The quest is finally over.

The Scarborough girls basketball team finished off an undefeated season on Saturday by winning the Class A state championship with a 52-32 win over Skowhegan at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Scarborough had a stretch of flat play during the middle of the championship game, but they played at a high level when it counted most, the beginning and the end.

The Red Storm jumped out on a speedy 7-0 run during the first three minutes, scoring on their first three possessions. After Skowhegan finally got on the board, Scarborough pushed the lead to 13-2 with back to back 3-pointers by Sarah Moody and Brittany Ross. Ellie Morin capped off the quarter by banking in a 3-pointer to put Scarborough up 19-3. It was the perfect end to a near-perfect start for the Storm.

Scarborough coach Jim Seavey said that the great start was a perfect example of his team doing what they had done all season, playing together with everyone sharing some of the load.

“These kids executed our game plan to near perfection, and everyone contributed,” said Seavey. “We’ve never tried to put more pressure on just one kid to do it all for us, it’s always been a total team effort.”

Seavey said a perfect case in point was sophomore Brittany Bona, who came off the bench and gave the team an offensive spark against the undersized Indians.

“She’s bided her time all year long, and I knew we were going to have a serious advantage size-wise,” said Seavey.

Bona’s presence down low, along with the sharp outside shooting of Scarborough’s smaller players, allowed Scarborough to spread the floor and really make Skowhegan work harder then they had all year.

Much of the Storm’s early success came not only at their knockout shooting, but also with their tough man-to-man defense. While Scarborough’s offense looked like a smoothly running machine, Skowhegan seemed confused and unable to get anything going with the ball.

“We knew we had to come out hard on them because we could hear them in the locker room, they were pumped up before the game,” said Moody.

Even for a team with a roster full of players who could go off offensively on any given night, team defense has always been first and foremost, Moody added.

“That’s the first thing we did before anything else in preseason and we’ve always known that’s what will help us win,” she said.

Though the shutdown defense had Skowhegan on their heels at the start, the Indians finally relaxed a bit and began to make a run in the second quarter. An early four-point swing with two consecutive Skowhegan steals cut the score to 23-11.

Scarborough’s Heather Carrier picked up her third foul midway through the quarter and was taken out of the game. Skowhegan took advantage even further, cutting the deficit to just 10 going into the half.

The Storm’s troubles continued to start the third quarter, as more Scarborough turnovers allowed Skowhegan to continue to hang around and keep it interesting. Scarborough went scoreless in the quarter until Morin had a 3-point play at 4:43.

“We got kind of frustrated at each other but we knew we just had to keep running our offense and we’d pull it through,” said Carrier.

And they would, finishing the quarter on an offensive clip that pushed the lead back to 38-25 going into the fourth.

“It’s just resiliency, these kids always have found a way to get it done from day one,” said Seavey.

Down the stretch in the final minutes, Scarborough continued to execute exactly as they needed to. Ross even made a heads up play at 5:49 and drew the fifth foul on one of Skowhegan’s key players, Whitney Jones.

It took away one of the Indians’ offensive weapons and all but sealed the door shut on any Skowhegan comeback. Scarborough continued to work into the final minutes, and pushed the final score to one that didn’t quite resemble how close the game actually was at times.

“It was a lot closer, they are a great team and really aggressive,” said Carrier of the lopsided looking final. The Red Storm players weren’t worried about that though, they were too busy relishing in the thrill of victory as they each took turns kissing the Gold Ball.

“It still hasn’t sunk in just yet, but once we wake up tomorrow and realize, wow we won, it’ll just be even better,” said Moody with a huge grin on her face.

Scarborough coach Jim Seavey and the Red Storm bench react to a bucket in the final minutes of Saturday’s Class A State Championship against Skowhegan. The Red Storm defeated Skowhegan with a 52-32 final to capture the girls Class A basketball state title. (Staff photo by Brandon McKenney)

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