The Greely High girls’ basketball team, usually known for its flash and offensive brilliance, has embraced a new identity as a scrappy team. Coach Todd Flaherty says it about his team. Guards Chelsea Graiver and Sophia Ippolito used a version of the word scrap simultaneously in separate side-by-side postgame interviews.

And it’s true. Greely does play with grit on defense and gets after it in the rebounding department.

But the No. 2 Rangers are making their seventh straight trip to the regional finals because of their 3-point shooting Wednesday in a 52-47 Class A South semifinal win against No. 3 Falmouth at the Portland Expo.

Greely was 11 of 24 from deep. Falmouth was 5 of 23 on its 3-point attempts.

“They shot unbelievably well tonight, and considering how many 3s they made tonight, we were still in it,” said Falmouth Coach Dawn Armandi. “Their game is getting to the rim and getting to the free-throw line and we took that away. That’s probably the best game Greely’s ever shot, and it just (stinks) that it had to be against us.”

Graiver, who earlier in the day was named a semifinalist for Miss Maine Basketball, made 6 of 7 from behind the arc en route to a game-high 24 points.


“I got some screens and that definitely helped, just getting the open shots, and my teammates found me and got me the ball on the chances I had when I was open,” Graiver said.

Ippolito started just as hot, making four of her first five 3-point attempts. Then, after a prolonged cold stretch for the Rangers in the third quarter, she knocked down a 3-pointer to start the fourth, giving Greely a 42-35 lead. She scored 19 points in the game.

“She’s our best shooter, percentage-wise. She’s our best shooter in practice,” said Flaherty. “She goes through some spells where she’s a little bit off, but shot got us started and she hit a big one at the end.”

Greely (15-4) will face No. 1 Brunswick in the regional final, scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Cross Insurance Arena.

Falmouth (14-6), which does not have a senior in its 18-player program, trimmed Greely’s lead to three points on three occasions in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get closer. The Navigators stayed close the entire game but never led, drawing even once at 25-25 in the second quarter before Greely went on a 7-0 run en route to a 32-26 halftime lead.

Falmouth’s top offensive threat, Anna Turgeon, was on the bench because of foul trouble for long stretches of the game. Turgeon, who scored 25 points in a 41-29 quarterfinal win against Morse, finished with eight points. Sloane Ginevan worked inside for a team-high 17 points, but the needed 3-point threat never materialized for Falmouth.

Defensively, Falmouth did what it intended to do – stop Greely’s rim attacks. The Rangers were 4 for 26 on 2-point shots and 11 of 22 at the free-throw line.

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