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Greely stunned by Marshwood in regional final

Rangers' title reign ends with a 47-44 setback.

BOX SCORE

Marshwood 47 Greely 44

M- 13 11 10 13- 47
G- 10 9 14 11- 44

M- Perry 4-7-15, Goodwin 4-2-10, Bisson 3-0-8, McKee 4-0-8, Anderson 2-0-4, Coomey 1-0-2

G- Fitzpatrick 7-3-19, B. Obar 3-2-9, Clement 2-2-6, Graiver 2-0-4, Ippolito 1-0-3, M. Obar 1-0-3

3-pointers:
M (2) Bisson 2
G (5) Fitzpatrick 2, Ippolito, B. Obar, M. Obar 1

Turnovers:
M- 15
G- 15

FTs
M: 9-14
G: 7-11

PORTLAND—There will be no three-peat.

Greely’s top-ranked, two-time defending Class A state champion girls’ basketball team, which barely avoided an upset loss in the previous round, went up against a determined and confident third-ranked Marshwood Hawks squad Friday evening at the Cross Insurance Arena, trailed almost the whole game and despite rallying valiantly, fell just short.

The Hawks set the tone off the opening tip, as senior captain Angelina Bisson knocked down a 3-pointer to spark a game-opening 7-0 run. Greely got back within three, 13-10, after one quarter, but Marshwood went back up by seven in the second period and behind a stat sheet-stuffing performance from senior captain Casey Perry, took a 24-19 advantage to halftime.

The Hawks took three different six-point leads in the third quarter, but the Rangers roared back and when senior Brooke Obar scored on a putback with 1:25 left, they had the lead for the first time, 33-32.

That also proved to be Greely’s only lead, as with under a minute to go in the third, a pair of Perry free throws put Marshwood back in the lead, 34-33.

The Hawks then scored the first five points of the fourth period and held on for dear life down the stretch to prevail, 47-44.

Marshwood got a sensational 15 points and 13 rebounds from Perry and 10 points from senior Kayla Goodwin as it improved to 18-3, advanced to battle Hampden Academy (20-1) in the Class A state final Saturday, Feb. 29 at 1 p.m., at Cross Insurance Arena and in the process, ended Greely’s title reign and the Rangers’ season at 19-2.

“(Marshwood) punched us right in the face and we never really punched back,” said Greely coach Todd Flaherty. “We recovered and we tried, but we never really had a run. They wouldn’t let us. Credit to them. They were fantastic tonight. They stymied us.”

Upset alert

Greely was a little more mortal this season, but still managed to win 17 of 18 games, losing only at Kennebunk to have a 48-game win streak snapped. Included in the Rangers’ 17 victories were one-point wins over defending Class AA champion Oxford Hills and Class AA South top seed South Portland. Greely had no trouble with No. 8 Mt. Ararat in its quarterfinal round game Monday, winning, 79-36, but Wednesday, the Rangers got taken to overtime by fourth-seeded Gray-New Gloucester before surviving, 54-49.

Marshwood won 15 of its 18 regular season games, then ousted No. 6 York (58-53) in the quarterfinals and beat Cinderella No. 7 Falmouth (42-24) in the semifinals to advance.

The teams didn’t play this winter.

Greely had won all four prior playoff meetings: 57-32 in the 1997 Western B quarterfinals, 57-32 in the 2016 Class A South quarterfinals, 46-35 in the 2017 Class A South semifinals and 55-40 in the 2018 Class A South semifinals.

Friday, Marshwood came out firing, as 10 seconds in, Perry set up Bisson for a 3-pointer and the Hawks were off and running.

“To come out and score that 3 on the first possession really opened things up in the post,” Perry said. “We knocked down their momentum a lot.”

“That start was huge, especially against that team who can explode anytime,” said Marshwood coach Steve Freeman. “Fortunately, they never really did.”

Perry then made a layup after a steal and with 5:25 to go in the opening stanza, two Perry free throws gave the Hawks a 7-0 lead.

