BRUNSWICK—As statement victories go, this one was absolutely staggering.

Wednesday evening, Brunswick’s girls’ basketball team hosted reigning Class A South champion Greely and while the Dragons are focused on being the best they can be this winter, they had a little unfinished business to attend to.

The business of dishing out some revenge from last year’s agonizing regional final setback.

And in the blink of an eye, Brunswick delivered a knockout blow and went on to an impressive early-season win.

In the first quarter alone, the Dragons forced 18 Rangers’ turnovers and they scored the first 11 points and the final 15 points of the frame to seize a stunning and commanding 29-4 advantage.

Greely settled down from there, but never got closer than 20 points as Brunswick built a 43-17 halftime lead and cruised to a 70-43 victory.


The Dragons placed four players in double-figures, led by 22 points from junior Dakota Shipley, as they improved to 2-0 and in the process, handed the Rangers their first loss in two outings.

“It’s fun and that’s how our practices have been,” said Brunswick coach Sam Farrell. “When you have great practices, you can have great games.”

Roaring out of the gate

Brunswick came into the season viewed as the favorite in Class A South and the Dragons started with a decisive 75-31 win at Westbrook.

Greely erupted in the fourth quarter of its opener to defeat visiting Fryeburg Academy, 59-45.

The teams split two meetings last year, as Brunswick won in Cumberland at the start of the season, 54-40, but in the Class A South Final, the Rangers sprung a 38-35 upset.


Wednesday, the Dragons got a long-awaited chance to face Greely again and they were far from hospitable hosts.

The onslaught began just nine seconds in, when senior Sophia Morin was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and she made one of two free throws to put Brunswick ahead to stay.

Shipley then got started with a putback before adding a 3-point shot from the corner after a turnover to make it 6-0 with the game a mere 27 seconds old.

Shipley then made a layup after a steal, hit one of two foul shots and junior Maddy Werner added two free throws to push the lead to 11-0.

With 5:09 remaining in the first period, the Rangers finally broke through, as senior Sophia Ippolito set up junior Kylie Crocker for a layup, but Werner answered with a layup after a steal and Morin added a foul shot.

Crocker found junior Asja Kelman for a layup to cut the deficit to 14-4 with 3:34 left in the frame, but the Dragons ended any remaining doubt by quarter’s end.


First, junior Emily Doring made a layup after a steal. After senior Kelsie Carlton added a free throw, sophomore Alexis Morin drained a 3, Doring made another layup after a steal, Werner set up Sophia Morin for a layup, Alexis Morin converted consecutive layups and Sophia Morin made a late free throw to make the score a jawdropping 29-4 in the Dragons’ favor after one period.

“Everyone works so well together and when we do, that’s the kind of effort we can have,” said Shipley.

“What was good for us was both the starters and the subs made plays,” said Farrell. “We played to our strengths. We talked about playing together and you could just see it. When one moved offensively, everyone moved and when one moved defensively, everyone moved. It’s so cohesive and the girls don’t care who scores. Counting the preseason, every game we have a different high scorer.”

Greely simply couldn’t counter Brunswick’s size or its press and 18 turnovers proved fatal.

“(The Dragons) took it to us early,” said Rangers coach Todd Flaherty. “We can’t mimic that press in practice. I think the girls adjusted, but they got out too big too early and there wasn’t much we could do to disrupt them. They’re better than I imagined. They’re big and they’re fast. They use their size well. They’re well-coached the way they go high-low. They’re a very impressive team.”

The second quarter was far more competitive, but Brunswick wound up adding a point to its lead when all was said and done.


After Shipley drained a long 3 to start the period, Kelman answered with a layup, then Ippolito set up sophomore Grier Wright for a layup and Ippolito sank a 3 to cut the deficit to 20, 32-12.

After Carlton banked home a runner, Ippolito sank two free throws, but that’s as close as Greely would get.

Alexis Morin added a point with a free throw, Werner made a layup, then Werner hit two free throws. After Ippolito countered with a 3, Sophia Morin made a layup, then Alexis Morin converted a leaner to send the Dragons to the half with a 43-17 advantage.

