BOX SCORE

Cape Elizabeth 74 Waynflete 55

W- 2 14 16 23- 55
CE- 22 8 26 18- 74

W- Adey 6-7-20, Campbell 4-1-12, Kirby 3-1-7, Ford 2-0-5, Reese 1-2-5, Hussein 1-2-4, Nkingi 0-2-2

CE- Bowe 8-1-19, Reeves 7-1-17, Frame 5-0-12, Tighe 5-0-11, Lombardo 3-0-7, Caldera 1-0-2, Dell’Aquila 1-0-2, Lee 1-0-2, Van Huystee 1-0-2

3-pointers:
W (6) Campbell 3, Adey, Ford, Reese 1
CE (8) Bowe, Frame, Reeves 2, Lombardo, Tighe 1

Turnovers:
W- 17
CE- 11

FTs
W: 15-25
CE: 2-5

CAPE ELIZABETH—Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ basketball team can get the job done inside and out and that was firmly on display in the Capers’ home opener Tuesday evening.

Much to the chagrin of the Waynflete Flyers.

Cape Elizabeth came out and pushed Waynflete around with its size and length in a first period which ended, 22-2.

While the Flyers settled down in the second quarter and at one point drew as close as 11, a late 3-point shot from senior Will Bowe put the Capers on top, 30-16, at the break.

Cape Elizabeth then ended any lingering doubt early in the third period, thanks to some serious sharpshooting from the likes of Bowe and senior secret weapon Jake Frame and by quarter’s end, the lead was 56-32.

The Capers never let Waynflete make a run from there and closed out a decisive and impressive 74-55 victory.

Cape Elizabeth, which got 19 points from Bowe, 17 from junior Evan Reeves, 12 from Frame and 11 more from junior Owen Tighe, improved to 2-0 on the young season and in the process, dropped the Flyers to 1-1.

“The name of the game for us today was establishing tempo,” said second-year Capers coach Jeff Mitchell. “We wanted to play fast and shoot a lot. I challenged the guys to keep that in the forefront. The first unit that went in set the tempo and we picked it up from there.”

Early barometer

Both squads expect to be in the thick of things all winter and based on recent history, that’s a realistic expectation.

Cape Elizabeth lost in the Class B South semifinals in 2019-20 and went 6-6 in Mitchell’s first season last winter. The Capers then made valuable strides over the summer and in the preseason.

“We played in the South Portland summer league, so we played a lot of bigger schools,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t win a lot, but we had a lot of close games. It was tough to keep the guys’ heads in a good spot, but for me, it’s about rate of change. Are we getting better? Our rate of change was very good in the summer and that was valuable for me as a coach and for guys who hadn’t played a lot, to build their confidence.”

Waynflete was a regional finalist two years ago, losing to Winthrop, and went 7-4 last season.

The teams played twice last year, each winning at home, with the Flyers prevailing, 51-46, and the Capers winning, 44-40.

Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth seized control immediately and never looked back.

Waynflete junior Matt Adey, Cape Elizabeth junior Owen Tighe, Capers junior Evan Reeves and Flyers freshman Demetrius Campbell keep close watch on a shot during Cape Elizabeth’s 74-55 victory Tuesday. Hoffer photo.

Reeves put the Capers on top to stay 55 seconds in with a jump shot and after junior Matt Adey got a point back at the foul line for the Flyers, Tighe set up junior Sam Lombardo for a layup, Reeves made a free throw, then Reeves sank a 3 for a quick 8-1 advantage.

Freshman Demetrius Campbell got a point back at the line for Waynflete, but the rest of the first period would belong to the hosts, as Reeves drove and finished with a reverse layup. Frame set up Tighe for a layup, Bowe scored his first points on a putback and on the fastbreak, without the ball ever hitting the floor, Frame passed ahead to Lombardo for a layup and a 16-2 lead.

“It’s nice to have size at the top of the 2-3 zone because we can force the other team to back out and make them throw it away,” Frame said.

Longtime Flyers coach Rich Henry called timeout, but it didn’t help, as Lombardo set up Frame for a layup in transition, Tighe drove for a layup and Bowe scored on a putback to cap a 14-0 run to end the first quarter and make it 22-2 after eight minutes.

Waynflete committed seven first quarter turnovers and Cape Elizabeth had multiple easy hoops.

After playing in front of no one a year ago, the Capers credited a vocal gym for much of their success.

“I love the effort the fans gave us with their cheering,” Frame said. “They helped us drive through the game.”

“It felt great having fans there,” Bowe said. “There was a lot more energy in the gym. Our bench got really loud and we got more points and our energy grew.”

“Last year put things in perspective that we’re lucky to be able to do this,” Mitchell added. “It really makes all the difference in the world compared to last year. Last year felt very scrimmage-like. Having family and friends and students back in the gym is the best part of this year.”

Fifty-seven seconds into the second quarter, Waynflete made its first field goal, a 3-point shot from sophomore Ishan Reese, but Reeves countered with a corner 3 of his own.

After sophomore Nico Kirby sandwiched free throws around a 3 from Campbell to pull the Flyers within 14, Reeves countered with a driving left-handed layup.

Waynflete continued to close the gap, as Adey sank two free throws, junior Safwan Hussein hit a foul shot and Adey drove for a layup, but with 30 seconds to go, a corner 3 from Bowe gave the Capers a 30-16 halftime advantage.

In the first half, Reeves had 13 points and three blocked shots and Cape Elizabeth forced 11 turnovers, but the Flyers were still within hailing distance.

