March 20, 2018
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Oxford Hills tops Edward Little to win Eastern Class A girls basketball crown

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — The postseason run of the Oxford Hills girls basketball team began with a four-overtime regional quarterfinal survival of Skowhegan.

It continued Friday night in much more dominant fashion as the South Paris-based Vikings rolled to a 54-34 victory over top-ranked Edward Little of Auburn to capture their first Eastern Maine Class A championship since 2008.

Coach Nate Pelletier’s club (17-4) will play for the state crown next Saturday at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland.

Edward Little, still searching for its first regional title despite earning a top-two ranking in the final Eastern A Heal points each of the last six seasons, finishes with a 19-2 record.

Third-seeded Oxford Hills, which split two regular-season meetings with EL, used its superior height both in the frontcourt and at the guard positions to limit the Red Eddies to a 21 percent shooting night (10 of 47) from the field.

The Vikings were led offensively by 6-foot junior forward Anna Winslow, who scored 22 points — including a 10-of-13 effort from the free-throw line — while junior guard Mikayla Morin added 16 points and five steals.

Tiana Sugars, a 6-foot sophomore center, had six points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots for Oxford Hills while frontcourt mate Brooke Murch grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Junior guard Tianna Harriman led Edward Little with 12 points, while junior forward Brooke Reynolds grabbed nine rebounds.

Oxford Hills outscored Edward Little 13-2 over the final six minutes of the first half to take a 26-17 lead into intermission.

The Vikings got off to the quicker start, scoring the first nine points of the game, six by Winslow and a step-back 3-pointer by Morin.

Edward Little shot its way back into contention from long range, with Tianna Harriman scoring twice from beyond the arc and Molly Murray and Kory Norcross also adding 3-pointers as the Red Eddies rallied to take what turned out to be their only lead of the night at 15-13 with just over 6½ minutes left in the first half.

But Oxford Hills extended its 2-3 zone to contest subsequent 3-point attempts, and offensively mixed it up during the latter stages of the second quarter with midrange baskets by Morin and Sugars and a long 3-pointer sparking the Vikings’ late surge.

Harriman scored the first basket of the second half to cut the EL deficit to 26-19 before Oxford Hills went on a 13-1 run to put the game away.

Crystal West struck from 3-point land, then Sugars scored from the lane and Winslow added two inside baskets on back-to-back possessions to give Oxford Hills a 35-19 cushion and prompt EL coach Craig Jipson to use his team’s fourth — and next-to-last — timeout with 3:23 left in the third period to try and slow the Vikings.

It didn’t work.

Morin scored twice more, the first time on a fast-break opportunity and then two free throws after making her fifth steal of the night to stretch the margin to 39-20 with 2:02 left in the period.

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