BOX SCORE

York 69 Greely 55

Y- 19 8 27 15- 69
G- 21 6 14 14- 55

Y- Fogg 7-5-21, Frazier 5-2-13, Burke 5-2-12, Parker 4-2-12, Bourgeois 3-2-8, Roberge 1-0-3

G- St. Hilaire 6-3-18, Cloutier 6-0-15, Coyne 4-0-8, Raftice 2-0-5, Walker 2-0-4, MacArthur 0-3-3, Gardner 1-0-2

3-pointers:
Y (6) Fogg, Parker 2, Frazier, Roberge 1
G (7) Cloutier, St. Hilaire 3, Raftice 1

Turnovers:
Y- 11
G- 14

FTs
Y: 13-18
G: 6-7

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CUMBERLAND—Fortune has smiled upon Greely’s boys’ basketball team in the early part of the 2021-22 season and when the Rangers took a lead over visiting York before play officially began Wednesday, then quickly went on top, 9-0, it appeared another victory would be the end result.

But instead, it was the Wildcats roaring to life and leaving Greely in their wake.

A technical foul was assessed to York before the game even commenced and the Rangers parlayed that into a quick advantage, but the Wildcats settled down and drew within two, 21-19, after one quarter.

York then turned up its defense and by halftime had drawn even at 27-27.

The Wildcats opened the second half with an 11-point run, Greely couldn’t answer and behind a balanced attack, they went on to a 69-55 victory.

York was paced by 21 points from junior Jake Fogg and won its third game in a row, improved to 3-2 and in the process, handed the Rangers their first setback in five outings.

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“(Their comeback) was quick,” Greely coach Travis Seaver said. “When you come out of the locker room (for the second half) and they hit you in the gut, that completely changed the game in 90 seconds. They did a good job.”

Momentum swings

York opened its season with a hard-fought 55-54 overtime loss at Yarmouth, then lost at Marshwood, 51-48, defeated visiting Cape Elizabeth (58-38) and beat visiting Biddeford (56-37).

Greely, meanwhile, held off visiting Fryeburg Academy (69-63) in its opener, then edged host Brunswick at the buzzer (62-61), held off host Gray-New Gloucester (62-57) and in its last outing, beat visiting Gorham at the horn (52-51).

The teams didn’t play in the COVID-shortened season of 2020-21.

The last meeting came in the 2020 Class A South Final, a 52-34 Wildcats’ victory.

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Greely looked for its first win over York since Feb. 5, 2019 (75-60 at home) and couldn’t have asked for a better start, but instead, the Wildcats showed what they’re made of as they made it three in a row and four out of five in the series.

In the pregame warmup, a York player touched the rim and by rule, a technical foul was recorded.

When play was ready to begin, instead of a jump ball, Rangers senior Andrew St. Hilaire went to the line and made one free throw before missing the second.

Greely then got possession to start the contest for real and St. Hilaire added to the Wildcats’ inauspicious start by draining a 3.

Senior Max Cloutier made another 3 from the corner and with 5:56 to go in the first period, senior Dee Martin Coyne scored on a puback and just like that, the Rangers were up by nine.

York coach Jerry Hill talks to his team during a timeout. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald photos.

But out of a timeout, York settled in and quickly erased the deficit.

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A putback from junior Kevin Burke got things started and after St. Hilaire fed senior Timmy Walker for a backdoor layup, Fogg scored his first points on a layup (set up by senior JP Frazier) and Frazier knocked down a 3.

After a Coyne layup for Greely, Fogg made a 3, then Trevor Parker converted an old-fashioned three-point play (putback, foul, free throw) to tie the score, 13-13.

“That’s the weirdest start to a game I’ve ever played in,” said Frazier. “I was standing at halfcourt watching him make a free throw and then the next thing I knew, we were down, 9-0. We had to climb back in the game. Coach told us to go back to playing York basketball, good defense, communication. Basic stuff. We didn’t panic. We’ve been in holes a few times this season and we’ve always fought back and made it close.”

“Before I could even get a sip of water, we were down 9-0,” said York coach Jerry Hill. “It was a really weird start. I said to them in the timeout, ‘It’s just two minutes into the game and let’s settle down. Forget the score and take it one possession at a time.’ That’s what we did.”

The Rangers went back on top on a 3 from junior Seamus Raftice, but a 3-ball from Parker tied the score again.

Late in the quarter, Greely retook the lead on a 3 from Cloutier and after Frazier picked up his second foul, Walker drove for a layup.

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A 3-point shot from sophomore Connor Roberge with 20 seconds left pulled the Wildcats back within two, 21-19, after eight minutes.

The frenetic pace slowed in the second quarter.

Greely senior Andrew St. Hilaire shoots over York senior JP Frazier.

After St. Hilaire set up Cloutier to open the frame, a leaner from Fogg and a jump shot from senior Will Bourgeois tied the game, 23-23.

Cloutier answered with a jumper in the lane and a driving bank shot, but Burke banked home a shot before Burke set up Frazier on the fastbreak for a layup with 33 seconds left and at the half, the game was even, 27-27.

