PORTLAND — With time winding down and the score tied, Pat Green of Deering knew it was now or never.

What happened next was pure storybook for Green and the Rams. Green’s shot from the right side swished through the basket at the buzzer to give top-ranked Deering a 45-42 win over No. 3 Bonny Eagle and the Western Class A basketball title Saturday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

“A great player made a great play,” said Deering Coach Dan LeGage.

“All the qualities you like to see in a game — resiliency, character, determination, you saw in this game.”

The Rams (18-3) will play Hampden Academy (20-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center.

This will be the third time the schools have played for the Gold Ball. The Broncos won in 2005 with Deering winning the next year for the school’s first boys’ state title.

“This will be the rubber match,” said LeGage.

Green, a senior guard, hit consecutive 3-pointers as part of Deering’s 13-0 run in the third quarter that erased an 11-point Bonny Eagle lead.

That got Deering (18-3) back into the game, but Green had one more clutch shot left.

“It was absolutely surreal,” said Green of the winning shot. “It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had. I knew it was in as soon as I let it go.”

Green ended up scoring the last seven points and finished with a game-high 17 points.

In the semifinal victory against Cheverus, Green fouled out of the game with over six minutes remaining.

Not only was he brilliant against the Scots, he was a workhorse.

“I don’t think he came out of the game,” said LeGage.

Dustin Cole of Bonny Eagle scored on a drive to give his team a 39-38 lead with 1:26 remaining.

Green countered to give the Rams a 40-39 lead.

The Scots were called for traveling at 1:14.

Green was fouled with 42 seconds left and hit two from the line to make it 42-39.

Freshman Ben Malloy of the Scots hit a 3-pointer from the side to tie it with 29 seconds remaining. The Scots called time.

Deering didn’t have any timeouts remaining and worked the ball around. Green’s play was not high on the list of play options.

“That’s not what we drew up,” said LeGage. “We wanted to get players crisscrossing in the lane and get the ball down low to Thiwat. Pat took it upon himself to make the play.”

Bonny Eagle lost in the regional final for the second consecutive season after losing to Cheverus a year ago.

“This one hurts more than last year,” said senior Cole Libby. “The clock was running down and I knew he had to shoot. I was just praying it wouldn’t go in.”

Late in the third quarter, Deering got a boost when Jon Amabile made four straight foul shots.

Amabile was fouled on a move to the basket. Seconds later, Bonny Eagle Coach Phil Bourassa was called for a technical. Amabile made both ends of the 1-and-1 and two from the technical.

The Rams went from trailing by two to leading by two.

Bourassa was surprised by the technical.

“I was in the coaches’ box and I didn’t say a word,” he said. “It gave Deering some momentum. It was all on me.”

Cole led the Scots with 16 points.

Trailing 14-11 at the start of the second quarter, Bonny Eagle scored 11 straight.

Libby started it with a 3-pointer from out front while Cole scored the last five.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH