CUMBERLAND—Turnovers and missed free throws.

That’s what doomed Greely’s girls’ basketball team Friday evening at home against Wells.

The Rangers played from behind almost the whole game and twice took the slimmest of leads in the fourth quarter, but with a win hanging in the balance, the Warriors came up big while Greely was left to lament what-if.

Wells, a team featuring a new look this winter, but one that has been consistently triumphant, scored the final six points of the first quarter to go ahead, 12-7, then held a 23-18 advantage at halftime.

The Warriors took a momentary nine-point lead in the third period, but the Rangers crept within 30-26 after a putback from unheralded sophomore Cece Berthiuame.

After pulling within one on three occasions in the final stanza, senior Sophia Ippolito gave Greely a 39-38 lead with a 3-pointer with 2:38 left and after Wells went back on top on two foul shots from freshman Megyn Mertens, Ippolito made it 41-40 Rangers on a leaner with 1:42 to play.


But it would be the Warriors who saved their best for last, as after Mertens tied it with a free throw, she sank two more with 14 seconds to go to give Wells the lead for good and two more foul shots from sophomore Maren Maxon with 3 seconds remaining closed the door as the Warriors prevailed, 45-41.

Wells improved to 14-2 on the season and in the process, dropped Greely to 7-8.

“We want to win and we did a lot of good things, but there were just too many miscues and that’s kind of been our thing,” lamented Rangers coach Todd Flaherty.

Thirty-two minute thriller

Greely opened with a 59-45 home win over Fryeburg Academy, then was dominated at Brunswick (70-43) and lost at home to reigning Class AA South champion Gorham (59-45). The Rangers bounced back to knock off visiting Gray-New Gloucester (58-48) and York (42-31), then won at home over Freeport in overtime (50-46) before dropping a 53-43 home decision to Yarmouth and falling at home to Falmouth (48-34). Greely then defeated host York (46-29) and Cape Elizabeth (44-29) and visiting Lake Region (62-53) before losing at Wells (49-43), at Yarmouth (48-34) and at Fryeburg Academy (50-35).

Wells, the top-ranked team in Class B South a year ago, which was expected to come back to the pack this winter after the graduation of standout Grace Ramsdell and after longtime coach Don Abbott stepped down, instead has continued its dominant ways, winning its first four games, losing to Class A South contender Marshwood, rattling off six more wins, losing at Gray-New Gloucester, another Class A South power, then downing visiting Greely, Lake Region (67-58) and Fryeburg Academy (60-33) in its most recent outings.


In the teams’ first meeting, Wells erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit.

Friday, on Greely’s Senior Night, the Warriors played from ahead nearly the whole way and after the Rangers made their move in the fourth period, Wells did what it had to do to prevail in the final minute.

Greely sophomore Molly Partridge races past Wells sophomore Maren Maxon early in the Warriors’ 45-41 triumph Friday night. Hoffer photos.

The game began with Maxon making a layup, then senior Ava Kreie set up sophomore Hailey Marshall for a layup before Maxon drove for a layup and a quick 6-0 lead.

It took until 3:24 remained in the opening period for the Rangers to get on the board, as junior Asja Kelman came off the bench and immediately made her presence felt by finishing a feed from junior Lauren Hester and making a layup.

Ippolito then set up Kelman for a fastbreak layup and with 2:32 left in the first, junior Kylie Crocker snared an offensive rebound and passed to Ippolito for a 3-pointer and a 7-6 Greely lead, forcing Wells’ first-year coach Sandi Purcell to call timeout.

It paid immediate dividends, as Marshall steered the ball in the basket to put the Warriors back on top, then freshman Payton Fazzina sank two free throws and Mertens scored on a putback for a 12-7 advantage after eight minutes.


Mertens added two free throws to start the second quarter, but a foul shot from Kelman ended an 8-0 run.

After Marshall drained a 3, Berthiuame scored her first points on a long 3, then Kelman made a layup after a steal to cut the deficit to 17-13.

After sophomore Kendall Maxon made a layup for Wells, Ippolito buried her second 3 to make it a one-possession contest, but Kreie was fouled while shooting a 3 and she sank two of three free throws.

After junior Avery Butler made a bank shot for the hosts, Marshall set up Kreie for a layup to make it 23-18 Warriors at the break.

