Revenge was theirs; Lakers stun top-ranked Yarmouth in semis

CHALLENGING THE SHOT — Lake Region senior Quinn Piland contests a shot by Yarmouth's leading scorer Adam LaBrie. (Rivet Photo) LAKE REGION 52 Marcus DeVoe 8-1-24, Nick Hall 2-4-8, Alex Langadas 0-0-0, Jackson Lesure 1-1-4, Quinn Piland 5-0-10, Nate Smith 2-1-5, Tyler Walker 0-1-1, Nicholas Wandishin 0-0-0 3-Pointers: DeVoe (7), Lesure Turnovers: 4-3-1-4, 12 Free Throws: 8-of-15 Field Goals: 18-of-46 Rebounds: 33, Hall 10, Lesure 9, Smith 4, DeVoe 4  Record: 15-5 YARMOUTH 50 Cote Sawyer 1-0-2, Jordan Brown 0-0-0, Charles Cawley 0-0-0, Adam Clark 0-0-0, Cody Cook 8-2-18, Nolan Hagerty 2-0-4, Adam LaBrie 7-2-18, Musseit M’Bareck 4-0-8 3-Pointers: LaBrie (2) Turnovers: 5-1-1-1, 8 Free Throws: 5-of-12 Field Goals: 21-of-52 Rebounds: 31, Hagerty 11, Sawyer 7, Cook 6 Record: 16-4 BOX SCORE Lake Region 10-14-14-14 — 52 Yarmouth 10-14-11-15 — 50

CHALLENGING THE SHOT — Lake Region senior Quinn Piland contests a shot by Yarmouth's leading scorer Adam LaBrie. (Rivet Photo)
LAKE REGION 52
Marcus DeVoe 8-1-24, Nick Hall 2-4-8, Alex Langadas 0-0-0, Jackson Lesure 1-1-4, Quinn Piland 5-0-10, Nate Smith 2-1-5, Tyler Walker 0-1-1, Nicholas Wandishin 0-0-0
3-Pointers: DeVoe (7), Lesure
Turnovers: 4-3-1-4, 12
Free Throws: 8-of-15
Field Goals: 18-of-46
Rebounds: 33, Hall 10, Lesure 9, Smith 4, DeVoe 4
Record: 15-5
YARMOUTH 50
Cote Sawyer 1-0-2, Jordan Brown 0-0-0, Charles Cawley 0-0-0, Adam Clark 0-0-0, Cody Cook 8-2-18, Nolan Hagerty 2-0-4, Adam LaBrie 7-2-18, Musseit M’Bareck 4-0-8
3-Pointers: LaBrie (2)
Turnovers: 5-1-1-1, 8
Free Throws: 5-of-12
Field Goals: 21-of-52
Rebounds: 31, Hagerty 11, Sawyer 7, Cook 6
Record: 16-4
BOX SCORE
Lake Region 10-14-14-14 — 52
Yarmouth 10-14-11-15 — 50

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Standing on the biggest stage, so far, of his high school basketball career, Marcus DeVoe experienced what it is like to be in a “zone.”

With a smooth flick of the wrist, DeVoe torched Yarmouth for a tourney record seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 24 points as Lake Region (15-5) stunned the top-seeded Clippers 52-50 at the Cross Insurance Arena last Thursday.

The victory moved the fourth-ranked Lakers into the Class B West Finals against second-seed Cape Elizabeth.

Unlike three weeks ago, when the Clippers ran the Lakers off their home court, scoring 87 points and netting 11 treys, the Lakers stifled a potent Clipper outside shooting game.

In fact, Yarmouth failed to score a 3-pointer in the first half. Leading scorer Adam LaBrie did connect for two 3-pointers in the second half, but gunning sidekick Jordan Brown was held scoreless (he recorded five 3-pointers in a playoff win over Gray-New Gloucester and finished with 19 points) on some sterling defense by Laker Nate Smith.

“Nate did an incredible job shutting him down,” Laker Coach J.P. Yorkey said. “And, it was pretty much 1-on-1 all night.”

DeVoe and Company figured they owed Yarmouth a touch of payback after the debacle in Clipper Land.

