Old Orchard Beach junior Ryan Crockett is averaging 30.4 points per game this season. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Ryan Crockett practices free throws every day. And it’s a good thing, because the high-scoring Old Orchard Beach High junior guard is spending a lot of time at the foul line this season.

He’s averaging 15 foul shots a game, and in the last three games has gone to the line 66 times, hitting 51, a nifty 77 percent. That’s slightly above his season percentage of 74 percent.

The 6-foot Crockett is averaging 30.4 points per game for the Seagulls, who have won their last three games and are now 7-6, sitting in seventh in the Class C South Heal point standings.

His scoring isn’t a surprise to anyone who has played with him.

“Ever since I can remember, he’s been getting tons of points each game,” said OOB junior center David Anderson. “He’s a real asset to the team.”

In the first game of the season, Crockett dropped 40 points on St. Dominic. On Tuesday, he scored 49 points in a 77-67 come-from-behind win over Traip Academy. That’s believed to be the highest single-game total in the state this year.

“The funny thing about that is that we came in without two players, who were out with the flu, and had two other players just returning after being out with the flu,” said OOB Coach Matt Regan. “So before the game, I went up to Ryan and said, ‘You might have to score 40 for us to win tonight.’ Then he hits 12 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to help us win.”

Crockett is not just a scorer. He averages 8.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.5 steals. His goal, he said, is to get everyone involved.

“Our team is very young,” he said. “I’m just trying to lead them and get them the ball. And take the shot when I have to.”

“He hasn’t forced anything,” said Regan. “We play a lot of up-tempo and he scores off that, he scores in transition, and he obviously gets to the foul line a lot.”

Crockett knows what he has to do to be successful. “At the beginning of the year I wasn’t (getting to the free-throw line) a lot,” he said. “I realized I was being a little passive. So I decided I needed to keep being aggressive and going to the hoop and making teams foul me.”

Teams are now double- or even triple-teaming him to prevent him from getting the ball. That can be wearing, especially when you play back-to-back nights, as the Seagulls did Tuesday and Wednesday. “I’m definitely feeling it,” Crockett said after Thursday’s practice. “Rest is a big thing, and eating right.”

Crockett also played football for the first time this year, joining OOB’s eight-man team. Crockett scored the first touchdown in eight-man history in Maine and went on to catch 20 passes for 601 yards and 10 touchdowns.

THE GORHAM BOYS began the season 1-5. But the Rams have run off seven wins in a row to move into the No. 3 spot in Class AA South.

Mark Karter, in his seventh year as coach of the Rams, said there is one simple reason for the turnaround – defense. In the first six games, the Rams gave up 61 points per game. During their seven-game streak, they’ve given up 44.7 per game.

“Our defense has improved tremendously since the beginning of the year,” said Karter. “It’s really been a collective improvement that has helped us. We’ve started to create easier shots off transition, which has helped us get rolling a little bit.”

The Rams have a revolving cast of scorers. “If you look at our box scores, you’ll see we usually have three, four kids in double figures each night,” said Karter. “And it’s a different three, four every night.”

Grant Nadeau leads Gorham with 13.8 points per game, followed by Jordan Bretton (11.5), Bode Meader (10.0) and Nick Strout (8.5).

THE CLASS A South girls’ tournament looms as one to watch, especially after Brunswick stopped Kennebunk’s 10-game winning streak with an impressive 41-37 victory Monday.

“Class A seems to be more open this year,” said Brunswick Coach Sam Farrell. “But Greely is still the class.”

Here’s what’s happened so far: No. 1 (and two-time defending state champ) Greely has lost to No. 2 Kennebunk, which has losses to No. 3 Marshwood, No. 6 Brunswick and No. 7 Falmouth. Marshwood, meanwhile, has lost to No. 5 York and Kennebunk. York lost its first three, then ran off eight straight wins, beating Marshwood and Falmouth along the way.

“And don’t sleep (on No. 4) Gray-New Gloucester or Falmouth,” said Greely Coach Todd Flaherty. “They’ve both had big wins. Class A is wide open.”

The Patriots also have championship experience, having won the Class B state title last year.

Flaherty said his message to his top-ranked Rangers is simple: Don’t let up.

“I think it’s kind of, for us, a second season starting now,” he said. “We’re trying to be a little more exact in practice now … The girls understand there’s a difference between the regular season and the playoffs. And it starts now.”

Greely junior Camille Clement scored her 1,000th career point earlier this week. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

CAMILLE CLEMENT, a junior guard for the Rangers, scored her 1,000th career point in Monday’s 57-45 win over Cape Elizabeth. Flaherty said he knew he had something special in Clement when she hit her first five 3-pointers in her first varsity start as a freshman.

“Now I think she’s more of a complete scorer, which you would expect with maturity,” said Flaherty. “She scores inside, gets dirty baskets for us. We post her up sometimes. She runs the floor well, can catch and finish at a high speed.”

Clement said she’s been fortunate to play with such great teammates as Anna DeWolfe (now at Fordham) and senior Brooke Obar (bound for Bentley).

“I wouldn’t be able to achieve it without the group I’ve played with,” said Clement. “I just got in with the right players. I did the easy part, putting it in the hoop.”

Clement wasn’t the only Greely player to hit 1,000 points recently. On Jan. 17, senior guard Logan Bagshaw scored his 1,000th point in a 94-62 win over Poland. “It’s pretty cool that the two of us represent Greely in that way,” said Clement. “We were able to congratulate each other and be there for each other.”

Wyatt Hathaway of Leavitt and Isaac Varney of Hermon have also reached 1,000 points in the past week.

Comments are not available on this story.