YARMOUTH—The seniors on Yarmouth’s boys’ basketball team weren’t about to lose the final game they ever played at Stroud Gymnasium.

And while the visiting Lake Region Lakers gave the Clippers all they could handle Friday evening, Yarmouth continued to surge and extended its win streak in the process.

The Clippers started seniors Nate Hagedorn, Liam Hickey, Spencer LaBrecque and Stevie Walsh and they all contributed early, but the Lakers hung tough and the game was deadlocked, 10-10, after eight minutes.

Yarmouth then took over in the second quarter, as junior Evan Hamm scored a basket to produce a lead the Clippers wouldn’t relinquish and junior point guard Matt Gautreau’s third 3-pointer of the game helped open up a 24-14 halftime advantage.

Yarmouth then stretched its lead to 14 points, 41-27, heading to the fourth period, where a Walsh layup produced an 18-point advantage and while Lake Region rallied late, the Clippers were able to close out a 53-45 victory.

Gautreau led the way with 16 points and Hamm added 13, as Yarmouth won its eighth game in a row, finished its home schedule unscathed, improved to 12-4 and in the process, dropped the Lakers to 7-10.


“We’ve been working hard all season,” said Hickey, who scored a season-high eight points. “It’s our home court, we’ve practiced every day here since the start of the season and we know it like the back of our hand. It means a lot to us to win our final game here.”

The beat goes on

Yarmouth started with a 40-37 loss at York, then defeated visiting Mt. Ararat (49-31) and host Lake Region (57-54) before falling at Westbrook (57-42). The Clippers then knocked off visiting Wells (66-42) and host Fryeburg Academy (72-47), dropped consecutive games at Greely (58-48) and Leavitt (55-51, in overtime), then got back on track with a 62-49 home victory over Freeport before downing visiting Brunswick (68-53), host Freeport (45-39), visiting Gray-New Gloucester (57-54), Greely (59-36), Spruce Mountain (47-38) and Cape Elizabeth (49-45).

Lake Region has been up-and-down all season, but many of its losses have been close, coming by six-, three-, seven-, six- and four-points respectively.

The Lakers, who also boast victories of one-, two-, four- and seven-points, won their most recent outing, 66-62, over visiting Wells Tuesday.

In the teams’ first meeting Dec. 22 in Naples, the Clippers trailed by a point going to the fourth quarter, but managed to eke out a victory behind 18 points from Walsh, 14 from junior Justin Dawes and 12 from Gautreau. The Lakers were paced by 19 points from senior Jacob Chadbourne.


Friday, after Yarmouth’s four seniors were honored, the Clippers took care of business once more, winning their fifth home game in a nine-day span.

Yarmouth senior Nate Hagedorn and Lake Region sophomore Jackson Libby go up for the opening tip in the Clippers’ 53-45 victory Friday. Hoffer photos.

Walsh opened the scoring with a layup after a steal and after junior Evan Duprey drove for a layup to tie it, Walsh stole the ball again and made a layup and Gautreau followed with a 3-pointer for a 7-2 advantage.

Chadbourne countered with a 3, then sophomore Jackson Libby tied the game with a putback.

In the final minute, Gautreau sank another 3, but Chadbourne answered with an even longer-range bomb just before the horn to make it 10-10.

Hamm then entered the game and as he has in recent outings, immediately made his presence felt by putting Yarmouth on top for good with 6:14 to go in the half with a baseline jumper.

Junior Jonny Fulton then made a layup after a steal, Hamm scored on a putback, Hamm took a pass from Dawes and made a short jumper, then with 2:16 remaining, Hamm set up Gautreau for a 3 and a 21-10 lead.


After Lakers coach Ryan Martin called timeout, the visitors snapped the 11-0 Clippers’ run and a 6 minute, 45 second scoring drought with a layup from Libby and a Libby putback, but with 33 seconds remaining, Gautreau produced three points again, this time with an old-fashioned three-point play (runner, foul, free throw) to make it 24-14 at the break.

Gautreau led the way with a dozen points and Hamm had six, as Yarmouth’s defense was superb in the first half.

“The difference was the guys locked down on defense,” first-year Clippers coach Ilunga Mutombo said. “Our defense was essential. To hold them to 14 points in the first half was impressive.”

Chadbourne started the second half with a layup, but the Clippers quickly countered, as LaBrecque scored on a putback, Hickey drove and made a layup, then Walsh drove and finished with his left hand for a 30-16 advantage.

After Libby responded with a three-point play, Hickey knocked down a jumper.

