Daily Archives: March 2, 2019

Bri Jordan leads Gray-New Gloucester to Class B title over Mount Desert Island

Bri Jordan (15 points) cuts between Alexis Clarito and Rachelle Swanson

Class B ending

Mandy Candage and Bri Jordan battle

(Portland ME) The Mount Desert Island band was incredible………..but I digress.

Senior Bri Jordan put Gray-New Gloucester in front with a triple midway through the first quarter and the Patriots were on their way to a, 43-30, Class B championship at the Cross Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Bri was the star for (20-2) GNG.  She finished with fifteen points and eleven rebounds and was huge in the tense part of the fourth quarter when the Trojans (19-3) were within four (34-30) with 3:53 to go.

The MDI offense went totally dry the rest of the way.

Tight defense by Samantha Fortin on Olivia Gray.

“When we got within four, they hunkered down defensively,” said MDI coach Brent Barker afterwards.  “We had some decent shots but just couldn’t make them.”

“Our defense was very good today,” said GNG coach Mike Andreasen.  “To hold a strong team like MDI to thirty points is very good.  Our offense came-and-went but our defense was consistently solid.”

A key matchup was Bri Jordan limiting Maddy Candage to only four points.

The Patriots’ offense not only missed a lot of shots, but they also turned the ball over at least twenty times.

“Our turnovers today hurt us,” said Coach Barker.  “They capitalized on some of them.”

The team from Gray had a ten-point lead (32-22) early in the final quarter after a Bri Jordan layup.

Alexis Clarito cuts between Alexa Thayer and Bri Jordan

Credit the team from Bar Harbor.  They didn’t pack it in.  Instead, the Trojans put together their best collection of offense of the day.  Four free throws (Mandy Candage), and layups by Rachelle Swanson and Alexis Clarito in a three-minute stretch and suddenly we had ourselves a ballgame!

But credit Gray-New Gloucester.  They tossed a shutout the rest of the way and scored nine points.

“When they (MDI) got close we tried not to focus on the scoreboard,” explained senior Alexa Thayer.

“MDI never quits,” said Coach Andreasen. “They have four senior starters.  Luckily, we withstood their best shot.  It was pretty special.”

Jordan Grant had ten points for the Patriots. “We came out strong knowing that it would be a hard game.  They are a good matchup for us.  We had to play as a team and play to our advantages.”

Jordan Grant (10 points)

GNG had noticeable height advantages with Bri Jordan and Jordan Grant.  “We’re not a huge team,” said Coach Barker.  “Sometimes you can’t defend height.”

This was the Patriots second title in the last three years.  “It’s an unbelievable feeling to win a championship,” said junior Jordan Grant.  “My freshman year was the same way.  It’s a feeling that you never want to stop happening.”

Coach Barker: “We tried to key defensively on two players (Bri Jordan & Jordan Grant) and force some other players to beat us.  Those other players stepped up.”

Bri Jordan (commit to St. Joseph’s): “To be able to work with teammates and pull this off is awesome.”

Alexa Thayer: “It is so exciting.  Being a senior, it’s really special to see my teammates come together like this.”

Alexa told me that she is going to attend Husson in the fall and major in occupational therapy.

Then there’s that MDI band!  Those folks could play and everyone at Cross Arena on this afternoon would agree with me.

Gray-New Gloucester box

Mount Desert Island box

(All the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Alexa Thayer and Olivia Gray on the ball

Alexis Clarito out on fouls

Eliza Hotham passes

Leah Carroll

GNG presented with the gold ball

GNG raises the trophy

Hannah Chamberlain steal

Julia Watras looks to the hoop guarded by Jordan Grant

Mandy Candage guarded by Bri Jordan

MDI band

Trojan turnover

GNG with the gold ball

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Late triple by Dracut knocks Newburyport out 57-54

Dracut celebrates the win

Mitch Monette’s pass led to the winning basket

(Newburyport MA) Freshman Adrian Torres delivered the shot Dracut needed to advance to the Division 3 North semifinals.

Adrian (16 points) took an excellent feed from Mitch Monette and swished a 3-pointer in the closing seconds from in front of the Middies crowd to give #12 Dracut a 57-54 upset win over #4 Newburyport on Friday night.

The Clippers (18-4) nearly got even in those closing seconds but Ryan Archie’s triple rimmed out.

