PORTLAND – Fans roared to life at the Portland Expo on Sunday night as the Maine Red Claws delivered in the clutch.

Tiny Gallon hit a fadeaway jumper with 2.6 seconds left in overtime to lead Maine to a 100-98 win over the Idaho Stampede and sweep the two-game season series from the team that brought former Boston Celtic Antoine Walker to town.

Gallon’s shot followed a dramatic 3-point score by Jamar Smith to end regulation and strung together a third straight win for Maine (6-6). The Red Claws beat Idaho Thursday night 105-99, then they knocked off Springfield 117-112 on Friday.

“It showed our coach we’re a young team, but a smart team,” said Gallon. “I just stayed aggressive and was going to head back on defense, but thought ‘Nah. I’m gonna go for this rebound. I boxed out Walker and (Luke Jackson) and faded back to shoot. We’re (bonding) as a team.”

Smith’s dramatic 3-pointer tied the game at 92 with 3.9 seconds left in regulation.

Jackson drove the lane on the last possession but missed a layup, leading to overtime.

Maine responded in OT, and with 10.5 seconds on the clock Matt Janning inbounded a pass to DeShawn Sims, who missed a layup. That set up Gallon’s rebound and winning shot.

“We made big plays,” said Maine Coach Austin Ainge. “We didn’t play well. So it was good to come through. …We still have a long way to go. Idaho and Springfield are good wins, but their not top-tier teams.”

Walker, who scored 25 points Thursday, had 15 Sunday with five rebounds in 39 minutes.

“Antoine had his way with us the first game, but we doubled him up and took him out,” said Smith. “I think a win like this really helps us as a team unit. It shows our mental toughness, that we can cut the lead and continue to fight.”

Ainge used a different lineup on Sunday. Champ Oguchi carried the team with 42 minutes and Matt Janning got a considerable 28:48. Paul Harris played just over 12 minutes.

“There are some guys I had to discipline,” said Ainge. “Some guys who weren’t listening and discipline has to take precedence over winning.”

Maine trailed 25-21 after the first quarter after taking a 9-3 lead early on back-to-back 3-pointers by Oguchi and Smith.

The Stampede (2-11) built a big lead in the second quarter, going up 41-26 before a 14-6 run by Maine made it 47-40 at the half.

Sherron Collins hit three 3-pointers in the run, and Smith added another. Maine hit 12 of 24 3-point attempts in the game.

“We hit some 3’s to bail us out early but we were out of sync on offense tonight,” said Ainge. “Those were tough 3’s, we certainly can’t count on them.”

Maine regained the lead in the third following a 9-0 run between Sims and Mario West, who dunked on a fast break after a turnover by Walker.

NOTES: The Stampede were down to eight players Sunday night, following some injuries over the weekend and an NBA call-up. … Maine travels to Iowa for a Thursday game, then returns home to the Expo to face Springfield on Sunday.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.