Lake Region’s Jacob Stone (31) and Noah Duprey (2) close in on Gray-New Gloucester’s Jay Hawkes (11), who fell to one knee during Friday’s game in Gray. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

GRAY — Sophomore guard Jay Hawkes had no problem flinging himself into the crowded paint or laying down a barrage of 3-pointers in the second half Friday night.

Hawkes sank five of Gray-New Gloucester’s nine treys and collected the team-high 21 points as the Patriots duked it out with big-and-physical Lake Region and emerged with a 70-56 boys basketball victory.

Gray-New Gloucester’s Joshua Michaud (2) drives to the basket as Lake Region’s Derek Langadas (25) tries to intervene in Gray on Friday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The Lakers, who were once down by 18 points, refused go away, and it took Gray-NG’s (9-5) patience and stamina to put the kibosh on Lake Region in the second half.

Lakers (6-8) coach Ryan Martin said there was a reason Lake Region looked like a different team in the second half.

“We played harder. I don’t think there is any other way to put it,” he said. “We know, especially playing a team like Gray, which is a tough team, you can’t start off a game with that intensity and expect to win a game against them.

“We played 18 to 20 minutes of hard basketball. To beat at team like that, you have to play 32. They have firepower from a bunch of different spots. They like to play up and down.”

After the Patriots built a 27-15 halftime lead, the Lakers started throwing their weight around and using their height to get back into game.

That’s when the Patriots’ fast-and-furious transition game intensified and Hawkes began tossing in 3-pointers. He dropped in a pair in the third and fourth quarters, and Gray-NG’s inside game continued to have success.

“We came in their house and almost beat them, and it was a physical game the last time,” Hawkes said, referring to Lake Region’s 49-47 win over Gray-New Gloucester earlier this month. “I just hit two 3s in the third and they just kept falling after that.

Lake Region’s Evan Willey, left, and Gray-New Gloucester’s Matthew Johnson both reach for a loose ball in Gray on Friday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“I liked my physicality, even though I had four fouls, but getting my shots off real quick and not being scared to take them was really nice. I think we just played great team ball.”

Hawkes’ teammate Nick Pelletier, a senior guard and captain, was summoned to the free-throw line 14 times in the second half. He dropped in three of four foul shots after a Lake Region player was called for a flagrant foul. He went 10-for-14 from the charity stripe and piled up 19 points. Junior guard Wyatt Kenney scored 11 points and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.

Gray-New Gloucester coach Ryan Deschenes was proud of the Patriots’ performance in the transition game.

“That’s what we are really good at,” he said. “I felt we were a well-rounded team. We shared the ball well. Half-court defensively, we are getting better. Overall, it was a game of runs, and we had a big run that we felt we were going to put them away, and they did a nice job responding, and we did a really good job of responding to their run.”

“Lake is a physical team ,and I thought it was a good basketball, physical game and we did a nice job responding.”

Lake Region’s 6-foot-3 forward Jacob Stone piled up a game-high 23 points and sank three 3-pointers. Evan Willey, a 6-6 junior forward, helped out with 21 points.

“I liked the way they battled in the end,” Martin said. “They went up by 18 points at one point and we could have easily hung our heads and given up, but we made a couple pushes at them.” 

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