YORK — The game had been a defensive battle for most of the night, so it was fitting that the York  boys’ basketball team wrapped up Friday’s season-opening 40-37 Class B South win against defending state champion Yarmouth by causing a turnover.

Yarmouth had 14 seconds to try to get off a tying 3-pointer after York junior Connor Roberge had coolly drained two free throws. Yarmouth tried to get senior captain Stevie Walsh free for a good look. In last season’s state final, it was Walsh who sent the game against Ellsworth to overtime with a late 3-point basket. But Friday, York used a quick double-team to force a loose ball and eventual over-and-back violation.

Both teams have significantly different lineups compared to a year ago, when Yarmouth eliminated York in a regional semifinal.

“Last year, we opened the season and they beat us, and (then) they ended our season,” said York Coach Jerry Hill. “So we used that a little bit for motivation, but I think (Yarmouth) is going to win a lot of games, too.”

Derek Parsons led York in scoring with 11 points. He made his first 3-point shot of the game and then missed four in a row. But he made his two attempts in the second half, both breaking ties, and added a pair of fourth-quarter free throws, again with the game tied.

“I had open looks, so I just kept on shooting and they started to fall in the second half,” Parsons said. “Our hustle and grit toward the end of the game, I think, was the difference. We were diving on the floor, fighting for loose balls, stuff like that.”


First-time varsity starting point guard Matt Gautreau scored 11 of his game-high 13 points in the first quarter, and Yarmouth led 15-12.

But Yarmouth went cold over the next two frames, shooting 4 of 21. York’s 6-foot-5 sophomore center, Lukas Bouchard, scored all nine of his points in the second and third, and the Wildcats led 29-24 after three quarters.

“The second quarter and I think the third quarter is where they got steam and it was just hard to make a push back,” said Yarmouth’s Evan Hamm, who had 12 points. “I think we were getting the shots that we needed; they just weren’t falling. That happens.”

It was the first game as a varsity head coach for Yarmouth’s Ilunga Mutombo, who was an assistant the past two seasons and is a 2008 graduate of Gorham High.

“The defensive intensity increased as the game went on,” Mutombo said. “It was just a few simple things, not boxing out, rebounding. It was the details that got us today. That’s something that we’ll take and practice and work on and refine. And we did not shoot well tonight.”

Twice in the fourth quarter, York was able to work inbound plays to senior Kevin Burke (eight points) after Hill had called a timeout.

“We had a couple of plays that we were able to execute on and were able to get what we needed at that point,” Hill said.

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