Gray-New Gloucester’s Samantha Fortin takes her shot in a sea of Yarmouth’s defenders. Marageret McNeil gets her hand on the ball during the Tuesday evening game at Gray-New Gloucester High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

GRAY — Gray-New Gloucester’s All-State forward Jordan Grant injured her ankle in practice on the eve of the Patriots’ home game against Yarmouth.

On Tuesday, the Patriots started four seniors and inserted sophomore Emma West into the hole that Grant left and reaped the benefits instantly.

West scored early and often in the first half to help catapult Gray-NG to a 45-34 victory over the Clippers.

“I was really excited to go out there and help my team,” West said. “It was my chance to show a little bit of leadership because Jordan is out and she’s a big asset to our team, so I was just hoping we would come out strong and put up a good lead to start up with. I wanted to contribute.”

West ignited the Patriots early in the first quarter with a 3-pointer to put Gray-NG up 4-2. A minute later, West stole the ball and drove for a layup, which she scored, and was fouled on the way up. She hit the free throw to put the Patriots up 9-2 and Gray-NG held a healthy lead throughout the first half.

“We were worried because this team beat us by 15 earlier this season with Jordan,” Gray-NH coach Mike Andreasen said. “A big thing for us is I think our kids just played confidently. When we are very hesitant and we don’t shoot then we turn the ball over. I thought Emma West gave us some good stuff early.”

West scored five in the second quarter as well, and notched four boards and two steals in the first half.

Eliza Hotham drilled a three from the left side to put her team up 16-6 with 4:30 left in the first half. Hotham also had five boards.

“For my shots, personally, I felt I had a lot of space in front of me to take the shots,” Hotham said. “But my teammates, Samantha (Fortin) and Emma West, just shot the ball without thinking which is the confidence we all need.”

Yarmouth’s Amelia Skillin paced the Clippers with five points in the first two quarters.

Yarmouth defeated Gray-NG 36-21 in the first matchup between the two teams, so there were certainly question marks heading into this one for Andreasen and the team.

“It was good for us to get back, especially after the two losses in a row (to Greely and Freeport),” Andreasen said. “Today feels a lot better knowing that the team is OK without Jordan.”

The Patriots kept the offense flowing in the second half, with Fortin and Hotham combining for nine third-quarter points. The senior play on Gray-NG’s side was a huge factor in the team’s win on Tuesday.

“Definitely the teamwork we have, we’ve been playing together for so many years now and this year we finally got to come together,” Hotham said. “Obviously we miss Jordan and we definitely want her back, but even without her we were able to work as a team and have all of us chip in.”

Hotham and West both finished with 10 points to lead Gray-NG, as well as 10 and nine rebounds, respectively.

Yarmouth’s Katelyn D’Appolonia scored 10 of her game-high 13 points in the second half to keep the Clippers within striking distance, but West and Hotham worked the boards and limited the second-chance opportunities of Yarmouth severely.

Gray-NG held a 13-point lead after the third quarter and Yarmouth never got it closer than nine points in the fourth.

Gray-New Gloucester’s Samantha Fortin stays focused on the basket during the Tuesday evening game at Gray-New Gloucester High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Gray-New Gloucester’s Abigail Michaud takes her shot in front of Yarmouth’s Ava Feeley during the Tuesday evening game at Gray-New Gloucester High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Gray-New Gloucester’s Madysen West lines up her shot in between Yarmouth’s defenders Margaret McNeil and Cameron Birks during the Tuesday evening game at Gray-New Gloucester High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Click Here to view and purchase more photos

Comments are not available on this story.