WINDHAM — Kevin Weisser scored a game-high 20 points and No. 8 Windham made enough plays, including a key block by Weisser, down the stretch to hold off No. 9 Thornton Academy 43-38 in a Western Maine Class A boys’ preliminary-round basketball game Tuesday night.

The Eagles (11-8) advance to play No. 1 Portland (16-2) in the regional quarterfinals Friday at approximately 9 p.m. at the Portland Expo.

Windham struggled on offense in the second half, scoring only 15 points. The Eagles never trailed, but Thornton (9-10) cut it to six points with 2:38 remaining on Demel Ruff’s 3-pointer from the corner. The Golden Trojans cut it to five with 22 seconds left after Kevin Barrett’s basket.

Each time Thornton made a little run, the Eagles showed composure from the line, hitting their last six shots. Jackson Giampino hit two with 1:50 remaining to make it 39-31.

After a missed shot by Weisser, he came back to block a shot by John Fogg on a drive with Windham getting possession. Troy Davis then hit two from the line for a 10-point lead. But the Golden Trojans didn’t quit.

Ben Lambert hit a 3 with 50 seconds remaining. Moments later, the Golden Trojans got the ball back on a turnover, but Lambert missed a 3-pointer, bidding to make it a four-point game with 40 seconds left.

Barrett scored inside to make it 41-36 with 22 seconds left, but Ryan Gorman canned two from the line to seal it.

It was the fourth time since 2006 that Windham and Thornton have played in the tournament and the third time they have met in the preliminary round with the Eagles winning all three.

Looking ahead to the Portland game, Weisser said: “I feel we have a lot of potential and we can play better.”

Weisser scored 16 points in the first half. He hit three 3-pointers, two from well beyond the arc. Two of his favorite spots on the floor are just to the left and right of the top of the key. His first 3-pointer was to the left. His third one was to the right, and both were several feet behind the line.

“If I feel I can make it, I’ll take the shot. I’m not worried about how far behind the line I am,” said Weisser.

His scoring enabled Windham to take a 28-15 halftime lead. With seconds left in the first half, the Eagles called a timeout to set up a play. It went to Gorman in the corner, who drained a 3.

The Eagles got enough support from their other players to complement Weisser.

“Kyle Kilfoil, Greg Gledhill and Gorman chipped in with just enough scoring to support Kevin,” said Windham Coach Kevin Millington.

“We did a poor job executing on offense in the second half. We shot too quickly and spent a lot of time on defense. I told the players Let’s get Kevin the ball.”

Several times in the second half, the Eagles forced Thornton to shoot from outside, but the Golden Trojans came up with the rebound. Unfortunately for Thornton, more often than not it couldn’t capitalize.

Despite its slow start, which was in large part due to its failure to convert inside in the first half, Thornton still had its chances. But it went just 9 for 19 from the line.

“In the second half, we played a lot better,” said Thornton Coach Bob Davies. “We won the second half (23-15), but in the first half, we didn’t move on offense.”

Ruff hit four 3-pointers and finished with a team high 15 points. .