BOX SCORE

Yarmouth 62 Westbrook 48

W- 11 12 9 16- 48
Y- 14 16 12 20- 62

W- Hethcoat 8-2-21, Dunphe 4-0-9, Pierce 2-0-5, Eugley 2-0-4, Lombardo 2-0-4, Doolittle 0-3-3, Taylor 1-0-2

Y- Psyhogeos 10-1-22, Waeldner 6-0-13, Hagedorn 3-2-10, Snyder 4-1-9, Augur 1-0-3, O’Meara 1-0-3, Hamm 1-0-2

3-pointers:
W (5) Hethcoat 3, Dunphe, Pierce 1
Y (6) Hagedorn 2, Augur, O’Meara, Psyhogeos, Waeldner 1

Turnovers:
W- 17
Y- 12

FTs
W: 5-7
Y: 4-7

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YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s boys’ basketball team has come a long way in a short time and the Clippers’ upside still remains boundless and that’s a combination that has to strike fear into the rest of Class B South.

Wednesday afternoon, Yarmouth capped the 2021 portion of its schedule by getting timely efforts from starters and reserves alike as it gradually pulled away from visiting Westbrook.

The Clippers rode a 9-2 run to end the first quarter and thanks to seven points from senior standout Peter Psyhogeos, held a 14-11 advantage.

The Blue Blazes took a brief lead in the second period, but a jumper from sophomore Evan Hamm put Yarmouth ahead to stay and a key 3-pointer from junior reserve Nate Hagedorn helped open up a 30-23 lead at the half.

Westbrook refused to fold in the third period and the Clippers were only up by 10, 42-32, heading to the fourth and there, they flipped the switch once and for all, as Psyhogeos scored six quick points and set up Hagedorn for a backbreaking 3 and Yarmouth went on to a 62-48 victory.

Psyhogeos led all scorers with 22 points, Hagedorn and senior Matt Waeldner also finished in double figures and the Clippers improved to 4-0 on the year, dropping the Blue Blazes to 1-5 in the process.

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“It’s great having everyone involved,” said Psyhogeos. “I think the first night, the other guys did great things defensively, but the shots weren’t falling. We knew they’d come around. We still have a lot to work on, but it’s great to see so many guys contribute and hit big shots. We have seven seniors, but a lot of younger guys are contributing.”

Encouraging start

Yarmouth needed overtime in the opener to survive visiting York in a thriller, 55-54. The Clippers then held on for a 48-38 win at Lake Region before downing host Mt. Ararat, 53-29, in their most recent outing, last Tuesday.

Westbrook started with losses to Brunswick (77-65), Fryeburg Academy (51-37) and Cheverus (64-45) before knocking off Cape Elizabeth (55-52). The Blue Blazes’ most recent outing resulted in a 73-59 loss to Kennebunk.

Wednesday was believed to be the first countable meeting between the schools and everyone who took the floor for Yarmouth contributed to the victory.

Yarmouth senior Peter Psyhogeos is defended by Westbrook junior Kolbyn Dunphe (10) and senior Tyler Hethcoat. Despite the double-teaming, Psyhogeos was able to score 22 points in the Clippers’ 62-48 victory Wednesday. Hoffer photos.

The Clippers set the tone just 24 seconds in, when Psyhogeos set up senior Cole Snyder for a layup, on a play where Snyder was fouled, and he added the free throw to complete the three-point play.

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After Waeldner scored on a floater, the visitors, who turned the ball over on their first four possessions, came to life and scored the next seven points, as junior Kolbyn Dunphe drove for a layup, senior Tyler Hethcoat hit two free throws and senior Braiden Pierce knocked down a 3-pointer.

Yarmouth drew even on a putback from Psyhogeos. Psyhogeos then scored on a floater before Waeldner drove for a layup and an 11-7 lead.

Westbrook got a basket back on a layup from junior Ben Eugley, but after a Psyhogeos free throw, Psyhogeos made a layup after a steal.

The Blue Blazes countered with a leaner from Pierce, but the Clippers held a 14-11 advantage after one quarter.

Psyhogeos had seven points and Westbrook committed eight turnovers in the opening stanza.

The Blue Blazes then came out hot to start the second period, as Hethcoat took a pass from Pierce and made a layup, then Hethcoat drove and banked home a shot for what proved to be Westbrook’s final lead, 15-14.

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With 6:17 to play in the first half, a jumper from Hamm gave Yarmouth the lead back and Psyhogeos added a floater, then Psyhogeos scored on a leaner in the lane for a 20-15 advantage.

Senior Connor Doolitte stemmed the run with a free throw, but Hagedorn first got in the scoring column with two free throws, then, he took a pass from senior Quin O’Meara and knocked down a 3 from the corner to stretch the lead to nine.

After Pierce set up Dunphe for a layup, O’Meara and Hethcoat traded 3s and after Hethcoat scored on a leaner, a driving layup from Waeldner just before the horn put the Clippers up by a 30-23 margin at the half.

In the first 16 minutes, Hethcoat and Psyhogeos led their respective teams with 11 points each.

Yarmouth threatened to pull away in the third quarter, but couldn’t completely shake the Blue Blazes.

Yarmouth senior Quin O’Meara lines up a 3-pointer.

The visitors scored first in the second half, as Dunphe set up Eugley for a layup, but senior Sutter Augur answered with a 3 for the Clippers.

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After Doolittle made two free throws, Waeldner countered with a 3 and a 36-27 advantage.

Hethcoat then scored on a runner, but Waeldner set up Snyder for a layup, then Augur found Hagedorn for a layup and a 40-29 lead, forcing Westbrook coach Bryan Hoy to call timeout.

It didn’t help, as Waeldner drove for a bank shot, but a Hethcoat 3 pulled the Blue Blazes within 10 points, 42-32, heading to the fourth period.