The Rangers got on the board 20 seconds later, as senior Katie Fitzpatrick drove for a layup. Fitzpatrick added a jumper, but Goodwin scored on a leaner and junior Alexa McGee got a jumper to rattle home to restore the seven-point lead.

Obar scored her first two points at the free throw line, then junior Camille Clement did the same, but Bisson answered with a bank shot before a pull-up jumper from Obar pulled Greely within 13-10 after one quarter.

The contest remained close in the second period as well, but the Hawks never gave up the lead.

Greely sophomore Chelsea Graiver opened the frame with a driving layup, but Marshwood freshman Shelby Anderson made a layup after a Perry steal and after Fitzpatrick made one of two free throws, Perry converted an old-fashioned three-point play (leaner, foul, free throw) and with 4:30 to go in the half, McGee scored on a putback for a 20-13 advantage.

With 3:39 remaining, after the Rangers missed their first six 3-point attempts, Fitzpatrick knocked one down, but Perry countered with a pretty reverse layup.

Freshman Sophia Ippolito made a 3 for Greely’s final points of the half, but with 32 seconds left, a McGee jumper made it 24-19 Marshwood at the break.

In the first half, Perry had nine points, seven rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists, while McGee added six points. Fitzpatrick kept the Rangers alive with eight points and six rebounds.

Greely then came out strong in the second half, as junior Mollie Obar made a 3, but again, the Hawks responded, as Goodwin scored on a putback and McGee set up junior Rori Coomey for a layup and a 28-22 lead.

After Fitzpatrick scored on a putback, Perry set up Goodwin for a bank shot.

Fitzpatrick made a pair of free throws, but with 2:43 left in the third, Bisson set up Anderson for a layup and a 32-26 advantage.

Then, the Rangers made a run to finally take the lead.

First, Mollie Obar passed to Clement for a layup. Brooke Obar then drained a 3 and with 1:25 to go in the quarter, Brooke Obar got to a losse ball and put it home for a 33-32 advantage, Greely’s first and only of the game.

But the Hawks had the final say in the quarter, as with 54 seconds remaining, Perry was fouled on an offensive rebound and she sank both free throws for a 34-33 lead heading to the fourth period.

“That was probably the turning point,” said Perry. “We got the momentum back after that.”

In the fourth, Marshwood completed its date with destiny.

Just 21 seconds into the final stanza, Perry set up Bisson for a 3-point shot and 37 seconds later, Goodwin drove for a layup to push the lead to six, but Fitzpatrick answered with a putback and Clement hit a runner to make it a two-point contest.

Then,after Brook Obar missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer, Perry scored on a putback and Perry set up McGee for a layup and a 43-37 lead with 3:14 to go.

But the Rangers weren’t done.

First, Graiver scored on a runner in the lane with 2:15 on the clock.

Then, with 56.8 seconds left, Fitzpatrick drove for a layup while being fouled. She missed the and-one free throw, but Greely was within two, 43-41.

Goodwin then missed the front end of a one-and-one, which gave the Rangers a chance to tie or take the lead, but Clement’s shot was off target and Goodwin got the rebound and got the ball to Perry, who was fouled with 33 seconds to go.

Perry got her first free throw to roll in, then swished the second to extend the lead to four.

After Coomey missed two free throws to keep Greely’s hopes alive, Fitzpatrick missed a 3 and Perry blocked a Clement shot.

Then, with 10.3 seconds to play, Goodwin added a free throw to seemingly ice it, but at the other end, with just 3.7 seconds to play, Fitzpatrick got a rainbow 3 to fall to make it 46-44.

Marshwood inbounded the ball to Goodwin and with 1.7 seconds to play, she made the second of two free throws.

The Rangers had one final chance and Brooke Obar inbounded to Clement, who passed back to Obar near midcourt. Obar let loose a shot that may or may not have come after the horn, but it was off target and at 7:48 p.m., the Hawks celebrated their 47-44 victory and first regional championship in a quarter-century.

