AUGUSTA — Lawrence’s Kobe Nadeau stood dribbling the ball near halfcourt, nearly half of the first quarter of the Class A boys basketball state championship game gone, and a peculiar score on the jumbotron above him.

Greely 2, Lawrence 0, the board read.

“We were slow coming out,” junior guard Logan Bagshaw said. “I think everyone had some nerves.”

A high-profile game between a two-time defending champion in Greely and a team off a spirited A North championship run in Lawrence got off to a strangely slow start. It was only 2-0 five minutes into the game. It was just 4-0 more than six minutes in. It was only 10-2 when the quarter finally came to an end.

Lawrence 3-pointers hit off iron. Greely putback attempts and layups did the same. Passes sailed out of bounds. It was a championship game, and the early moments had the pace of a sleepy holiday tournament contest.

Both coaches had their explanations.


“I think it was just nerves,” said Greely’s Travis Seaver, whose team won its third straight title, 62-45. “This is the biggest stage all these guys play in.”

On the other bench, Lawrence’s Jason Pellerin said it wasn’t the moment getting to his team, but rather Greely’s size.

“I think we had to make an adjustment to their height. Not only are they tall, but they’re also long,” he said. “I think it maybe took us a little bit to adjust to that. I really don’t think it was nerves. I could be wrong.”

Both teams eventually shook off whatever was afflicting them. Greely did it first; after starting 2-for-9 from the field, the Rangers hit three of their next five shots to finish the quarter 5-for-14, then went 8-for-12 in the second quarter en route to a 29-16 halftime lead.

“I kind of expected (the early struggles), because we were all kind of nervous coming in,” senior guard Zach Brown said. “Once we started getting our offense going, we felt comfortable.”

Lawrence, which missed its first six 3-point attempts, didn’t get going until five minutes were left in the second quarter, when a Gavin Herrin putback made it 16-4. The Bulldogs missed 14 of their first 15 shots from the field, then made five of their next seven to prevent a Greely runaway.


Pellerin knew the early struggles, however, had left a lasting mark.

“While we were playing great defense, our lack of ability to score at the offensive end when we were getting all those stops kind of hurt us as the half went on,” he said. “Had we been able to get a lead or at least be right there, maybe that would have changed things a little bit in that first half.”

Early on, however, neither team could hit a shot. Greely missed on its first five attempts of the game, then finally got on the board on a Zach Brown jumper with 6:22 to go in the first.

Both teams continued to struggle until 2:58 remained in the quarter, when Mikey Coppersmith knocked down a jumper to make it 4-0. Looking for an answer, Pellerin called a timeout on the next possession with 2:43 to go, trying to draw up a solution to the Bulldogs’ shooting woes.

“Where is Lawrence?” the Greely fans taunted.

“Where is Greely?” the Lawrence fans answered.


An Andrew Storey basket with 1:27 left gave Greely a 6-2 lead, and Nadeau put the Bulldogs on the board at last with his runner. After Greely got baskets from Brown and Storey — on a dunk, which woke up the muted crowd — to end the quarter, the teams picked up the pace in the second.

“It was definitely the dunk,” Brown answered when asked what settled the team. “That got us going on defense and offense. Our transition started to get going.”

Lawrence fought to make it 19-11 on a Dylan Martin-Hachey basket with 2:37 to go in the quarter, but Greely made its biggest push of the half, getting eight fast-break points from Bagshaw to turn the eight-point game into the 29-16 advantage at the intermission.

“I thought where they pushed out on us was in transition,” Pellerin said. “When we finally started getting our offense going, all of a sudden they’re getting easy buckets in transition at the other end. That kind of took away whatever momentum we were able to gain by finally scoring the ball.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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