PORTLAND  —  Cheverus has found a scoring complement to Indiana Faithfull all season.

In the Western Class A final a week ago, it was Alex Furness. In the biggest game of the season Saturday night, it was Griffin Brady.

 With Faithfull having a second straight 20-plus scoring night under the spotlight, Brady stepped up to hit three 3-pointers and help Cheverus capture its second boys’ basketball state title in three seasons with a 55-50 victory against Edward Little at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Cheverus (21-1) took a 27-8 second-quarter lead, then held off a couple second-half rallies by the Eddies (19-3).

“We stayed calm and kept our heads,” said Faithfull. “We got off to a good start. We were ready to play. It was probably our best start all season.”

Faithfull, who was a sophomore starter when the Stags beat Bangor for the title in 2008, finished with 23 points. Brady, a 6-foot-5 junior, added 13.

Cheverus had six players score; the Red Eddies had four.

“We’re not an individual team,” said Faithfull.

Faithfull had 10 points in the opening quarter. Down 5-4, the only time they trailed, the Stags went on a 13-0 run. Faithfull and Brady hit 3-pointers. Faithfull followed with a second 3-pointer, then another basket before Louie DiStasio fed a breaking Peter Gwilym for a layup to make it 17-5.

Cheverus led 17-6 after one.

The Stags opened the second quarter with a 10-2 spurt to increase their lead to 27-8.

That’s when Edward Little started to scrap and claw its way back. It was a trait that would continue the rest of the game.

“We matched Cheverus’ toughness but we couldn’t match their size,” said Edward Little Coach Mike Adams. “Cheverus is a taller team than most people think.

“They shot the ball well early in the game and we didn’t handle their press. We had too big of a deficit to overcome.”

The Eddies trailed by 11 at halftime, then 12 after three quarters but rallied each time.

They cut it to four early in the third quarter by scoring the first seven points. In the fourth, the Eddies whittled it to six. The Stags responded each time.

After Edward Little’s spurt in the third quarter, the Stags closed the quarter with a 14-6 run. Faithfull hit two of the Stags’ three straight 3-pointers to make it 45-31.

In the fourth, after Edward Little’s Bo Leary scored four straight points to make it 48-42, Faithfull scored on a drive while being fouled and made the free throw. He scored the final four points from the line.

“The guys made the key shots,” said Cheverus Coach Bob Brown. “Griffin Brady shot the ball unbelievably. Indy did his thing and Peter Gwilym was huge.

“Edward Little has a nice team. They were able to come back by making steals and converting the points.

“I thought we lost a little gas when they were making their runs.”

Leary led the Eddies with 19 points. James Philbrook added 12 and Timmy Mains had 10.

Mains, a junior guard, hurt his shoulder in a collision at midcourt but returned to hit two free throws and a 3-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter.

Brady’s final 3-pointer gave Cheverus a 48-38 lead in the fourth. The extra cushion was needed, because the Eddies soon cut it to a six-point game.

“I felt calm and loose shooting the ball,” said Brady. “I was on. It was just one of those games.”

This was the ninth state title for Cheverus. The Red Eddies, who haven’t won the title since 1946, lost in the final for the second straight year.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]