Cloutier had a game-high 12 points in the first half, but York had settled in and it would be the Wildcats’ turn to deliver a haymaker when the second half commenced.

Just a dozen seconds in, after a steal, Frazier raced in for a layup which gave York the lead for the first time, 29-27.

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York senior JP Frazier handles the ball. 

After Fogg banked home a floater, Frazier set up Parker for a transition 3 and after Seaver tried to stem the tide with a timeout, Frazier stole the ball and made a layup, then, with 5:53 to go in the third quarter, Frazier stole the ball again and made another layup for a sudden and stunning 38-27 advantage.

“We did our 1-3-1 trap (defense), which really helped us, then we went into our 1-2-1-1 press and sped up the tempo of the game and they played right into our hands,” Frazier said.

“We talked at halftime and I said, ‘Let’s see if we can come out and press them a little bit and see what happens,'” said Hill. “I figured if it didn’t work, there was still a lot of game, but fortunately it worked. We got turnovers and got the lead and locked down and played better defense.”

The Rangers ended the 15-0 run on a layup from senior Liam Gardner, but Bourgeois answered with a putback.

After Coyne put home a missed shot, Fogg drained a 3 from the corner and Bourgeois’ jumper put the Wildcats ahead by 14, 45-31.

Greely crept back within nine on a putback from Coyne and a 3-ball from Cloutier, but Burke drove for a layup, then Burke took a backdoor pass from Fogg and made another layup to make it 49-36.

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After a putback from Raftice, Fogg converted a three-point play and after Rangers sophomore Hayden MacArthur was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and made all three free throws, Burke made a layup to give York a 54-41 advantage heading to the final stanza.

There, Greely couldn’t make a run.

Greely junior Seamus Raftice defends York’s Trevor Parker in late action.

Fogg started the fourth quarter by getting a jumper to rattle in. St. Hilaire then made two free throws and drove for a layup to cut the deficit to 11, but Frazier countered with two free throws.

After a St. Hilaire layup, Parker made one at the other end, but with 3:56 to go, St. Hilaire gave the Rangers some hope by draining a 3 to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 60-50.

But Greely would draw no closer, as Bourgeois sank two foul shots, Fogg made two free throws, then hit two more and with 2:06 on the clock, Burke added two more foul shots for a commanding 68-50 lead.

Down the stretch, St. Hilaire hit a long 3, Parker made one free throw for York’s final point, then St. Hilaire made a layup after a steal to bring the curtain down on the Wildcats’ 69-53 victory.

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“It’s always a good, close, competitive game against Greely,” Frazier said. “It was tight all the way, then we blew it open.”

“These kids are resilient and thankfully (Greely’s) big run came at the beginning,” Hill said. “Greely’s tough. They’re so well-coached. Their offense is tough. They cut through and screen and we had to bear down. We knew they’d make a run and we’d get punched, but their run came at the beginning. We settled down and got back in it. I’m proud of how the guys hung in there and came back.”

Fogg didn’t just lead all scorers with 21 points, he also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Joining Fogg in double-figures were Frazier with 13 points (he also had 11 rebounds and five assists), Burke with 12 (as well as nine boards, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal) and Parker with 12. Bourgeois added eight points (as well as nine rebounds and a pair of steals) and Roberge had three.

York enjoyed a 37-32 rebounding advantage, only turned the ball over 11 times and made 13 of 18 foul shots.

Greely was led by St. Hilaire’s 18 points. St. Hilaire also had four assists.

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Cloutier added 15 points, while Coyne finished with eight (as well as 11 rebounds), Raftice five (to go with five boards), Walker four (to go with 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals), MacArthur three and Gardner two.

The Rangers made 6 of 7 free throws, but committed 14 turnovers and simply couldn’t respond to the Wildcats’ second half run.

“Offense wasn’t an issue, it was just the defensive end,” Seaver said. “They shot well, but we didn’t do much to challenge them or make it difficult. We just didn’t make adjustments. We have 10 seniors on the team, but not a lot of experience.”

Quick rematch

The teams play again Jan. 6 in York, but first, the Wildcats go to Lake Region next Tuesday.

“I like this team and I think we can go far,” Frazier said. “We have a good group of guys. We just have to put the pieces together.”

“We have a pretty new group, only three kids with any varsity experience, and I thought it would take a little time to come together, but I’m happy with how we’ve jelled,” Hill said. “Hopefully, we’ll keep progressing. Our motto is ‘D.N.B.S.,’ ‘Do Not Be Satisfied,’ and we’ll stick to that. Hopefully, we’ll continue to get better. Every day, we want to leave the gym better than we were the day before. Passing can always be better, defense can always be better, shooting can always be better and coaching can always be better.”

Greely is home with Freeport next Tuesday, then goes to York.

“There’s no way we were going 18-0, so all we can do is learn from this,” Seaver said. “The nice part is we have a lot of upside and a lot of things to improve on. The hope and goal is that we’ll improve before February.”

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

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