Jordan Grant of Gray-New Gloucester ran roughshod over Wells in the paint earlier in the season, so the Warriors focused on slowing her Thursday in a Class B girls’ basketball semifinal at Cross Insurance Arena.
Grant was neutralized, but Bri Jordan and Eliza Hotham were on target from deep, and the top-ranked Patriots took down the fifth-seeded Warriors, 48-34.

Gray-New Gloucester (18-2) will meet third-seeded Freeport (16-4) in the regional final at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Meredith Bogue of Wells passes the ball in front of Alexa Thayer of Gray-New Gloucester. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Hotham was especially sharp, hitting three 3-pointers in the first half, then opening the third quarter with her fourth on the way to a game-high 19 points.

“She’s very confident,” Gray-New Gloucester Coach Mike Andreasen said. “I thought she was the difference because the game was nip and tuck the whole way. Her 3s opened it up because they took Jordan Grant right out of the game. They zoned us so she wasn’t able to get her game off, so Eliza was the one who gave us a little bit of an edge.”

Jordan hit the first 3-pointer of the game and, like Hotham, finished the half with nine points as the Patriots, after holding Wells to five points in the second period, opened a 24-14 lead.

Franny Ramsdell of Wells looks to pass as Brianna Jordan of Gray-New Gloucester defends. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Freshman Grace Ramsdell carried Wells in the first half with seven points. She finished with 10.

Hotham added seven points in the third quarter, when Jordan and Grant were double-, and sometimes triple-teamed.

“We all really wanted this game badly,” Hotham said. “When I was open I just took the shot, even though I didn’t make all of them. We had to score because (Grant’s) game was being taken away. I think as a team we shot really well.”

The Wells zone proved challenging but Gray-New Gloucester worked on countering it in practice leading to the game, and it paid off.

“We had an idea that they might throw zone at us so we worked on shots at practice,” Hotham said. “Defensively we tried to defend their inbounds plays a little bit, but we knew at the end of the day we had to work hard, as always.”
Mallory Aromando scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth as the Warriors (13-7) attempting to get back into the game.

Gray-New Gloucester’s Sarah Fecteau drives with the ball against Delaney O’Brien of Wells. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

With 4:50 remaining, Wells blocked Jordan down low twice on the same possession, then turned solid defense into efficient offense when Aromando scored a layup to make it 37-30.

But from that point, Gray-New Gloucester hit 9 of its 11 fourth-quarter free throws to close out the win.

“We were 14 of 17 from the foul line, which at this place was tough,” Andreasen said. “Last night some of the kids were watching our (Class B North) counterparts and Winslow went 1 of 8 from the foul line, and they unfortunately lost in overtime. We said we don’t want to lose on a buzzer-beater.”

Grant hit four free throws and two layups in the fourth quarter. She also blocked a shot and stole the ball twice, turning one of the steals into a fast-break layup.

Hotham hit three free throws for Gray-New Gloucester in the fourth period.

“As a whole, kids need to step up,” Andreasen said.

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