PORTLAND, Maine — The drastic difference between Wells and Gray-New Gloucester’s two girls basketball encounters this winter can be explained by hunger and desperation.
Round one, early in the regular season, the Patriots exhibited both. Embarrassed a night earlier by York, they clamped down and shocked the Warriors, who were still basking in the afterglow of beating Lake Region.
Wednesday’s playoff rematch was settled by eight Wells seniors who had no interest in an encore. No. 3 Wells topped its previous output of 24 points against No. 6 Gray-New Gloucester with three minutes remaining in the first half and cruised to a 49-30 Class B West quarterfinal win at Portland Expo.
“That first time we were the ones who had the nasty, hungry mindset,” Gray-New Gloucester coach Mike Andreasen said. “They are very senior-laden, and I call it the seniors-in-need theory. That team, their goal coming in was to go for it all.”
Alison Furness had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors (17-2), who will face No. 2 Spruce Mountain in the 3 p.m. Thursday semifinal at Cumberland County Civic Center.
Sophie Lamb added seven points and drew an offensive foul from Maria Valente on the opening possession that set the tone for the entire contest, which started at 9 a.m. after it was postponed due to Tuesday’s snowstorm.
“We didn’t like the call, but you still have 31 minutes and 58 seconds to get something done,” Andreasen said.
Instead, Gray-NG (11-8) sank deeper into foul trouble and sustained minimal offense, never hitting more than two field goals in a quarter.
Alicia Dumont paced the Patriots with 10 points.
“We thought if we got Valente and [Steph] Greaton into foul trouble in the first quarter, we could control them. That was my plan, at least,” Lamb said. “To start off the game like that was great. Once you get in foul trouble, you’re so mad that they just keep coming. I would know. It happens to me a lot.”
Wells never trailed, scoring the last eight points of the opening period — six from Furness — to lead 17-7.
The Patriots hung within six thanks to two free throws by Zoe Adams, an Adams steal leading to a Valente basket and a Julia Martell jumper.
Stephanie Woods answered with a 3-pointer from the right corner, and Furness’ putback started a 3-point play. Another Woods three beat the horn for a 28-14 halftime advantage.
“We had a lot more energy this time. We were really pumped up. We just really wanted to redeem ourselves and right off the bat just get on them,” Furness said. “Twenty-four points, that’s pretty bad. This game we scored more than 24 by the end of the first half.”
Late-season junior varsity call-up Natalie Thurber sank two 3-pointers in the third quarter for Wells, which held Gray-New Gloucester to 8-for-30 (27 percent) shooting.
“We used the word in pregame of just trying to be relentless,” Wells coach Don Abbott said. “I’ve got a team who’s been here three years in a row. There wasn’t that uncertainty and nervousness. I just think getting off to a big start was good for us. Every loose ball, every opportunity to create a 50-50 matchup, whether the by-product of that was getting one of their best players in foul trouble or us being able to run the floor, it was a factor.”