“It’s pretty unbelievable,” said Perry, who only played in three games last season due to surgery on her left shoulder. “We played really well as a team.”

“I knew (Greely would) make a run and we panicked a little bit,” Freeman said. “Free throws have been an issue all year, but we made enough. The defense made the plays when we had to.

“It’s still surreal for me right now. I don’t have the words for it. The senior class is very talented. I knew we’d get to this game. I told them that all year. I didn’t know for sure we’d beat (Greely), but I knew we’d give them a close game. The whole team has bought in. They pull for each other and they play 32 minutes.”

Perry had a game to remember, scoring 15 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and also producing five assists and four steals, which earned her the Brud Stover Award as the regional tournament’s outstanding player/sports-person.

“It feels awesome (to win this award), especially being out last year and coming back and being part of this,” Perry said.

“Casey does everything for us,” Freeman said. “She’s our best rebounder and defender. She’s had a tremendous year and a tremendous tournament. She runs our defense, she cleans up the glass, she gets so many deflections and steals for us because of her length.”

Goodwin had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, Bisson added eight points, McKee also had eight, Anderson finished with four and Coomey had two.

Marshwood  had a 37-32 rebounding advantage, overcame 15 turnovers and sank 9-of-14 free throws.

It also played smothering defense, as Bisson neutralized Clement and Coomey held Brooke Obar in check.

“We played great defense,” said Perry. “Lina and Rori played Camille and Brooke solid. They didn’t get open looks. They usually get 20 points a night, but neither one got close to that.”

“We’ve played good defense most of the year and the last couple games we couldn’t have played it better,” Freeman said. “If you told me (we’d hold Clement and Obar to 15 points), I’d say we should win. Lina is so tough. If you tell her faceguard or whatever it is, she’s the best I’ve had. Rori is a bulldog and she did a great job on Brooke.”

State game showdown

Hampden Academy is hoping the third time will be the charm next weekend after losing to Greely in the 2018 (53-38) and 2019 (54-42) state games.

Marshwood is seeking just the second state championship in program history as it makes its third appearance on the big stage.

The Hawks beat Stearns, 55-34, in the 1995 Class B state final (and lost, 44-37, to Houlton in the 1991 state game).

Marshwood returns to Portland next Saturday and will bring plenty of confidence with it.

“I’m super-excited, but we still have one more game,” said Perry. “Playing in states will be awesome and I can’t wait. We’ve only won it once before and we’re hoping to be the next (Marshwood) team to win it.”

“We’ll try to get some information on (Hampden) and we’ll put a game plan together and be ready next week,” Freeman said.

Heartache

For Greely, Fitzpatrick bowed out with a game-high 19 points and also grabbed 14 rebounds.

“We thought Fitzy would score a lot against that defense and she did, but we needed some perimeter scoring to go along with it,” said Flaherty.

Brooke Obar was held to nine points. She also had four rebounds.

Clement finished way under her average as well, with just six points (and four rebounds).

Ippolito and Mollie Obar added three points apiece.

The Rangers made 7-of-11 free throws, but turned the ball over 15 times and had to play catch-up nearly the whole game.

“They run that unique triangle defense with (Perry) on top and she’s a unique defender,” Flaherty said. “We got some open shots, but we didn’t make them like we normally do. We live and die by the 3. We just made too many mistakes after we got the lead. It seemed like the turnovers happened at the wrong time. We didn’t string a run of eight or 10 or 12 points together like we usually do. We couldn’t get out in transition and score. We couldn’t turn them over.

“I stole a line from somewhere. I said failure in a game like this is a bruise, not a tattoo. It’ll get better. I’m so proud of the girls. We’ve had a great run and the seniors have been fantastic. Brooke and Katie have been great leaders and fantastic people. It’s always hard to say goodbye. We have some nice returners and some nice young players on the way, so we’ll be alright.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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