BOX SCORE

Yarmouth 57 Waynflete 25

Y- 20 13 10 14- 57
W- 0 10 11 4- 25

Y- Psyhogeos 6-4-19, Waeldner 6-0-15, Walsh 4-0-11, Snyder 2-1-5, Hickey 1-0-3, McCosh 1-0-2, O’Meara 1-0-2

W- Hart 3-1-9, Kirby 3-0-7, Hussein 2-0-4, Reese 1-0-3, Cox 0-2-2

3-pointers:
Y (10) Psyhogeos, Waeldner, Walsh 3, Hickey 1
W (4) Hart 2, Kirby, Reese 1

Turnovers:
Y- 9
W- 17

FTs
Y: 5-8
W: 3-6

PORTLAND—Yarmouth’s boys’ basketball coach Jonas Allen feels that his team is good, but not yet great.

Which is a scary thought indeed for the rest of Class B.

Especially since the Clippers have played nine games this winter and won them all.

Thursday evening, Yarmouth traveled to Waynflete and by the time the first quarter was in the books, it had delivered a knockout blow.

En route to another impressive victory.

The Clippers scored the first 20 points of the game, led, 20-0, after one period and 33-10 at halftime before going on to an emphatic 57-25 triumph.

Senior standout Peter Psyhogeos continued his special season with a stat-sheet-stuffing, double-double tour de force, classmate Matt Waeldner continued to shine and junior Stevie Walsh came off the bench and hit three of his team’s 10 3-pointers as Yarmouth remained perfect and in the process, dropped the Flyers to 3-3.

“We’re a pretty good team right now, but we’re not a great team,” said Allen. “I think our seniors really came in on a mission today. It’s a weird week, COVID is ravaging programs all over the place and it’s been a little hard to stay focused. I told the seniors, ‘I’m putting it in your hands tonight, so go take care of business and don’t let this come down to the wire.'”

A staggering 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, visiting Westbrook (62-48), host Wells (45-34), visiting Fryeburg Academy (52-32), visiting Greely (40-30) and visiting Leavitt (48-24).

Waynflete started by rolling at Sacopee Valley, then lost at Cape Elizabeth (74-55) and at home to Old Orchard Beach in double-overtime (54-52). After a 72-17 win at Seacoast Christian, the Flyers were idle for over three weeks before returning to action Tuesday with a 52-38 home win over North Yarmouth Academy.

The teams last met two years ago, a 49-43 Flyers’ victory in Yarmouth.

Thursday, the Clippers returned the favor, roaring out of the gate and beating Waynflete for the first time since Dec. 22, 2018.

Yarmouth senior Peter Psyhogeos goes up for a shot early in the Clippers’ victory Thursday. Hoffer photos.

Just 36 seconds in, senior Cole Snyder scored on a putback to give Yarmouth the lead for the good and the Clippers were just getting started.

After Waeldner hit a 3, Psyhogeos blocked a shot, then set up senior Jack McCosh for a layup.

Then, with 2:18 to go in the opening stanza, Psyhogeos knocked down a 3 for a quick 10-0 advantage, forcing Waynflete coach Rich Henry to call timeout.

It didn’t help, as Psyhogeos drove for a layup after a steal, Walsh made his first 3, Psyhogeos stole the ball and made another layup and just before the horn, Waeldner sank a 3 for a stunning 20-0 advantage.

“I think we just came out ready to play,” said Psyhogeos. “We’ve had a sense of urgency recently because we know it all can be taken away because of COVID. We try to come out and make a point on defense and when the defense is there, the offense follows. It was a great first quarter.”

Psyhogeos didn’t just score seven points in the opening frame, he also had seven rebounds, blocked three shots, had three steals and dished out two assists.

“I don’t want to be looked at someone who just scores the ball,” said the Bates College-bound Psyhogeos. “I want to be someone who rebounds, gets my teammates involved and be a really good defender. Something I’ve really put an emphasis on this year is playing all over the court. Defense is probably the biggest thing I’ve emphasized this year. Coach prides himself on defense and that’s our identity and it’s something I need to focus on as well.”

“Pete’s game has expanded so much,” Allen said. “When he was younger, he just saw himself as a scorer and we challenged him in a big way to expand all parts of his game and he’s responded.”

A mere 14 seconds into the second quarter, the Flyers finally got on the board, as senior Henry Hart made a free throw, but Snyder countered with a hoop.

After a short jump shot from junior Safwan Hussein produced Waynflete’s first field goal, Walsh got a 3 to rattle in.

Hart answered with a 3 for the Flyers, but Psyhogeos hit consecutive 3s, then sank two free throws to stretch the lead to 33-6.

