Girls Basketball: G-NG knocks off Yarmouth in low-scoring grappling match

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Patriot Jordan grant ascends toward the basket.

GRAY—Between them, the Lady Patriots and the Lady Clippers played an ugly battle on Friday night, Jan. 11: The physical, fast-paced, low-scoring bout seemed to feature more turnovers than shots. In the end, G-NG prevailed on the strength of their tenacious d, as well as double-digit performances by Bri Jordan, with 13, and Jordan Grant, with 12. 34-20 the final.

“I thought it was a really ugly basketball game,” said G-NG head coach Mike Andreasen. “Both teams were missing shots, both teams were throwing the ball away and not getting good shots. The other day, we played Fryeburg; we looked like a professional team – we scored 33 points in a quarter. Today we got 34 for the game.”

Sloppy, low-scoring battles are par for the court between these two tough rivals, at least according Andreasen.

“No, but it wasn’t great,” Andreasen said, asked if the teams’ contest from two weeks prior had been such a stumbling jumble of limbs and lost balls. “Last year we played them here, it was like 31-27…It seems like, whenever we get together with Yarmouth, it’s winning ugly. It’s Bears-Packers – pre-Aaron Rodgers.”

So maybe it’s just the particular chemistry between these two squads. Whereas some rivals light each other’s fuses, these two teams back each other into a corner, bring out each other’s scrappiness and sloppiness.

Whatever it is, it was on full display Friday night, as the two teams combined for just 11 points in the first quarter, G-NG outpacing the Clippers 8-3 on a pair of Jordan threes and a Grant two.

Both sides found a slightly looser groove in the second, managing to bucket more than they had in the first. The Patriots hashed 10, thanks to Grant with two twos, Alexa Thayer with one two and Sam Fortin with a two and two frees, while Yarmouth picked up six, four by Clementine Blaschke and the other two (at one apiece, from the line) by Avery May and Sara D’Appolonia.

The third took another turn for the messy. Clipper Margaret McNeil knocked down a three – but it would prove Yarmouth’s only strike of the stretch. Meanwhile, the Patriots looked almost as off-their game, with Jordan and Grant combining for a mere four.

It’s not that either outfit played conservative offense – both, in fact, played wild offense, ping-ponging the action up and down the court. Girls simply made ill-advised passes, threw the ball away, shot on so-so looks, and found themselves frequently enmeshed in furious, flailing, grasping defenders – especially underneath the basket.

“You look at the build of our girls,” Andreasen said, “they’re slight. It’s something where – Yarmouth was more physical than we were, because they’re just bigger…This year, we’re more finesse (than we were last year); we love to run the court, we love to get up and down the court, that’s kind of our best thing, offensively. I’m okay with moving the ball up and down the court; what I don’t like is when you get stagnant.”

Both teams logged their best eight minutes in the last eight minutes – of course, “best” is relative: Yarmouth barely beat their second-quarter tally, Blaschke, McNiel and Calin McGonagle recording a mere four twos between them, and G-NG didn’t fare much better, adding just 12, fully half of which came from the line.

An ugly win is still a win, though, and in the end, the Patriots earned themselves an ugly win, 34-20.

“We knew, coming in, that Yarmouth would frustrate us,” Andreasen said. “Maybe not to the extent that they did. But we knew it would be a tough game; it wasn’t going to be a game where we hit the 60s or even the 50s. Usually, we’re in the 30s with them. As long as we can play good enough defense, I guess it’s okay.”

First-ranked G-NG vaulted off the W to 7-2; No. 8 Yarmouth tumbled to 5-5.

G-NG was slated to host Waynflete on Saturday the 13th, but inclement weather forced the postponement of that bout till Saturday the 27th. The Patriots welcomed Lake Region on Tuesday the 16th and Wells on Thursday the 18th. They travel to OOB on Tuesday the 23rd.

The weather also forced the postponement of Yarmouth’s Saturday bout at Lake Region. The Clippers hosted Greely on Monday; they welcome Freeport on Friday.

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

Patriot Jordan grant ascends toward the basket.

G-NG’s Sam Fortin grabs after a ball, while her Yarmouth opponent curls away.

Patriot Mikaela Ryan battles in mid-air.

Yarmouth’s Calin McGonagle and G-NG’s Samantha Fortin battle for control.

Patriot Eliza Hotham wheels away from a Yarmouth opponent, looking for pass opportunities.

Bri Jordan of G-NG runs up against Ceanne Lyon of Yarmouth.

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