YARMOUTH — The Yarmouth girls’ basketball team entered Tuesday night one game above .500, and with a modest eighth-place standing in the Class B South playoff race.

The Clippers also, however, had a feeling they had another gear. And in a game against fellow tournament contender Freeport, they showed it.

Lauren Keaney had 13 points, Cate King added 11 and 15 rebounds, and the Clippers pulled away in the second and third quarters en route to taking down the Class A Falcons, 59-39.

Freeport won the first matchup between the teams 36-34 on Dec. 23.

“A lot of our games that we have lost have been really close, and we competed all the way until the end,” King said. “I feel like the fact that we’re (seeded low) just gives us the underdog mentality. … We all want to work hard and surprise everybody.”

Yarmouth (8-6) also got 11 points and five steals from Aine Powers, while Neena Panozzo scored nine and Rory Tompkins had eight.


“It takes a while to get going and have them correctly do their assignments,” Yarmouth Coach Tom Panozzo said. “But it seems like the offense is working, our defense is playing real solid, so things are coming together at the right time.”

Freeport (6-8) got 15 points from Sydney Gelhar and 13 from Abby Giroux, but was stung by mistakes and porous defense.

“We turned the ball over too much and we also don’t guard the ball well enough right now,” said Falcons Coach Seth Farrington, whose team sits in fifth in Class A South but has lost five straight games. “This time of year, you want to be playing your best defense and be efficient offensively, and right now we’re not defending the ball well enough.”

Freeport shook off a 9-3 deficit to score the next eight points and take the lead, but gave up the advantage for good by surrendering a 13-0 run that took up the first 31/2 minutes of the second quarter. The Clippers employed a zone defense that allowed them to combat the Falcons’ size inside, and forwards Madilyn Cormier (eight points, nine rebounds) and Emily Groves (seven rebounds).

“I think we all did a great job. I feel like Lauren does a great job getting offensive rebounds, she’s so quick,” King said. “We have the height advantage against most teams, but against this one we didn’t. So we just had to work extra hard to all box out, every position.”

Yarmouth also brought pressure on the perimeter, trapping and closing in on open Freeport looks. With Powers leading the outside defense along with Panozzo and Tompkins (two steals each), the Clippers forced the Falcons into turnovers and ran up a 31-18 lead by halftime.


An 8-1 run to start the third quarter brought the lead to 20 and allowed Yarmouth to cruise the rest of the way.

“We emphasize defense a lot,” Powers said. “You don’t really look at that as often as you look at the score and what happens on offense, but it’s really an important part of the game. I think we really had it turned on from the beginning.”

Farrington said his team isn’t watching the standings.

“Not at all. Right now we just need to have a good practice,” he said. “We can’t worry about where we finish. We have to start stringing together great practices.”

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