Freshman Jacoby Bardsley set up Chadbourne for a layup, forcing Mutombo to call timeout and out of the break, Hamm set up Dawes for a short bank shot to make it 34-21.


Chadbourne found Libby for a layup, but Hamm answered with a 3-ball.

Yarmouth junior Evan Hamm shoots a 3-pointer as Lake Region sophomore Aidan Roberts defends.

After Bardsley made two free throws, he drove for a layup to cut the deficit to 10, but junior Jack Janczuk scored on a putback, then Hamm drove for a layup to give the Clippers a 41-27 advantage heading to the final stanza.

Where Yarmouth finished off is latest victory.

Libby made a free throw to start the fourth quarter, but Gautreau drove into the lane, found himself in traffic, then faded away and banked home a shot.

After Chadbourne made a free throw, Hickey threaded a beautiful pass to Hamm for a layup, then Walsh found Hickey for a layup to make it 47-29.

Sophomore Aidan Roberts answered with a leaner, but Hamm set up Hickey for another layup.


After Chadbourne scored on a putback, Gautreau got a leaner to bounce in.

With 2:34 to play, sophomore Ian Brogan set up Libby for a dunk, but 39 seconds later, Walsh scored on a reverse layup for the Clippers’ final points.

To its credit, Lake Region played hard to the final horn and scored the game’s final 10 points.

First, Libby converted a three-point play. After Duprey made a free throw, sophomore Brock Gibbons sank a pair, then Libby scored on a putback before Chadbourne scored the game’s final points, a layup, but it was far too little, too late, and Yarmouth prevailed, 53-45.

“It’s good to get a win,” Hickey said. “It was a fun last game for us here.”

“This just says that the guys are committed,” Mutombo said. “They love the concept of protecting their home floor. It’s the ‘Clipper Way.’ They play with a lot of pride. It was Senior Night, so we wanted to give all of the seniors more exposure. The guys channeled their energy. We intentionally played them the whole first quarter. We let them lead. It was awesome to see them play together. This was the culmination of all their years as brothers.


“Lake Region is a great team. Coach Martin had his guys playing hard all the way to the end.”

Gautreau led all scorers with 16 points and also had a couple of assists and a pair of steals.

Hamm didn’t play at all in the first quarter and came off the bench to score 13 points, to go with three rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

Hickey had eight points and a couple rebounds.

“Liam’s committed so much to getting better this year,” said Mutombo.

Walsh finished with eight points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.


Dawes, Fulton, Janczuk and LaBrecque (seven rebounds, two steals) all added two points.

“Spencer played some good minutes for us tonight,” said Mutombo.

“Matt is setting everybody up, Stevie is hitting big shots, Evan’s scoring a lot and our bench is playing well,” Hickey said. “Our energy is really high. Coach is doing a phenomenal job. He comes to practice every day with high energy. It starts with him and our captains.”

The Clippers had a 34-30 edge on the glass, made 1-of-2 free throws and overcame 14 turnovers.

Lake Region was led by Libby, who had a game-high 19 points, as well as nine rebounds. Chadbourne also finished in double-figures with 15 points (to go with six steals and five rebounds). Bardsley had four points (and four assists), Duprey three and Gibbons and Roberts two apiece.

The Lakers made 9-of-13 foul shots, but turned the ball over 17 times.


One week left

The final week of the regular season awaits with much still to be determined.

Lake Region (currently ranked 11th in the Class B South Heal Points standings) closes at Cape Elizabeth Wednesday and needs a win to qualify for the playoffs.

Yarmouth (clinging to the top seed in Class B South) will play its final two games on the road, at Wells Monday and at Poland Wednesday.

“Since day one, we knew we could be this team, but everyone on our team knows we have more in us still,” Hickey said. “We’re happy, but not satisfied. We have to keep the energy up in practice. Coach says we have to have harder practices than games so when the games come, we’re ready.”

“I’m really not surprised we’re playing so well,” Mutombo said. “There’s such belief in the work that’s gone in to the past few years. We have tough practices and expect a lot out of each other. We don’t settle. We find ways to get better no matter how tough things get. We’ve created good chemistry and brotherhood. Everyone’s bought in.

“We want to peak at the right time and play consistent basketball. We still need to fine-tune our defense. We don’t want to allow good shots and we want to close out on 3s. Each quarter we want to dominate on defense. We want to win three out of four quarters and if we can win all four, even better. We know our offense comes from our defense and we want to focus on that the next two games.

“We know our region will be tough with some great teams. No matter who we draw, we’ll be ready. We created a championship mindset last year. We want to emulate that and find our own identity. Last year motivates us to keep pushing. We want to go as deep as we can.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net.

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