Lisbon’s Chase Mailhot shoots a 3-pointer as Telstar’s Brody Morgan, left, and Colby Hastings defend during a game Wednesday night in Lisbon. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

LISBON — A senior-laden team can be a proverbial double-edged sword.

Experience matters, and seniors certainly provide it. Of course, heavy graduation losses can also take a toll on a program.

“It absolutely helps us out. With eight seniors, they can rely on each other,”  said 10-year Lisbon coach Jake Gentle, whose roster is comprised of mostly seniors. “It’s a great thing to have with that many seniors, but unfortunately it could be a bad thing moving forward as it depletes you. But they’re showing the younger guys what it takes to come and be focused for practice, focused for games, and it’s a great teaching moment for the younger guys. Sometimes, it’s a different guy each night or each practice that’s stepping up and trying to lead.”

The seniors showcased all of that in a Mountain Valley Conference clash with overmatched Telstar on Wednesday night. The Greyhounds took down the Rebels, 69-29 to improve to 6-4 on the season.

Lisbon’s Owen Smith, middle, goes up for a basket after grabbing a rebound over Telstar defender Colby Hastings in the second half of a game Wednesday night in Lisbon. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Lisbon, which starts four seniors (Aiden Parker, Owen Smith, Chase Mailhot and Levi Tibbetts), jumped out to a huge lead after one quarter and never looked back. Mailhot netted 15 points, nine from behind the arc, while Tibbetts added 14.

Gentle replaced his five starters with five more players, including four more seniors – Jack Ramich, Canaan Cameron, Drake St. Pierre and Gavin Grenier — and the Greyhounds continued to keep the Rebels in check.


After much of the same in the third quarter, Lisbon used a mixture of underclassmen with some of the seniors in the fourth quarter.

“Just from playing together all of these years we’ve built up a tight chemistry,” said Tibbetts, who finished with 24 points. “We’ve won and lost a lot together and we’re hoping to really hit our stride this year. We’re looking to get into the tournament, play a playoff game.”

“He’s super smart on the basketball court. He’s always getting in the right position, navigating the defense and making sure guys are where they need to be at,” Gentle added of Tibbetts. “Offensively, things do run through him, but having said that, he’s not a shot-first guy. He’s super efficient, doesn’t take a lot of shots as he’s always looking to get his teammates involved.”

Lisbon’s Chase Mailhot holds the ball while Levi Tibbetts (34) moves into action in front of Telstar defender Braiden Eden during a game Wednesday night in Lisbon. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Mailhot scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while Cameron added eight and Grenier chipped in with five.

The road ahead

Lisbon is 6-4 and is in the mix for a Class B South playoff berth. The Greyhounds compete in the MVC, which is comprised of mostly Class C schools. The uneven schedule has its ups and downs.


Gentle said it was tough adapting early in the season.

“It’s hard in the sense that we’re not finding that balance that we need to figure what kind of team we are,” he said. “We were losing on the road and winning at home. We got our first road win this past Saturday (a 56-34 win over Traip on Jan. 14) so we’re hoping we’re turning the corner and pick up a couple of big roads the rest of the way. It’s the nature of the beast that we’re right near that Class B/Class C cutoff so we play a lot of Class C teams. We have some tough teams in our conference.”

Lisbon’s Aiden Parker picks up a loose ball in front of Telstar’s Nate Cleary during the third quarter of a game Wednesday night in Lisbon. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Lisbon will still face Spruce Mountain, Hall-Dale, Mountain Valley and Buckfield down the stretch.

“We’re looking to go at least .500 on the road and protect our home court,” Gentle said.

Gentle added that his team played a lot of Class B and Class A teams in the preseason. Furthermore, Lisbon also played another Class A team during the holiday break, gaining valuable experience on the Expo court in Portland, where the Class B South tournament will be held in February.

“We’re getting better at our pressure defense, switching into our zones and our mans, our press and our half-court traps are getting better,” Gentle said. “It’s something we never overly focused on at the beginning of the season, but we’ve incorporated it and we are getting stronger. We still have a long ways to being able to pressure guards and rotate quickly and hopefully that will keep getting better as the season goes on. (Offensively) we always look at our stats — how many turnovers that we had, where are our shooting percentages is. Each practice we’re focusing on really getting a lot of shots in to increase our shooting percentage because ultimately you have to put the ball in the basket to win the game.”

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