CUMBERLAND — Experience was in scarce supply for the Gorham girls’ basketball team entering this season, and Coach Laughn Berthiaume knew the first few weeks of the season would have their ups and downs.
On Tuesday, there were plenty of ups.
Gorham’s trademark pace-pushing game flummoxed a sloppy Greely team, and the Rams emerged with a 59-45 victory that improved their record to 2-1. Greely, the defending Class A South champion, fell to 1-2 despite a second-half run to put some drama back into the game.
Gorham, which won last year’s Class AA South title, got 12 points from Kalin Curtis and 11 from Ellie Gay and Julia Reed and opened up a 23-point lead in the first half.
“It’s something we’re working on,” Berthiaume said. “Ball movement, player movement. I thought we did a much better job in the first half than in the second, it looked like we ran out of gas a little bit. But we have one kid from last year with varsity experience (in Gay), and we’re trying to build those habits.”
Greely, which was led by 18 points from Sophia Ippolito, came out strong in the second half and cut the deficit to 12 points before the Rams closed out the victory.
“That was the message at halftime, let’s try to get better today,” Coach Todd Flaherty said. “The game didn’t look like it was winnable, but let’s get better against a good team. I thought we did that today, we just need to continue that.”
Greely shot 4 for 22 from the field in the first half, missing its final 16 attempts, and had 13 turnovers.
“Turnovers are a problem for us, and I think just a lack of energy (tonight),” said Flaherty, who called three timeouts in the first 9:06 looking for a spark.
Meanwhile, Gorham flourished. Vanessa Walker had seven points and Curtis had six to help the Rams end the first quarter on a 14-0 run and take a 21-9 lead. Gorham’s up-tempo pace in transition and ability to find open players on the run led to good looks in the paint.
“We have a lot of speed on our team this year, not much height,” said Curtis, who had 10 of her 12 points in the first half. “We’ve been practicing a ton of stuff. We were prepared for this game.”
That style of play also allowed different players to flourish. Walker and Summer Gammon had 10 points each to give the Rams five players in double figures, and Reed scored seven of her 11 in the third quarter to help maintain the cushion.
“That’s something we’re really trying to do,” Berthiaume said. “Move the ball, give up a good shot to get a better one.”
Greely’s second-half rally was led by Ippolito, who sparked the Rangers with hard cuts to the basket and relentless defensive play. Greely also got contributions from Asja Kelman (nine points) and Lauren Hester (seven), whose jumper with about four minutes to go made it 52-40, the closest the Rangers got.
“In the locker room, we just talked about staying positive and knowing it’s all us fixing our mistakes,” Ippolito said. “Coming out fiery with energy, it makes a huge difference. We never got down on ourselves, it’s key for us that we don’t.”
Please check your email to confirm and complete your registration.
Use the form below to reset your password. When you’ve submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.
Tuesday’s boys’ high school roundup: South Portland makes late run to beat Falmouth in basketball