In the first 16 minutes, Marshall led Wells with seven points, while Kelman had seven for Greely.

The contest would remain up in the air in the third period.


Greely senior Sophia Ippolito launches a 3-point shot.

The Warriors began the second half as they did the first, quickly, as sophomore Cali Leighton found Maren Maxon for a layup, then Maren Maxon set up Kendall Maxon for a layup off an inbounds set to stretch the lead to nine.

An Ippolito runner produced the Rangers’ first points of the second half, then sophomore Grier Wright banked home a shot, but Kreie made two free throws and Maren Maxon added another for a 30-22 advantage.

Late in the frame, Crocker set up Kelman for a layup, then Berthiuame scored on a putback to pull Greely within just four, 30-26, heading to the fourth period.

When Berthiaume opened the fourth with a 3-pointer, the Rangers were within one, but Marshall set up Mertens for a layup at the other end.

A runner from Kelman pulled Greely within a point again, but again, Wells countered, as Fazzina drove for a layup.

With 4:54 to go, sophomore Molly Partridge set up Kelman for a layup off an inbounds set and Kelman was fouled on the play, but she couldn’t hit the and-one free throw and the Warriors still clung to the lead.


With 4:43 to play, Marshall set up Maren Maxon for a 3, but after Berthiaume and Martens traded free throws, Berthiaume scored on a putback and with 2:38 left, after Kelman and Berthiaume kept possession alive with offensive rebounds, Hester passed to Ippolito for a 3-pointer and at last, the Rangers had regained the lead 39-38, for the first time since the score was 7-6.

But Wells refused to buckle.

First, Martens was fouled and calmly drained both ends of a one-and-one.

With 1:42 on the clock, Ippolito drove and scored on a leaner to give Greely a 41-40 advantage, but after the teams traded turnovers, Martens made one free throw with 1:05 left and the game was even, 41-41.

The Rangers had a chance to go back on top, but they turned the ball over.

The Warriors then ran down the clock until Kendall Maxon was fouled with 16.6 seconds showing. She missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Martens managed to get the rebound and she was fouled.


With 14.7 seconds left, Martens drained free throw two attempts and Wells was ahead to stay.

Greely hoped to tie or take the lead, but again, turned the ball over in a critical situation with just 5.1 seconds remaining.

Maren Maxon was then fouled with 3.4 seconds to go and she hit both free throws to clinch it as Wells prevailed, 45-41.

“We clawed back and had a chance, but we were a rebound or a turnover away,” Flaherty said.

Maren Maxon and Mertens (five rebounds) led the way for Wells with 12 points apiece. The Warriors also got seven points (and three assists) from Marshall, six points (and six rebounds) from Kreie and four points apiece from Fazzina and Kendall Maxon (five rebounds).

Wells made 17-of-23 free throws and overcame 14 turnovers.


Greely’s effort was sparked by Ippolito and Kelman, who each had 13 points.

Ippolito, who, as usual, was the focal point of the opposition’s defense, also had three steals.

“It’s tough on (Sophia) because the other team puts one or two players on her every game,” Flaherty said. “She played great defense and distributed the ball well.”

Kelman came off the bench and not only shared high-scoring honors for the game, she had six rebounds and two steals.

“Asja was a spark with her athleticism,” said Flaherty. “She kept us in the game for sure.”

Berthiaume had a terrific game, scoring 11 points, while grabbing five rebounds and producing two steals.


“(Cece) was very impressive,” Flaherty said. “She had a very good game. She was solid at the guard spot.”

Butler and Wright had two points apiece.

The Rangers had a 38-27 rebound advantage, but only made 2-of-7 foul shots and were doomed by 25 turnovers.

“I thought our defensive effort was good, but we missed layups and free throws and had too many turnovers,” said Flaherty. “We have to put the ball in the basket a little more often.”

Closing it out

Wells has two games left, at Yarmouth Monday and at home versus York Wednesday. The Warriors were third at press time in the Class B South Heal Points standings, chasing reigning state champion Oceanside and Spruce Mountain.

Greely, meanwhile, plays three more times, all on the road, at Poland Saturday, at Freeport Monday and at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday. The Rangers are sixth in Class B South.

“We just want to finish strong and get in the tournament,” Flaherty said. “We don’t really care who we play, we just want to get in. We should go in loose, but we’ll have to make some shots.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

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