PORTLAND – In the first half, Cheverus weathered a storm. In the second, a fog rolled in on Deering. And in the end, the Stags walked off with a memorable moment for their girls’ basketball program.
Georgia Ford scored four 3-pointers among her 19 points and Kylie Libby was dominant on the boards as Cheverus defeated Deering 48-38 in an SMAA game Wednesday night at Deering High.
It was the Stags’ first win over the Rams in the 11 years Cheverus has fielded a girls’ team.
Deering (16-2) entered its regular-season finale ranked No. 2 in the Western Class A Heal points.
Cheverus (15-2) is ranked third and the outcome wasn’t expected to change the final rankings.
The Stags will close out their schedule Thursday night at home against Portland.
“I’m happy for the girls, they played tough against an excellent team,” Cheverus Coach Richie Ashley said. “We weathered a storm in the first half. This gives the girls the confidence that if they play our style well, they’ll be able to play with these great teams.”
Two prime examples of Cheverus’ style were on display: scoring depth, in the form of Ford, and grit, in the form of Libby. With 3-point specialist Victoria Nappi (six points) having an off night, Ford stepped up to score eight of the Stags’ 12 second-quarter points, including two 3-pointers 30 seconds apart to cut Deering’s lead to 25-23 at halftime.
“This is the first or second game all year that I felt I was on,” Ford said. “This win means a lot to every single one of us. It was the most fun game all year.”
Deering had enjoyed a strong start, pushing out to a 10-4 lead with a balanced offense. Chelsea Saucier and Alexis Stephenson each scored nine points to lead Deering.
“We had a nice start and could have jumped out a lot more, but we got careless with the ball and then we got plagued with that foggy look,” Deering Coach Mike Murphy said.
“We can’t have these moments of drifting off and not being in the game.”
The 6-foot Libby pulled down 12 rebounds while grappling with Deering’s 6-4 center Marissa MacMillan (eight points, six rebounds).
Libby had just three points but they were big ones.
In the third quarter she banked a jumper off the glass to get the Stags within 29-25, then hit 1 of 2 free throws to make the score 29-26.
That set up Ford’s dramatic third 3-pointer that tied the game at 30 with 2:40 left in the third.
Brooke Flaherty hit a free throw with 4.1 seconds left to give Cheverus its first lead of the game, 30-29.
Cheverus slowly pulled away in the fourth period, led by Ford, who hit another 3-pointer and also went 5 of 6 from the foul line.