Rachele Burns scored 11 of her 28 points in the third quarter Thursday, leading Gorham (2-3) to a 66-49 victory over visiting Scarborough (1-4).

The freshman guard sparked a 9-2 run in the third quarter, helping the Rams pull away from the Red Storm in a game featuring a pair of aggressive squads.

“We have a team that will fight to the end, no matter the score,” said Scarborough coach Jennifer Allen. “The ball didn’t bounce our way a few key times, and Gorham definitely took the momentum.”

Although the hosts had taken an early lead, the Rams were unable to bring themselves further than five points ahead of their opponents for the entirety of the first half. The two teams seemed like heavyweight fighters trading blows in the center of the ring as each squad delivered bucket after bucket, leaving the fans on the edge of their seats.

It was Burns who delivered the initial punch that propelled the Rams in front when she completed an old-fashioned three-point play just over a minute into the action.

After Gorham forward Nicole Robitaille sank another hoop, Scarborough’s Reegan Brackett and Jesse Schoppee responded with two unanswered baskets, bringing the Red Storm within one point. The first quarter ended in a 9-9 deadlock.

Junior Jonne Chykaliuk gave Scarborough their only lead of the half when she scored on a quick shot to begin the second, but Gorham quickly answered with a Burns three-pointer and seven consecutive points to take a 16-11 lead.

Sarah Bonenfant then hit the first of her trio of three-pointers to bring the Red Storm back within two, and as the clock clicked to zero the sophomore hit another jumper at the buzzer to make it 20-18, Gorham, at the half.

With 5:17 to go in the third quarter, Burns found herself at the free throw line with the opportunity to extend her team’s 24-22 lead. After sinking the first shot she rattled the second off the rim and into a mess of rebounders.

The ball bounced through all of the red and white jerseys and found its way back to Burns who – taking advantage of the chance – dribbled into the lane for a short jumper and the completion of an unorthodox three-point play.

“Gorham is a great team. They have a lot of athletic players who have the ability to go out and get points for their team when it’s needed,” said Allen. “Right now we’re still looking for those one or two kids who can do that for us.”

Burns’s put back was a momentum shifter, and the Red Storm were unable to convert some important shots and found themselves in a nine-point hole as the quarter ended with Gorham on top 37-28.

The Rams outscored Scarborough 17-10 in the third and 29-21 later on in the fourth.

“Since Scarborough was the only team that beat us in soccer, there was (a) pretty big rivalry there for about three-quarters of our team,” said Gorham captain Kelsey Wilson. “With all our losses so far we really wanted to pull out a win here.”

Bonenfant led Scarborough with 19 points on the night, while Brackett and Schoppee each added 10. Emily Jenkins scored 11 for Gorham.

“I think we were sloppy tonight,” said Allen. “We were aggressive and we hustled, but one mistake led to another and we didn’t learn from those mistakes.”

The Scarborough girls will have the opportunity to redeem themselves as they play home against Bonny Eagle after the holiday break. Gorham will head to Portland for a Dec. 30 match-up.


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