In the final minute of the half, sophomore Nico Kirby hit a jumper, then finished with a spinner in the lane, but that only pulled Waynflete within 23 at the break.

Psyhogeos led all first half scorers with 15 points.

Waynflete junior Cole Isherwood launches a long shot.

Kirby hoped to spark a rally to start the second half with a 3-ball, but Waeldner answered with one of his own.

After senior Ed Cox made a foul shot for the hosts, Hart made a 3 to make it 36-17, but that’s as close as the Flyers would get.

First, Snyder made a free throw for Yarmouth, then Psyhogeos sank a pair.

After Cox made a foul shot, Walsh set up Psyhogeos for a layup, then Walsh fed Waeldner for a layup before a late 3 from Waynflete sophomore Ishan Reese made it a 43-21 contest heading for the fourth period.

There, the Clippers put the finishing touches on their decisive victory.

Walsh started the quarter with a layup after a steal and after Waeldner banked home a shot, Walsh drained a 3 from the corner.

“I’ve been a shooter, but I’ve been looking to expand a little bit and make myself useful in other categories,” said Walsh. “Anything I can do is awesome. We played a great game tonight and I just tried to help out.”

“We know Stevie can shoot, but he was great defensively tonight too,” Psyhogeos said. “Every time he’s open, it feels to me like the ball’s going in. He’s awesome to have on the team. He spaces the floor, works hard, is a great teammate.”

“Stevie’s gotten so much better,” Allen added. “He can shoot, that’s never the issue. The question is, can he do the other parts of the game and that’s getting there.”

After Waeldner made a layup, junior Liam Hickey hit a 3 for a 34-point Yarmouth advantage.

Down the stretch, the Flyers sandwiched a jumper from Hart and a putback from freshman Demetrius Campbell around a leaner from Clippers senior Quin O’Meara to close out Yarmouth’s 57-25 victory.

“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to have seven senior leaders and for all of them to play a leadership role,” Allen said. “We thought if they did, everything would take care of itself. For the first half of the season, that’s happened and that’s given us good results. We’re not a house divided. We’re a house united and our record is just a by-product of that.”

Psyhogeos finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks, five steals and three assists, numbers that are in line with his season averages (20 points, 9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2 steals and 1.4 blocks).

“Pete’s a stud,” Walsh said. “He draws attention from defenders and it really opens up the court for everyone else. It’s fun to play with him. He makes it easier for everyone else around him.”

Waeldner added 15 points and Walsh also finished in double figures with 11 points, to go with five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.

Snyder had five points (and seven rebounds), Hickey three and McCosh and O’Meara two apiece.

The Clippers held a 34-30 rebound advantage, made 5 of 8 free throws and only turned the ball over nine times.

Waynflete was led by Hart, who had nine points. Kirby added seven (as well as six rebounds), Hussein had four, Reese three and Cox (to go with six rebounds).

The Flyers committed 17 turnovers and made 3 of 6 foul shots.

“I wish the game would have been closer, but sometimes you play a team that’s better than you and Yarmouth’s a very good team,” Henry said. “We have a habit of starting on our heels and if you start on your heels against a well-coached, aggressive team, you can get in a hole very quickly and then it snowballs.”

Midway point

Waynflete will be road warriors for the next week-plus, starting Friday at Poland. Next week, the Flyers go to Lake Region, NYA, Fryeburg Academy and Old Orchard Beach.

“These young men are a delight to work with,” Henry said. “We’re just appreciative of the opportunity to play and be together. There’s a lot to still work on and I’m hoping, given the youth of the team, once we get into February, we’ll be better. We’re getting a lot of minutes out of some sophomores and that always bodes well. We’re getting great leadership from Henry and the guys’ attitudes are very good.”

Yarmouth begins the second half of its schedule Wednesday of next week at home versus Lake Region. The Clippers then visit Freeport next Friday.

“We just take it one game at a time,” Walsh said. “I think we have a special team and we’re dedicated and really want it badly.”

“Our schedule’s only going to get harder,” Psyhogeos said. “We have to double down and keep working hard in practice and not let anything go to our head. Everyone makes playoffs, so being 9-0 in the regular season doesn’t really mean anything. We have to keep working hard and hopefully play our best basketball come tournament time. Even though we’re 9-0, we feel like we’re still doubted. We want to break that stigma. We look at ourselves as the underdog and can’t get too overconfident. That’s helped us keep pushing.”

“Everything gets tougher,” Allen added. “We have a crazy road stretch coming up. We have to still get better in all parts of the game. There were some lapses tonight where I thought we were a little too proud of ourselves. Great teams don’t do that. We have to lock down on the loose aspects of the game. We give up too many offensive rebounds and sometimes we don’t share the ball as well as we need to. Those are the things we need to get better at.”

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

Comments are not available on this story.