They like to slow down the pace of the game, but the Gorham High boys basketball team was unable to slow the pace enough to stop second-ranked Cheverus.

The Rams were eliminated from the Western Maine Class A tournament with a 52-36 loss to Cheverus in quarterfinal action on Saturday at the Portland Expo.

“In the second quarter we had difficulty scoring,” said Gorham coach Kevin Jenkins. “When you’re playing a team of Cheverus’ caliber you can’t have a one-point quarter. And its not so much that we didn’t score, we turned the ball over.”

Those turnovers gave Cheverus extra opportunities, but also limited Gorham’s own chances. Cheverus entered the second quarter with an 11-10 lead. From there, it was the Stags who took over.

Eric Friend nailed a 3-pointer to open the period followed by Anthony Savino getting a steal and a breakaway. His dunk brought down the house and fired up his team. Cheverus scored five more points for a 10-0 start to the quarter. Gorham’s two points came when Mike Foustoukos hit two free throws.

“It’s too bad,” said Jenkins. “We opened the game playing sharp and kind of had an opening there to make it difficult for them. But the turnovers were the worst. Obviously Cheverus is a terrific basketball team and they shoot the ball well.”

At the break, the Stags held a 26-12 lead.

Early on in the first quarter, the Rams looked good. They opened the game with an 8-2 run. Andrew Dean scored the first four points of the game and Dan Hager and Andrew Arena added a basket each. But Cheverus got a three-point play from Douglas Alston and Friend hit two 3-pointers in the closing seconds, including one at the buzzer, to take the lead for good.

In the second half the Rams got back to their game and outscored Cheverus 13-11 in the third quarter. Hager opened the third with two 3-pointers in a row to help Gorham get back into some kind of rhythm.

“I thought our kids came out and played hard in the second half and got us back in the game a little bit when we could have easily given up,” said Jenkins. “They gave everything they had. They played hard and they matched Cheverus’ play as far as how hard they played. We just don’t have the volume of shooters and scorers and that’s why we’re 10-8. I’m not going to complain, they laid out what they had, and it just wasn’t enough.”

For the Rams, it’s a bitter end to a standout season that iinitially appeared in jeopardy with a 1-6 start.

“They did a real good job on Andrew Dean,” said Jenkins. “He has 151 foul shots in 19 games. They put good pressure on him without fouling. My hats off to them he only got to the line four times. It’s hard to show what kind of player he is when he’s being guarded like that. It’s kind of too bad for Dean, he had a super year, and in his last game he was taken out by their defense.”

Rams weather Storm in prelim

The Rams earned their place in the quarterfinals with a 36-30 win over Scarborough in the prelims. In that game, Dean led the Rams with 14 points.

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