The Capers then delivered the knockout blow, from way outside, in the third period.

Frame set the tone with a long 3 just 10 seconds in.

Adey countered with a putback, but Bowe made a 3, then Frame sank another 3-ball for a 39-18 advantage.

“Jake brings a basketball IQ like I’ve never seen before,” Mitchell said. “He’s just a smart kid on the court. He can see things a lot of guards can’t see. He’s also a good safety valve when we deal with pressure. He can reverse the ball and get it to space. His confidence really skyrocketed this summer. He’s kind of a hidden gem since he didn’t play last year and he adds a lot of value to our team.”

Adey momentarily stemmed the tide with a driving reverse layup, but Frame countered with a layup of his own.

After Campbell made a 3 for Waynflete, Lombardo set up Bowe for a reverse layup, Frame set up Tighe for a fastbreak layup with a no-look pass, Reeves made a reverse layup, Bowe knocked down a jump shot and with 3:42 to go in the quarter, Frame set up Tighe for another fastbreak layup and a commanding 51-23 advantage.

“I’ve always been a pass-first point guard and I just love to watch my teammates succeed,” said Frame. “If I can get a bucket or two, that’s great, but the goal’s to win the game and if I can make the passes to get us there, that’s nice. The goal was to come out up-tempo and keep the energy high and that’s what worked for us. We knew Waynflete would try to come back and throw something at us, but we came out firing like we did to start the game.”

Junior Connor Ford ended the 10-0 run with a layup, but Bowe answered with one of his own. Kirby drove for a layup and Ford sank a 3, but Bowe made a free throw and Frame converted a learner before Kirby set up Campbell for a layup to make it 56-32 heading for the final stanza.

There, Cape Elizabeth put the finishing touches on its victory.

Adey started the fourth quarter with an old-fashioned three-point play (putback, foul, free throw), but junior Antonio Dell’Aquila countered with a jumper.

After Kriby drove for a reverse layup and Adey sank a fouls hot, Frame set up sophomore Alex Van Huystee for a layup to make it 60-38.

After Adey hit two free throws, Tighe set up Reeves for a layup.

Campbell made his final 3 and Adey scored on a putback before Adey banked home a 3 to make it a 62-48 contest, but Frame’s final assist resulted in a Bowe layup and Lombardo knocked down a 3 for a 19-point advantage.

After Hussein made a layup for the Flyers, Tighe sank a 3.

Down the stretch, senior David Nkingi made two free throws for Waynflete and Capers junior Eddie Caldera countered with a driving layup before Hussein sank a free throw and Reese made a pair for the Flyers’ final points before a layup from junior Caden Lee brought the curtain down on Cape Elizabeth’s 74-55 victory.

“We knew we’re bigger and more athletic and we just tried to play our game,” said Bowe. “We tried to play the second half like the score was 0-0. We didn’t want to let our foot off the gas. We have a lot of potential this year. We’re big and athletic and we feel good about our potential if we keep our attitude right.”

Bowe led the Capers with 19 points and also had 11 rebounds. Reeves had 17 points and four blocked shots.

“Evan and Bowe are our foundation,” Mitchell said. “We try to play free and fast and it fits their game pretty well. I’m not trying to pigeon-hole Evan to the block. He works well in space and he’s a good shooter, so we want to put him a position to succeed.”

Frame had 12 points, 11 assists and five rebounds, while Tighe also wound up in double figures with 11 points (and had nine rebounds, four blocks and three assists).

Lombardo added seven points, while Caldera, Dell’Aquila, Lee and Van Huystee had two apiece.

The Capers only turned the ball over 11 times and hit 2 of 5 free throws.

Waynflete’s attack was paced by a game-high 20 points from Adey, who also had seven rebounds.

Campbell added 12 points, Kirby seven, Ford and Reese five apiece, Hussein four and Nkingi two.

The Flyers got the free throw line for 25 attempts, but made just 15, and turned the ball over 17 times.

“Cape’s a great team and they’re tough to beat on their homecourt,” Henry said. “They play a nice extended 2-3 zone. Their length is formidable. For about a quarter-and-a-half, I think we played, but the rest of the time, we were intimidated and we played on our heels. Cape shoots the 3 really well. Even their big guy shoots the 3 and they have friendly rims on their homecourt. We have a handful of guys who were ready to play another game. Other kids need to realize what competing at this level is all about. I’m pleased with how we scrapped. We did some nice things getting the ball inside and drew a lot of fouls.”

Fast turnaround

Waynflete looks to bounce back Friday at home against Old Orchard Beach.

“We have to get comfortable being more aggressive and more physical,” Henry said. “This was our second game, our fourth competitive situation. The only bad thing would be if we don’t learn from it. Old Orchard Beach is a classy opponent. They know us very well and we know them very well.”

Cape Elizabeth hopes to stay undefeated when it faces a big test at York Friday.

“York’s a good team, so we’ll have to put our work in,” said Bowe. “I’m really thankful to be playing this year. We really want it this year. Our sights are set on (winning).”

“We’re happy right now, but we have York Friday and it’s going to be a battle down there,” Frame said. “I think we just need to keep our tempo going, have high energy in practice and as long as we play together as a team, we’ll keep this wagon going.”

“Friday’s going to be a test for us,” Mitchell added. “York’s historically good. These guys know what they’re up against and we’ll have to figure out how to attack them. I told the guys that I look at the schedule and I feel like we can win any game, or we could lose any game. It’s cliche, but we have to take it one game at a time.”

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

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