Where Psyhogeos put the Clippers on his back and they finally pulled away.

Just 35 seconds in, Psyhogeos banked home a leaner and 24 seconds later, a Psyhogeos spinner made it 46-32.

Hethcoat answered with a 3-ball, but with 5:43 remaining, Psyhogeos drove, drew the defense, then found Hagedorn open in the corner and Hagedorn buried the 3 for a 49-35 advantage.

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“When I’m in the game, I’m just thinking about what I can do to help the team because they’re always there for me,” said Haegdorn. “We’re a family out there. Hitting shots felt great. I know Pete and Matt will get doubled, so I was waiting for the ball in that spot to hit that shot. They’re great players, so I know I’ll get open shots.”

“(Nate) hit some big shots at Lake Region too, so we know he can shoot,” said Psyhogeos. “It was just a matter of time until he got going and he did today and that was awesome to see.”

“Nate could be special,” Yarmouth coach Jonas Allen added. “If he can truly embrace his fire and his intensity, he’s skilled and he’s long. He’s finding that confidence and that fire.”

Junior Micah Lombardo made a layup for the Blue Blazes, but Psyhogeos scored on a floater.

After a jump shot from Westbrook sophomore Aiden Taylor, Snyder scored on a putback.

Lombardo tried again to spark a run with a jumper, but Psyhogeos set up Snyder for a layup, Psyhogeos buried a 3, Waeldner made a layup after a steal and with 2:06 on the clock, after another Waeldner steal, Psyhogeos made a layup for a commanding 62-41 lead.

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“I didn’t have a great third quarter, so I was thinking to myself to look for opportunities to score and if they brought a double-team, to kick it out to Nate or someone else for a good look,” Psyhogoes said. “After we started making shots, we made it a point to keep up our intensity on defense because we didn’t want to trade baskets.”

That was it for Yarmouth’s scoring and in the final minute, the Blue Blazes got a layup after a steal from Hethcoat, a leaner from Dunphe and at the horn, a long 3 from Dunphe, to bring the curtain down on the Clippers’ 62-48 victory.

Psyhogeos not only led all scorers with 22 points, he also had 11 rebounds for a double-double and added four assists.

“(Peter) is a special kid and a special player,” Allen said. “There’s a reason he’s going (to Bates) next year. I have confidence in him to score or to find a guy who will.”

Waeldner stuffed the stat sheet as well with 13 points, six steals and five rebounds.

Hagedorn added 10 points, Snyder had nine (to go with seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots), Augur three, O’Meara three and Hamm two.

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“I think we all knew what happened on (Opening Night) was not sustainable,” Allen said. “We knew we had two really good players in Matt and Pete. I don’t know if everyone else was ready to contribute that night, so our two top guys just took over. Every day, we’re focusing on developing everyone else’s confidence. It’s going to be a different guy. Our third or fourth scorer will be a different guy. It can be Nate, it can be Sutter, it can be Cole. That’s the only way we’ll get anywhere near our potential if our third, fourth and fifth guys continue to step up.”

Yarmouth had a 33-18 rebounding advantage, made 4 of 7 free throws and only turned the ball over a dozen times.

“When we face pressure, it’s just a matter of mindset of us understanding our skills and our system to break it,” said Allen. “When we turned the ball over, we panicked. Once we settled down and saw the floor, we started to do whatever we wanted. A team pressures you to test your mental toughness. One of the lessons today is that we still need to get stronger in that area.”

Westbrook was paced by 21 points from Hethcoat, who also grabbed five rebounds.

Dunphe added nine points and three assists, Pierce had five points, three assists, three rebounds and three steals, Eugley four points, Lombardo four points, Doolittle three points and Taylor two points.

The Blue Blazes hit 5 of 7 foul shots and committed 17 turnovers.

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“(Yarmouth) did a pretty good job adjusting to what we did at halftime,” said Hoy. “Some of the things we caught them off-guard with in the first half, we didn’t catch them off-guard with in the second half. We have to play more together. Yarmouth did a nice job playing off each other and playing off the ball. If we can’t do that, we’ll be in trouble. We have some talent, but we have to have five guys playing as five guys, not as individuals, if we want to win games.”

On to the new year

Westbrook hosts Biddeford Tuesday of next week. The Blue Blazes have quite the upside and could be a force to be reckoned with by the time the postseason arrives.

“With everybody making the playoffs, all we have to do is beat teams at the end,” said Hoy.

Yarmouth is back in action next Tuesday, at Wells. the Clippers then have home tests versus Fryeburg Academy and Greely.

Yarmouth’s future is bright and in a year where Class B South is up for grabs, the Clippers have an opportunity to make this a special season.

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“I feel like we’re doing great, but it doesn’t mean anything right now,” Hagedorn said. “We have to keep working hard and keep our intensity up.”

“There’s a lot we can improve on,” said Psyhogeos. “We’ve done a good job fighting through adversity, but we can still get better. Yarmouth’s known for defense, so we can sharpen that up. We’re striving to get to the point we were last year or even better, and we can get better on offense too.”

“Being 4-0 doesn’t matter,” Allen added. “We’re thrilled of course, but we’re moving on and talking about getting better tomorrow morning at practice. We truly try to get better every time we come into the gym. Our approach won’t change from 2021 to 2022.

“We had a bunch of last year’s seniors back in the gym today. What they modeled is something we bring up a lot. There’s no question that this year’s seniors learned from last year’s seniors about being on the same page. This year’s group has very much bought in.

“Class B South is wide open. I truly believe that. Leavitt’s really good. Medomak is very good. Cape is very good. You can go on and on and on. We need to stay healthy and peak at the right time. The Heal Points standings don’t matter right now. We want to be playing our best ball in February.”

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

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