The Rangers had 11 more turnovers in the second quarter to give them 29 for the half.

Brunswick never let Greely entertain visions of a rally in the third period, as Shipley made a layup, drained a 3 from the corner and after Ippolito was whistled for her fourth foul, Shipley made a layup and Sophia Morin sank a free throw to make it 51-17.

Kelman stemmed the tide with a jumper, but Carlton drove for a layup, then Shipley scored on a putback. After the visitors got a bank shot from junior Avery Butler and a runner from Wright, Sophia Morin converted an old-fashioned three-point play (bank shot, foul, free throw) and Morin drove for a layup to push the lead to 37.


In the final seconds, Ippolito hit a 3, then she made a layup after a steal but that only cut the Dragons’ advantage to 60-28 heading for the final stanza.

There, Sophia Morin set up Werner for a layup, Alexis Morin assisted on a Shipley layup and Alexis Morin banked home a shot for Brunswick’s biggest lead of the night. After Wright made a bank shot and senior Gabby Swain countered with a leaner for the Dragons, sophomore Cece Berthiaume hit a jumper and Ippolito made her final 3. Junior Abrielle St. Pierre scored on a putback for the hosts’ final points before Berthiaume answered with a putback, senior Allie Read hit a jump shot, sophomore Molly Partridge sank two free throws and Berthiaume made a layup to bring the curtain down on Brunswick’s 70-43 victory.

“We beat them by double digits on opening night last year, then we lost the second one, so I know this feels good now, but it’s just game two,” said Farrell. “Everyone is going to get better and I hope we do too.”

Shipley finished with a game-high 22 points, to go with six rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals. Shipley, who along with Werner, transferred to Brunswick from Morse, is feeling right at home.

“It feels really good,” Shipley said. “I really enjoy being on this team.”

Sophia Morin had 13 points, two assists, two steals and two rebounds. Alexis Morin had a dozen points, seven rebounds and three steals off the bench. Werner also finished in double-figures with 10 points (as well as nine rebounds and two steals). Carlton contributed five points and six assists, Doring had four points and five steals and St. Pierre (three assists, three rebounds) and Swain added two points apiece.


The Dragons had a 42-36 rebounding advantage and overcame 24 turnovers and 12-of-23 foul shooting.

For Greely, Ippolito led the way with 16 points. She also had five rebounds and three steals. Kelman added seven points (and five rebounds), Berthiaume and Wright (three rebounds, two assists, two steals) finished with six points apiece and Butler, Crocker (four rebounds, three assists), Partridge (four rebounds) and Read all added two.

The Rangers made 4-of-6 free throws and finished with 34 turnovers as they suffered their most one-sided loss since a 46-15 setback to York in the 2011 Western B semifinals.

“We were just trying to get better and win segments of quarters, so I’m proud of how we stuck together as a team and worked hard,” Flaherty said. “I thought Cece was great off the bench. She split the trap well and was composed. That was a highlight. Across the board, we had strong defensive efforts. In my previous coaching life, I was in that spot a lot (facing big deficits), but not at Greely, so that’s a good thing.”

Long road ahead

It’s possible the Dragons and Rangers will meet again in the tournament, but that’s over two months away and both teams have a lot of business to attend to first.


Greely returns to action Friday at Gray-New Gloucester. The Rangers then host reigning Class AA South champion Gorham in an interclass battle Tuesday of next week.

“We’ll get better,” said Flaherty. “We’ve got Gray Friday and hopefully the weather will let us play. We want to put this one in the rearview mirror as fast as we can.”

Brunswick looks to keep the good times rolling Monday when it hosts Freeport. The Dragons then have a test at Falmouth next Thursday.

“We just have to keep working hard and doing our jobs,” said Shipley. “If we do, I think we can do something great.”

“We need to cut down on turnovers,” Farrell said. “It feels like we’re still learning. We still have to get comfortable playing together. We graduated a player (Logan Brown) who took over half our shots. You still see us in transition looking for who is going to take over instead of who’s open, but I love coaching this team. I’m pumped we get to practice tomorrow.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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