July 23, 2019
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AA North girls basketball semifinals features intriguing matchup

Pete Warner | BDN
Pete Warner | BDN
Libby Fleming of Bangor (32) looks to find an open teammate while being guarded by Lillie Singleton of Cheverus (15) during Thursday's Class AA North basketball quarterfinal game in Bangor. The Rams won 50-38.

With the exception of top seed Oxford Hills of South Paris, which is 17-2, the other three teams in the Class AA North semifinals have at least seven losses.

Deering High of Portland, the seventh seed, takes a 5-14 record into its game against 12-7 Bangor, the third seed, at 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

Fourth seed Portland is 10-9 and looks to upset Oxford Hills in a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Oxford Hills nipped Portland 40-38 in their only regular-season game back on Dec. 15 and Bangor bested Deering 49-38 on Jan. 12 in their only contest.

[Check out the latest AA North girls bracket standings here]

However, Portland and Deering were both without one of their top players in those games as Deering guard Delaney Haines was out with a broken wrist and Portland’s Gemima Motema was sidelined by a heel injury.

Haines missed seven games in the middle of the season and Motema missed the first eight games of the campaign with her heel ailment. And both contributed to their respective teams’ quarterfinal wins.

Motema’s 10 points complemented Amanda Kabantu’s game-high 22 as Portland eliminated defending state champ Edward Little of Auburn 48-43.

Haines had a game-high 12 points to lead Deering to a 41-26 triumph over No. 2 Windham. Mandy Mastropasqua added 10 points.

Deering was 1-13 at one time this season and has now won four of its last five.

Bangor advanced with a 50-38 win over Cheverus of Portland behind Libby Fleming’s 13 points and eight rebounds, Rowan Andrews’ 11 points and four rebounds and a tenacious defense that limited Cheverus to a 23.1 shooting percentage.

Maggie Cowperthwaite and Abby Fleming, Libby’s twin sister, each had eight points in Bangor’s balanced attack. Cowperthwaite grabbed six rebounds and Abby Fleming pulled down four.

Oxford Hills thumped Lewiston 77-26 behind Julia Colby’s 16 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists, Cassidy Dumont’s 16 points and Cecelia Dieterich’s 14 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Oxford Hills has reached the regional final ever since the formation of Class AA for the 2015-2016 season, losing in the final to Edward Little in 2016 and 2018 and beating Deering in the 2017 title game.

[Check out the latest AA South girls bracket standings here]

The Class AA South semifinals will be held Tuesday in the Cross Insurance Arena with No. 1 South Portland (18-1) taking on No. 5 Bonny Eagle of Buxton (13-6) at 10 a.m. and 13-6 Gorham, the third seed, facing No. 2 Scarborough (17-2), at 11:30.

Gorham has won all three Class AA South championships and captured state titles the first two years before losing to Edward Little 50-49 in last year’s state game.


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