February 16, 2013

TOURNAMENT NOTEBOOK: Gillespies play key role for Valley

Morning Sentinel Staff

STAFF REPORTS

Greenville guard Henry Hersey started the second quarter of the Lakers Western D quarterfinal vs. Valley by scoring four quick points. Valley coach Wade Morrill didn't hesitate to go to his bench, sending Devon Gillespie in for his brother Jordan Gillespie.

Hersey didn't score in the stretch he was guarded by Devon Gillespie and the Cavaliers held onto a four-point lead on their way to a 62-56 win.

"Hersey went right at Devon when he first came in and you could see with Devon's length he got his hand in his face and obstructed his view of the rim a little bit more," Morrill said. "For a shooter, that is critical."

The Gillespie twins had the task of guarding Hersey for much of the game and while the sharp-shooting guard scored 20 points, he didn't get many easy looks. He scored nine of his points from behind the 3-point line and three more from the foul line.

"Jordan (Gillespie) and Devon have worked really hard on their defense game, they don't get involved in the offense as much as some of us do," Valley's Carrington Miller said. "Henry is a great player player and can shoot really well, but they did a great job on him."

Morrill pointed out a few differences between the twins beside the obvious difference in hairstyles (Devon has a flat top, while Jordan's is trimmed in a tighter crew cut). First and foremost is their height. Devon is 5-9, while Jordan is 5-6.

The duo honed their defensive skills playing against teammates. Morrill credited Devon's game's of 1-on-1 with the 6-2 Miller as a key to his improvement on the defensive end of the floor.

"Those two boys, the improvement they've had ..." Morrill said. "Jordan is a gym rat and Devon is a guy who is known for his defense. He has worked hard all year."

* * *

Josie Lee proved to be her own best defender Friday night.

The standout Cony senior guard gave herself a cut above her left eye late in the fourth quarter of the Rams' 52-35 upset victory over top-seeded Edward Little.

"I'm OK," she said. "I wish I could say someone did this to me out there, but I did it to myself."

Lee, who finished with 16 points, scratched herself while going up for one of her game-high 18 rebounds.

Bloodied and bruised, Lee calmly guided No. 9 Cony into the regional semifinals with a dominant performance Friday.

"We go as far as Josie takes us," Cony coach Karen Magnusson said. "She was fantastic. She did a little of everything for us tonight. We needed her."

* * *

It's been a rough few weeks for Lawrence High School junior Xavier Lewis, who missed the final five games of the season after being diagnosed with mononucleosis. He played his first game since then Saturday against Brunwick in the opening round of the Eastern Maine Class A tournament and scored 13 points.

"I'm feeling a lot better," Lewis said. "It's been a long month-and-a-half. I played through it for two or three weeks."

Lewis was house-bound and in bed for much of the time he missed.

"I missed being with my teammates and coaches," he said. "It was good to come back with a win."

Lawrence coach Mike McGee said Lewis began practicing Monday and although he didn't start Saturday's game, he expects to start him in the semifinals Wednesday.

"He's getting better each game," McGee said. "To be out three or four weeks I thought he did great."

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