Girls Basketball: G-NG handles Maranacook

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PORTLAND—G-NG standouts Bri Jordan and Jordan Grant tallied 16 apiece at the Expo on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 19, propelling the No. 1 Patriots past No. 9 Maranacook with ease, 61-27.

“You want that in every game,” G-NG head coach Mike Andreasen said, asked if the Patriots had hoped to control their tournament-opener as thoroughly as they did. “It’s really hard to get off to a good start; traditionally, this year, we haven’t got off to good starts. We’ve been very close after a quarter, and when we do spurt, it tends to be the second quarter.”

G-NG kicked off the scoring with an Eliza Hotham two, and never looked back. The Patriots built through the first quarter to a hefty, 18-7 lead on four by Hotham, four by Jordan, six by Grant, and two each by Sam Fortin and Alexa Thayer. The team hashed 13 more in the second, easily outstripping the Black Bears once again. 31-12 at the break.

“It was nice just to have a little bit of breathing room,” Andreasen said of his girls’ overwhelming first quarter. “Because at that point, you can dictate the tempo of the game. You can play fast, play slow. But if the team hangs around, or the team gets ahead of you, they’re able to dictate what it is you do.”

“So that was big for us,” Andreasen went on. “Because we know Maranacook was good on half-court offense, and we didn’t want them to slow the game down and have it become a half-court game.”

The Patriots put up 15 in each of the final two quarters. The Black Bears, though, managed just 15 total in the half – seven in the third and eight in the fourth. 61-27 the final, then.

Beyond Jordan’s and Grant’s contributions, Hotham finished with 10, Fortin with eight, Thayer with four, Chelsea Davis with three, and Maddie West and Mikaela Ryan with two each.

Andreasen remarked on some of his girls. “It’s good for [Eliza’s] confidence,” he said, asked about Hotham’s buckets to begin the game. “Eliza was a starter for us last year, and it was kind of a growing year, and this year, she’s just a much more confident young lady. She’s also one of our best defenders. So even when her offensive game isn’t going, she’s one of the best defenders around.”

“If Bri didn’t score a point for us, she’d still be the player for us, because of everything else she does,” Andreasen continued. “When she’s scoring baskets, too, boy it’s just – and it seems to be baskets at key times.”

The victory bumped G-NG to 17-2 on the winter. The Patriots entered the tourney ranked first in B South, their only losses having come against rival superpower Greely, a Class A outfit. G-NG moved on to face Wells in the semifinals round, where they again emerged triumphant.

The Patriots and the Black Bears didn’t meet in the regular season.

Andreasen thought it helpful for his girls to begin their tournament run with a big, confidence-boosting win. “We didn’t play since the 7th, and today was the 19th, so we hadn’t played in 12 days,” he said. “We didn’t even have a scrimmage. Just to get back on the court…it’s nice.

“The first game’s the hardest game, because in a [No. 1 vs. No. 8 or No. 1 vs. No. 9] game – that’s the game that, if you lose it, everyone’s asking questions. The huge upset, or the one you should’ve won type of thing.”

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.

Eliza Hotham drives toward the net for G-NG.

Sam Fortin shoulders into a Maranacook opponent en route to the net.

Jordan Grant is ferocious inside, and a dead-eye.

Alexa Thayer drives inward for the Lady Patriots.

Abbey Michaud skids to a halt, on the attack for G-NG.

Bri Jordan fires off an outside shot.

G-NG’s Sarah Fecteau surveys her pass options.

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