Needing a win in its final regular-season game to jump into the Western Class C playoffs, the Georges Valley girls basketball team traveled to Lisbon Falls Wednesday night to battle the Class B Greyhounds, but found itself bitten by the hungry host ‘Hounds.

The Buccaneers (8-10) and Greyhounds (13-5) played fairly even over the final three quarters, but the 13-point lead Lisbon jumped to in the first eight minutes proved too big a hole for the visitors to dig from as Lisbon handed Georges Valley a 61-47 defeat.

The loss puts Georges Valley on the outside of the playoffs looking in, and by the slimmest of margins. The Buccaneers (8-10, 33.4877 points) trails Sacopee Valley of Cornish (8-9, 34.0699 points), which ends the regular season Thursday, Feb. 4 at home against Class D Buckfield, by less than one Heal Point.

On Wednesday, the Greyhounds led 20-7 after the first quarter and held that 13-point advantage through halftime, leading 29-16 at the end of the first 16 minutes. Lisbon extended its advantage to 45-29 after three quarters.

Kennadi Grover capped off a terrific freshman campaign with a 16 point-effort for Georges Valley, while Jill Bradbury added 11; Holly Ames-Allan, six; Colleen Haskell, five; Rachel Frye, four; Katlyn Rich, three; and Bethany Snow, two.

Renee Moore netted 18 points for Lisbon and also pulled down 15 rebounds, while Jessica Campbell added 13 points; Alexa Harmon, nine; Kelsey Linnell, eight; and Allicyn Fitzgerald, Randi Brannon, Ashley Fournier and Amber Cloutier, all two.

The Buccaneers knocked down 9-of-17 (53 percent) free throws, while the Greyhounds connected on 14-of-20 (70 percent).

“They didn’t play well last night,” said Georges Valley coach Dwight Henry of his team. “We made some bad passes. I’m a big advocate of bounce passes and when we don’t make bounce passes they get picked [off] or knocked away.”

“We failed to be there mentally, I believe, more so than physically.”

Henry added that his players managed to shut down Cloutier, who scored 17 points against the Bucs in their first meeting at Thomaston. But they quickly learned that these Greyhounds are more than one-trick ponies, as both Moore and Harmon came out in the first quarter and rattled off a handful of points, including two treys from Harmon and another from Moore.

They also failed to hold Lisbon to one shot per possession, which is where coach Henry feels the Bucs lost the game.

“They picked up garbage shots, and they made us pay for it,” he said.

Digging into a first-quarter hole as they did forced the visiting Bucs to have to take more chances, which, in turn, made it difficult for them to keep a consistent pace throughout the game.

“It’s hard to play catch-up,” said Henry. “You start doing things you might not normally do and against a tough defense like [Lisbon] it’s hard.”

Henry, who coached the squad for the first time this year after being the program’s coach for many seasons years ago, added that next season he hopes will be different on a few fronts, the biggest being he will implement a summer basketball program, which he did not have the opportunity to do this year as he was not named coach until October.

“I was very pleased with their improvement this season,” he said. “It was a good season. I wish we could have gotten to the tournament, but we didn’t. If these kids improve this season as much as they did from last season season, we should be right there again next year.”

Grover was the team’s leading scorer this season with 279 points. Georges Valley also lost sophomore starter Jessica Veilleux for the year at midseason due to a broken thumb. Veilleux averaged 10 points through seven contests before being injured. The team also lost senior Danielle Frye due to a knee injury later in the campaign.

VillageSoup Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.