|Brown leads Greely past Yarmouth, to cusp of program record (1/15/2018) - Greely 56 at Yarmouth 46|
The Rangers win their 33rd straight, one short of the mark, by pulling away from Yarmouth in the fourth quarter.
BY PAUL BETITSPECIAL TO THE PRESS HERALD
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YARMOUTH — Zack Brown took over the game at precisely the right moment Monday night to lead unbeaten Greely to a 56-46 victory against Yarmouth in a Western Maine Conference boys’ basketball game.
Brown, a 6-foot-3 senior swingman, scored 20 of his game-high 31 points in the final 10 minutes to help the Rangers (11-0) turn back a strong challenge from the determined Clippers (7-4).
“Zach’s a great player, and great players make great plays down the stretch,” Greely Coach Travis Seaver said.
“Zack can get to the rim. He can shoot from the outside. He’s a tough player to guard.”
Brown also impressed Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith.
“He took it to the rack really well, and played with a lot of composure and knocked down the shots,” Smith said. “The difference in the game is in the four-minute period in the fourth quarter. (Greely) is knocking down shots and we’re not. That’s what good teams do and Greely rose to the occasion.”
It was the 33rd consecutive victory for the Rangers, the defending Class A state champion, leaving them one win shy of the school record that was established during the 1990s.
“It’s obviously something we want to achieve,” Brown said, “but the main goal obviously is a state championship.”
The Rangers jumped to an early eight-point lead, hitting four 3-point shots to build a 17-9 lead in the first quarter.
The Clippers opened the second with a 6-0 run to pull within two points. After Brown made the second of his three 3-pointers and Jack Kane tipped in a miss to send the Rangers into a 24-15 lead, Yarmouth reeled off the next 11 points to take a 26-24 lead.
The Clippers took a one-point lead into the second half when Brown made 1-of-2 free throws in the final second of the second quarter.
Defense from both teams took over in the third quarter with neither squad able to score more than eight points. The score was tied three times in the third, which ended tied at 33.
“The effort was there for both teams,” Smith said. “It should be and it was.”
Brown, who scored the final six points of the third quarter for the Rangers, started the fourth by scoring nine consecutive points for Greely.
He produced all but three of the points in a 12-0 run that propelled the Rangers into a 47-35 lead with 3:35 left.
“I knew I had to take over,” Brown said. “I just started hitting my shots and they just kept giving me the ball.
“I hit my 3 (at the start of the 12-0 run), and I just went from there and got myself rolling.
Nolan Hagery, a 6-7 senior, led the Clippers with 18 points. He also blocked eight shots and dominated the boards at both ends of the court in the second and third quarters.
“Nolan is a great defender,” Brown said, “so I made a few adjustments in the second half.
“He blocked me a lot in the first half so I just made an adjustment. And went with that.”
Despite the loss, Smith remained positive.
“This game was very, very good for us,” he said. “I thought the effort for 32 minutes was great. Now the execution has got to get better, more than the 20 minutes it was tonight.”
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