PORTLAND – Louie DiStasio scored eight of his game-high 17 points in the opening four minutes of the game as Cheverus blasted Gorham 72-37 in a Southern Maine Activities Association boys’ basketball game Monday night at Cheverus.

DiStasio accounted for half of a game-opening 16-0 run that left the Rams in a deep hole even before the midway point of the first quarter.

“It’s almost one of those things, you blink and you’re down 8-0,” said Gorham Coach Ryan Chicoine. “We tried to call a couple of timeouts to slow the run. We came out flat and our intensity just wasn’t there.”

The Stags (2-0) pressured the ball from the start. They forced turnovers, seemed to be in every passing lane and hustled to recover loose balls to build what turned out to be an insurmountable lead. The fact that they also connected on their first seven possessions added to the lopsided start and a 27-6 lead after the first quarter.

“We always want to come out and jump on the other team and we want to play defense,” DiStasio said. “For us, defense sparks everything. A lot of times if we’re uptight and playing defense well it sparks the offense because we get running and score fast-break points on easy layups.”

Cheverus continued to apply intense pressure in the second quarter as it put together a 12-0 run midway through the period for a 30-point advantage, its biggest lead of the half. The Stags led 43-14 at the half.

“The thing that I really liked about tonight is that we played with intensity all the time,” said Cheverus Coach Bob Brown. “We had pressure on the ball. We had pressure in the passing lanes and we played team basketball. I think you could see that on a lot of fast breaks, with people being willing to give it up to the guy ahead. In today’s world, not many guys are willing to do that. We played very well as a team.”

The third quarter featured more of the same for the Stags as they continued to dominate. By the midway point of the period, Cheverus led by 34 and most of its starters were on the bench.

“The good thing is that when that first group came off the floor they were still cheering for the guys on the floor,” said Brown. “I’ve got a good team, a good bunch of guys that like playing together.”

Gorham finally enjoyed some success in the fourth quarter. After being held to single digits in each of the first three quarters, the Rams poured in 15 points, including three baskets from 3-point range.

The Stags displayed a balanced scoring attack, with 10 of their 12 players scoring. Cam Olson was the only other member of the Stags to hit double digits with 10 points.

Elliot Speirs paced the Rams (0-2) with 10 points.