“We played like crap. Right after the game, we all just wanted to get right back out there and play them again. We knew we could compete with that team,” DeVoe said. “We put up 55 in the first meeting and 52. We believe that with the way we can play defense that should be enough to win. We really locked down on their shooters.”

Smith agreed. “We really wanted another shot at them because we knew we could do a lot better,” Smith said. “We didn’t show up. We got off to a rough start, and didn’t recover from there. We took bad shots, trying to get back into the game faster than we should have.”

He added, “We learned from that game that we needed to stay focused the entire game, and not let them go on runs. If you let Yarmouth go on a run, they will hit a lot of shots. They are good at transition.”

The whipping certainly did sting, and fueled Laker players’ goal to show Yarmouth fans they were a much better team than the one that showed up for the Saturday matinee.

“We had an off game. Yarmouth was really on. I knew we would have a better game the next time we saw them,” LR senior Quinn Piland said. “We wanted some revenge. We were embarrassed, and wanted to come out strong in this one.”

Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith knew the Lakers would make some adjustments and try to strike some redemption in the Class B West semifinal.

“I expected a different Lake Region team than the team we saw three weeks ago,” Coach Smith said. “I knew they were talented. They’re physical, they play great defense. They disrupted what we wanted to do on offense. We didn’t play great defense, but it was riveting to the end. We had a chance to win it. The guys battled even though things didn’t go our way. We weren’t overconfident. We didn’t look past anybody. Someone had to have a great night from the 3-point line to beat us.”

SWEET PAYBACK — After Yarmouth whalloped Lake Region a few weeks ago, the Lakers dished out some payback in the Class B West semifinals, upending the Clippers 52-50. Celebrating the win are Tyler Walker (left) and Jackson Lesure. (Rivet Photo)

SWEET PAYBACK — After Yarmouth whalloped Lake Region a few weeks ago, the Lakers dished out some payback in the Class B West semifinals, upending the Clippers 52-50. Celebrating the win are Tyler Walker (left) and Jackson Lesure. (Rivet Photo)

Junior Marcus DeVoe was that certain someone. His seven treys bested the mark of Mountain Valley’s Dean Boudreau (1994) and Bailey Train (2014).

“I have never shot that well in a game, and my teammates just kept feeding me the ball. Once I saw a couple go down, I just kept shooting. With Yarmouth’s zone defense, the corner was where the biggest gap was. When they went to trap, I was wide open,” DeVoe said.

Admittedly, it was all about better defense.

“We didn’t press, contained their point guard, and didn’t help off the ball at all.  We needed to defend this way because they can all shoot the three and we couldn’t let any of them get free looks at the basket,” Coach Yorkey said. “Also, our guys had to communicate well to navigate screens.”

Unlike their last meeting, Yarmouth struggled from the field. They made eight straight shots in the regular season game, but were just 4-of-10 from the field and 3-of-6 from the foul line as the two clubs battled to a 10-10 score after one quarter.

The Lakers looked to open up the entire floor, often driving to the rim and then kicking the ball back out to open shooters behind the arc. Although the Lakers were just 3-of-13 from the field, DeVoe swished two treys from the left corner.

Yarmouth led for most of the second quarter as LaBrie sailed to the hoop for a layup and Cody Cook beat his man to the backboard for a bucket and a 20-17 lead.

After Jackson Lesure sank a trey and seconds later a foul shot, DeVoe made good on a Nick Hall offensive rebound by dropping a trey from straightaway for a 21-20 LR lead.

After Yarmouth regained the lead, the Lakers went to their moneyman, DeVoe, who converted another trey, this one from the right wing with 32.3 seconds left in the half.

Laker Quinn Piland blocked a shot in the closing seconds, but the rebound went to Cook, whose quick short jumper beat the buzzer to tie the game, 24-24, at the half.

While the Lakers sensed the Clippers were a bit frustrated about their lack of downtown bombs in the first half, they were not lulled into believing Yarmouth couldn’t heat up in the second half.

“They scored 42 points on threes in their previous game against Gray-New Gloucester, but most of them came in the second half. With them, they do come in bunches like in our regular season game with them — they made seven threes in the first period,” Coach Yorkey said. “So, I’m not sure if they were frustrated. They were likely confident that their run would come. In terms of tempo, I think that our ability to break their press contributed to this. At the half, we didn’t need to make any major adjustments. Overall, we just needed more of the same. We did make a couple of corrections based on things we learned from the first half.”

