In Greely, you have a boys basketball team going for its third straight state title. In Lawrence, you have a team in the title game for the first time in 20 years, playing for its first Gold Ball in 25. Today’s dominant Class A basketball power against a resurgent one.

“I played AAU with all of them. I know them as players. I know they’re extremely talented. All of them play really well. Their starting five have been together all through growing up. They know how to win. It’s going to take a valiant effort from us to get the W,” Lawrence senior co-captain Kobe Nadeau said of Greely.

Lawrence (13-8) emerged from a wide-open Class A North to reach the state game as the region’s No. 4 seed. Greely (18-3) won the South after earning the region’s top seed for the fourth consecutive season. The Bulldogs and Rangers will play for the Class A state title Friday night at the Augusta Civic Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.

While Greely isn’t as dominant as the last two undefeated seasons, the Rangers still present opponents with a lot of problems.

“They push the ball extremely fast with the pass. They’re a very good passing team. They’re unselfish, which in this day and age I think is rare. They are willing to share the ball and make that really pretty pass. They’re experienced,” Lawrence coach Jason Pellerin said.

Greely boasts a pair of Mr. Basketball semifinalists, Andrew Storey and Zach Brown. Storey averaged more than 19 points per game in the regular season, before stepping up his production in the regional tournament. In three tournament games, Storey averaged just under 21 points per game. Brown averaged 11 points, five assists and 6 rebounds per game in the regular season.

“When our guys play together and unselfishly, we’re a tough matchup,” Greely coach Travis Seaver said.

While Storey and Brown can give opponents fits, Pellerin said Greely junior Logan Bagshaw (19 ppg) may be the best shooter in the state.

“It’s a huge challenge for us, but I think the kids are excited to have that challenge there in front of them. They know this is it,” Pellerin said. “This is the last 32 minutes we have to play. We’ve stressed that number so much over the course of the year. You can see it in their eyes when we talk about it. You can see it, and it’s real.”

Lawrence began the season with four consecutive losses before finding its groove. Two of the Bulldogs playoff wins came over teams it lost to in the regular season, Cony and Skowhegan. After allowing an average of 50.3 points per game in the regular season, the Bulldogs tightened up defensively in the Class A North tournament, allowing just 44.7 points per game. Knowing Greely is excellent in speeding the game up and in transition, Pellerin said his team has to control the pace and make it a halfcourt game.

“They’re a defensive team. They’re guard oriented. They play physical,” Seaver said of Lawrence.

Like his Rangers, Seaver noted the Bulldogs are a guard-oriented team. Point guard Nadeau (15.8 ppg, 5.1 apg) makes everything go. Like Nadeau, Nick Robertson (10.8 ppg) is a 3-point threat. The senior guards combined for 79 threes in the regular season, and added 14 more in the regional tournament.

“Nadeau and Robertson stretch the floor,” Seaver said.

Pellerin said he’s heard from a few Lawrence alumni, congratulating the team for getting back to the state game for the first time since 1999. Josh Berard, the starting point guard on that ’99 team, has been a mentor to many members of this season’s squad. Justin Underwood, another player from that team, reached out, Pellerin said. Mike McGee coached that Lawrence team, and retired after leading the Bulldogs to the regional final in 2013.

“I talk to Coach McGee often. We heard from some friends via Facebook, texts and emails,” Pellerin said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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