and Logan Bagshaw run a drill during a Greely basketball practice Wednesday in Cumberland. The Rangers have won three consecutive Class A titles, but will need contributions from new sources to contend for a fourth. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

CUMBERLAND — Logan Bagshaw gets it.

He knows what people outside of the Greely High boys’ basketball program are thinking – that Bagshaw is the last star left for the three-time Class A state champions and, finally, the Rangers will take a step back.

But the 6-foot-3 senior guard with nearly unlimited range and an underrated floor game disagrees.

“This year, everyone thinks I can’t rely on my teammates, but they’re wrong,” Bagshaw said. “I can rely on my teammates to hit shots and make the cuts and play defense.”

The Rangers have revamped their lineup before during their title run. But Coach Travis Seaver always knew he had multiple scorers returning and a developing big man ready to raise his game.

After 6-foot-7 Matt McDevitt and 6-5 Ryan Twitchell graduated following the 2017 championship, burly 6-8 Jack Kane controlled the paint for the 2018 team. That allowed 6-6 Andrew Storey another year to develop. Last winter, Storey’s scoring and sho blocking were pivotal for championship No. 3.

“We don’t have a big this year,” said Seaver.

Greely is also without Zach Brown and Michael Coppersmith. Both contributed to all three title runs. Brown, an All-State pick as a junior, provided steady, stat-stuffing contributions. Coppersmith (and Shane DeWolfe in 2017 and 2018) provided defensive grit.

Instead of having multiple top-tier talents with a proven knack for making big plays to win playoff games, Greely starts this season with one such player: Bagshaw.

A returning Varsity Maine All-State player, Bagshaw is coming off a season where he averaged 19.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists and made 71 3-pointers.

“Logan will certainly be the best player on the floor a lot of nights,” Seaver said.

That’s where players like senior guard Jakob Bernheisel, a defensive specialist and the only other returning starter, senior Nick Butler, and a bunch of heretofore unknowns come in.

Bernheisel is the new grit guy. He describes himself as Greely’s version of Marcus Smart. Butler, a solid 6-3 forward who saw significant minutes last year, is a developing 3-point shooter.

Junior guard/forward Luke Gabloff got a taste of varsity action last season and has the length to be a tough defender with good finishing ability in transition. Then there are a trio of promising sophomores – Timmy Walker, Max Cloutier and Liam Davis – who are gaining the trust of their older teammates.

Greely Coach Travis Seaver must overcome the loss of several players who helped the Rangers win a third consecutive Class A championship. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

“Everyone’s focused on Logan, and rightfully so. He’s one of the most successful players in our class. But we have a lot of parts this season,” Bernheisel said.

Including Seaver, a former Greely player in his eighth season as head coach.

“He is the heart of the team,” Bernheisel said of his coach. “We go as far as he pushes us.”

Success will be determined, Bernheisel said, by whether the Rangers can look back at the end of the season and know they played their hardest every game.

“But of course, the end goal is to win that fourth Gold Ball. I think it is (realistic),” Bernheisel said. “I think we have all the parts to make a state championship team. I know that being on the past two teams that have won it.”

Over the last three seasons, Greely is 63-3, with all three losses coming last season.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility the Rangers could have three losses just two weeks into this season. Greely opens Friday at home against York, which was 16-4 last season. On Tuesday, the Rangers play at Class A South favorite Falmouth, and the following Tuesday they host Class AA South Portland, which snapped Greely’s 46-game winning streak last December.

“If we lose a couple games early, we don’t let that affect the rest of our season,” Butler said. “We know what we’re capable of at the offensive and defensive end. We have some pretty athletic guys, and if we lose, it’s not going to change our season. We always keep our heads up, no matter what.”

Greely’s veterans said they always expect the best from their opponents.

“We know they’re all gunning for us, especially since they think we’re vulnerable,” Bernheisel said.

The way Bagshaw sees it, that just works in Greely’s favor.

“This year, everyone wants to beat us just so much more because we’ve won the past three years, but we want to beat them to prove that we can be something this year.”

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