Oxford Hills High School's Cecilia Dietrich brings the ball down the court against Portland High School at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Wednesday during the girls' Class AA North basketball semifinals. Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

The top-seeded Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School weathered two second-half surges by No. 4 Portland High school to claim a 47-36 victory and earn its fourth straight trip to the regional final — and its fifth in six years.

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Despite their success, the Vikings only advanced to the state title game twice in that six-year run, losing to reigning champions both times — Gorham High School in 2017 and the now-closed Catherine McAuley High School of Portland in 2014.

Oxford Hills, now 18-2, will play No. 7 Deering High School Friday at 2 p.m. for another shot at the gold ball.

In Wednesday afternoon’s Class AA North semifinal game against the Bulldogs, the Vikings got scoring from a variety of sources. And although Portland’s Davina Kabantu put the de facto home team up first with a game-opening three-pointer, Oxford Hills scored the next two baskets and led the rest of the way, leading 30-20 at halftime.

The Bulldogs carved into the lead in the third period behind sophomore Gemina Motema, who scored seven of her 13 points in the quarter, including a layup with 4:05 to go to bring Portland to within five, 32-27.

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Portland made another run at it in the fourth, with a Davina Kabantu runner in the lane cutting the lead back down to five, 39-34, with just more than seven minutes left.

But both times, the Vikings stopped the bleeding and rebuilt their lead, finishing the third quarter with a 39-31 advantage and the game with an 11-point win. Julia Colby led Oxford Hills with 12 points, followed by Cecilia Dieterich with 11 and Cassidy Dumont with 10.

Behind top-scorer Motema, Amanda Kabantu scored 12 for Portland.

The Bulldogs finish their season with a record of 10-10.

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

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Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.