The Cheverus girls’ basketball team is making its first-ever trip to the Western Class A semifinals, thanks to its 31-26 victory Monday against Sanford.

The previous three years, the Stags lost winnable games in the quarterfinals to Marshwood, Sanford and Scarborough.

Sanford Coach Kristy Parent said she made sure her team knew about the Stags’ disappointing history at the Expo.

“Absolutely. They haven’t won a quarterfinal game. That’s what I told them yesterday and reminded them pregame that we had the advantage in that,” Parent said. “And we played here earlier this year and scored 62 points in this gym. We were just trying to build them up the best we could.”

The Cheverus seniors got nine big points from junior Georgia Ford, all in the second half. Ford said the tough losses in previous years have made the team tougher.

“It’s extremely important to get past the quarterfinals,” Ford said. “It just shows what kind of a team we’ve become over the past four years. We all grew together and we all just depend on each other all the time now, and we all know how good of a team we’ve become. It’s not just one person any more. It’s the entire team.”

MAYBE CHEVERUS senior guard Mikayla Mayberry should shoot more. On a day when Cheverus and Sanford combined to shoot under 25 percent, Mayberry made her only shot – a huge 3-pointer ending the first half. She also made two free throws with one minute left.

Cheverus Coach Richie Ashley called Mayberry the “smartest player I’ve ever coached.”

WOMEN’S COLLEGE coaches made their annual migration to the Portland Expo to take in the Class A girls’ quarterfinals.

Among those seen at the afternoon session included Gary Fifield (University of Southern Maine), Mike McDevitt (St. Joseph’s), Mike Roux (associate head coach, University of New Hampshire) and Sue Cahill (associate head coach, Assumption College).

Roux and Cahill said they try to get to as many state tournaments as they can, depending on their schedules.

McDevitt was particularly interested in watching the underclassmen, though with many seniors still uncommitted to college he said he’s also there “to show our support for them.’’

Among the visitors to the night session were a pair of Division I coaches.

UMaine Coach Richard Barron sat with Fifield atop the bleachers. Erin Leger, an assistant at Marist University in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., was also on hand. Marist is reportedly interested in McAuley junior guard Allie Clement.

ANDREW SHAW, a sophomore forward at Bentley University, was at the Expo to cheer on his sister, Olivia, a junior at Thornton Academy.

Shaw suffered a fractured right collarbone earlier this season and is recovering. His sister, who is being looked at by several Division I schools, had 15 points in Thornton’s 33-25 loss to Deering.

THE WINNINGEST coach in Maine high school basketball, Dick Barstow (664 wins) was a spectator at the Bangor Auditorium for the first time since he got out of coaching a half dozen years ago. Barstow coached girls’ basketball for over four decades at Katahdin, Presque Isle, Waterville and Central Aroostook. He now lives in Florida.

Barstow flew into Bangor with former Schenck coach Ron Marks, who also lives in Florida. Combined, Barstow and Marks have more than 1,000 career wins.

THE WASHBURN boys and girls won their quarterfinal games Monday, and the Worcester family accounted for 49 points. Mitch, a senior, scored 36 points in a 70-69 victory over Bangor Christian. MacKenzie, a sophomore, had 13 points in the girls’ game – a 65-44 win over Limestone.

THE JONESPORT-BEALS vs. Easton boys’ quarterfinal Monday night (8:30 p.m.) is a matchup of the two smallest schools in the Eastern Class D tourney. Jonesport-Beals has an enrollment of 58; Easton’s enrollment is 60.

Five of the 11 players on the Jonesport-Beals boys team have a last name of Beal –Garet, Cole, Thomas, Kasden and Sterling. None of them are brothers. … By the way, Beals High won the first Class S title ever played at the Bangor Auditorium back in 1956.

PERHAPS THE TALLEST mascot ever at the auditorium – the Fort Fairfield Tiger – was Arthur Robles, a 6-foot-5 senior at Fort Fairfield. Add the tiger’s head, and you are talking a 7-foot tiger.