George Coryell (11 points) defends Adrian Torres (16 points)

“Adrian shoots like that every day in practice,” said senior Mitch Monette afterwards. “I was confident that he would make it.”

The Middies (12-10) will face either Arlington Catholic or St. Mary’s in the next round.

Newburyport had a nine-point lead in the first half while Dracut was ahead by four in the second half.  But those leads didn’t hold up.

The Clippers led 12-10 after one period.  At halftime, the teams were even, 27-27. The third quarter ended with Newburyport in front, 40-39.  In the final quarter, the scored was tied, 54-54, with 1 ½ minutes remaining.

Neither team could gain separation.  The Middies were hurt by foul trouble while the Clippers missed fifteen free throws.

It came down to the final ninety seconds and the five possessions that filled them.

Newburyport sought the perfect shot and ended up with a shot-clock violation.

Ryan Archie guarded by Tyler Guerriero

Ryan Archie’s tight defense forced a bad Dracut pass.

George Coryell missed a shot.  Jake Robertson got the rebound but traveled.

This was the lead-in to Adrian’s game winner.  Mitch Monette (12 points) had been able to get to the basket, so when he looked to be about to come down the lane the Clippers defense sagged in to stop it.  But instead of shooting, Mitch tossed a jump-pass to his left to a wide-open Adrian Torres who didn’t miss.

“That freshman, he’s something else,” said senior Cam McCullough.  “I’m not surprised he made it because he does it every day in practice even when I’m guarding him!”

“We wanted to spread the court and see what turned up,” said Dracut coach Brian Myers about his team’s last possession.

Ball on the floor

The Clippers did have a chance to tie the game and came close. George Coryell tossed a full-court pass to Jake Robertson, who was fouled.  I suspect that the plan was for Jake to make the first shot and then miss the second hoping a rebound could produce a 2-point play for the tie.  Instead, Jake missed the first one.  The second shot was then missed intentionally and Harry Bovee was able to flip the rebound out to Ryan Archie, beyond the arc.  Against Swampscott, Ryan hit that shot.  Not tonight and the celebrating began for the Middies.

Coach Brian Myers said that playing in the tough Merrimack Valley Conference helped them.  “We play tight games like tonight’s every game in that league.”

The gymnasium was packed.  Many ended up standing around the perimeter.

Casey McLaren (21 points) chased by Jean Carlos Santiago

Casey McLaren (21 points) became Newburyport’s all-time leading scorer.  He passed Rachel Wile tonight to do it.

Casey scored all fifteen of Newburyport’s points in the second quarter.

Casey got those 15 points in the first six minutes of the second quarter giving NHS a 27-20 lead.  However, the last two minutes belonged to the visitors.  A layup be Cam McCullough and a triple and two free throws by Adrian Torres earned Dracut a halftime tie.

“Coming back from the nine-point deficit was key,” said Coach Myers.  “We showed that we could stay with them.”

After Dracut took a 3-point lead on Will Peters’ layup with 2:18 left in the game it was the Clippers’ turn to rally back.  A rebound conversion by Ryan Archie and a Casey McLaren free throw knotted things at 54.

Will Peters shoots against Parker McLaren

George Coryell & Parker McLaren each collected eleven points for NHS.

Mitch Monette added twelve points for Dracut.

That Dracut is even in the tournament is a story in and of itself.  The Middies had 1-19 seasons the last two years.  They were not only defeated a lot but often defeated by lopsided scores.  But along came Coach Brian Myers.  Brian said afterwards that he’s “a Dracut guy.”  After coaching successfully at Lowell, Brian opted to come back to coach the school he attended.  He said that he “saw potential.”

“It takes a group of kids buying into a system.  We work hard every day.”

Despite the team’s lack of size, they were able to hold their own against larger Casey McLaren and his brother Parker.  Casey had only three points in the second half.

Cam McCullough was in awe of the setting: “It was the loudest environment I’ve ever played in.  It was a great game to be part of.”

Newburyport box

Dracut box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Adrian Torres (16 points)

Cam McCullough

Casey McLaren chases a loose ball

Casey McLaren shoots a free throw

Discussing how to defend their 3-point lead

Dracut coach Brian Myers checks on his bench

Farai Zuvarokoka and Jake Robertson

Jake Robertson from the corner

Jean Carlos Santiago shoots a floater over Harry Bovee

Mitch Monette and Trevor Ward

Season ends for the Clippers

 

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