One formula LR players stuck with was continuing to feed the hot hand. And DeVoe did not disappoint. After scoring on a fast-break layup, DeVoe connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Lakers their biggest lead of the game, 36-31.

Smith closed out the quarter with an unselfish pass to Piland down low for an easy bucket and a 38-35 LR lead after three.

“Marcus improved his shot quite a bit last year. This year, he has struggled at times shooting the three. He shot the ball extremely well in practice on Wednesday (the day before the game) and it carried over into the game,” Coach Yorkey said. “What really impressed me and Coach Mayo was how locked in Marcus was in all aspects of the game. He made great reads and the right decisions. Also, he kept his cool the whole way. When he came into the timeouts, he was all business-like — his barrage of threes was no big deal. He was a very cool customer that night.”

The Lakers had to show some composure when Yarmouth made a last ditch run with 3:40 left.

PROTECTING THE LANE — Lake Region defenders Quinn Piland (left), Tyler Walker and Marcus DeVoe try to stop Yarmouth's Cody Cook's drive to the basket. (Rivet Photo)

PROTECTING THE LANE — Lake Region defenders Quinn Piland (left), Tyler Walker and Marcus DeVoe try to stop Yarmouth's Cody Cook's drive to the basket. (Rivet Photo)

Smith scored three points the old-fashioned way by driving to the hoop, scoring and making a foul shot. Then, DeVoe connected from the right corner and it seemed the Lakers were set to deliver a knockout punch.

But, Yarmouth wasn’t ready to toss in the towel. In fact, they gave the Lakers and their fans a big time scare.

Playing with desperation, Cook and Hagerty chased down five straight missed shots, and their hustle paid off. Cook converted on a drive and made a foul shot to cut the deficit to 46-44 with 3:40 left.

Smith again found Piland on a nifty cut to the hoop to make it 50-46.

LaBrie had a chance to inch the Clippers closer, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. He made up for it by sinking a 3-pointer from the left wing with 41.3 seconds remaining.

Trailing 50-49, the Clippers called timeout to set up a press off a sideline inbound play. Again, a focused DeVoe made a heady play, bouncing the ball off the back of a Clipper player and recovering it.

With 23.8 seconds left, Yarmouth fouled LR senior Nick Hall. Facing a 1-and-1, Hall delivered in the clutch, making both shots for a 52-49 lead.

The Lakers had a chance to nail down the win, but missed a critical foul shot with 13.1 seconds left.

“We’re experienced in playing tight games and I think it helped us make the big shots when we needed to,” Smith said. “We’ve gotten better possessing the ball at the end of close games. They were desperate at the end, and I just kept trying to get the loose ball. It’s hard. It was nerve-wracking. I knew if we just kept playing hard, we would win.”

To no one’s surprise, the Clippers went to LaBrie for the potential game-tying shot. The senior captain made a good upfake, and got LR defender Piland to elevate and foul. As LaBrie stepped to the charity stripe for three shots, the LR student body rose to the occasion. Having been loud from the start — as Coach Yorkey walked past the student section at halftime, he told them, “Keep it up!” — LR fans started to chant, “Too much pressure!”

It worked. LaBrie missed the first shot, but made the second. Following a timeout, LaBrie sent a shot off the right side of the rim, but Hall (10 boards, four offensive) swooped in to secure the loose ball.

After a missed foul shot with 4.5 seconds left and the score 52-50, LaBrie had one final shot at glory, but his attempt sailed wide at the buzzer thanks to some in-his-shirt defense by Piland.

“I had to stay in his head and keep chasing him around. I had to try to be the better athlete,” Piland said. “It was probably the worst feeling when I fouled him. I knew I couldn’t bite on the next one. I got a piece of the last shot.”

Although the Lakers and their fans had to sweat out the final seconds — some likely remembering the triple overtime loss a year ago to Morse — Coach Yorkey remained confident his squad would get the job done.

“We have been through a lot of close games. I was just reading and reacting myself.  I have complete confidence in our guys and their ability to close games,” Coach Yorkey said. “I feel like if we have the lead and the ball late in the fourth, it’s over. Coaching wise, I’m just trying to make sure we get to that point.”

 

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