YARMOUTH — Little went right for the unbeaten Yarmouth girls’ basketball team in the first 30 minutes of its game Friday evening at John C. Stroud Gymnasium.

The Clippers played their best down the stretch, however, to avert a loss against up-and-coming South Portland.

Calin McGonagle made consecutive hoops to tie the game, then Ava Feeley sank a layup with 18 seconds left to give Yarmouth a two-point lead. A steal by Katelyn D’Appolonia secured the victory as the Clippers prevailed, 30-28, to improve to 5-0.

“At the end of the game, I thought we held our composure,” said Yarmouth Coach David Cousins. “I have to give the girls credit, they knew what to do.”

Yarmouth held a 5-0 lead late in the first quarter before South Portland (2-3) got on the board with baskets from freshmen Megan Dearborn and Ruth Boles. The Clippers responded when Margaret McNeil knocked down a 3-pointer and then fed D’Appolonia for a layup in transition to give Yarmouth a 10-4 lead.

The Clippers led by seven after a 3-pointer from Feeley but couldn’t pull away. Abby Trefsger came off the bench and scored five points, helping the Red Riots pull to within 15-13 at halftime.

South Portland took the lead for the first time early in the third quarter, as Maria Degifico sank a pair of free throws. The Red Riots eventually held a 23-21 advantage at the end of the third.

McNeil, who was in foul trouble and had to sit the entire third quarter, returned for the fourth and immediately made a 3-pointer to put Yarmouth back in front, but a clutch 3 from sophomore Anna Brown followed by a Boles layup made it 28-24 South Portland with three minutes to go.

McGonagle then drove for a layup and converted a pass from Maya Panozzo into a tying layup with 1:24 remaining.

“It’s amazing to be out here playing with the girls again,” McGonagle said. “It’s more than we even hoped for.”

After a South Portland turnover, Yarmouth ran the clock down to 19 seconds. After a timeout, McNeil found Feeley all alone underneath.

“South Portland called timeout and went back to a different set and we got a bucket off it,” said Cousins.

The Red Riots had a chance to tie or win it, but D’Appolonia stole the ball and the Clippers were finally able to exhale.

“We were trying to get a last shot,” said McGonagle, who, along with McNeil had a team-high eight points. “It didn’t exactly go the way we planned it, but Ava made the awesome shot and we knew we had to get back and play great defense, and it worked out well for us.”

Degifico scored seven points for South Portland. Brown and Boles added six apiece.

“We just made too many mistakes, like turnovers and getting beat at the end, but it’s encouraging,” said Red Riots Coach Lynne Hasson. “We’re rebuilding and I really like the way our young kids are playing.”


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