Both Gorham and Windham jogged onto the court 10-5 Friday night, Jan. 31, and both proceeded to struggle through the first half. In the second, however, one team – the Rams – found a groove, and on the strength of Emily Esposito’s 17-point performance, built to a substantial, 47-24 victory.

The home W advances Gorham to 11-5 on the year, while the Eagles’ loss drops them to 10-6. The teams remain standings-adjacent, with the Rams in sixth and Windham just inches behind, in seventh.

“We actually didn’t execute the game plan very well,” said Gorham head coach Laughn Berthiaume. “We were looking to try to attack the rim, to be aggressive, and we shot an awful lot of threes in the first half.”

“[The first half] was pretty ugly,” Windham head coach Brody Artes said, chuckling. “Neither team really put the ball in the basket that well. We didn’t get the ball inside like we wanted to. We had size advantage, and kind of attacked the inside, but it just didn’t happen for us tonight.”

Gorham posted three times the Eagles’ tally in quarter one, 12-4, but barely edged them in quarter two, 6-5, to go into the half with an 18-9 lead. Upon returning, though, the Rams ramped up their charge, hashing 13 in the third to Windham’s six.

“In the second half, we tried to get back to going toward the rim,” Berthiaume said. “I thought we did a little bit better job, but that’s something we’ve still got to work on.”

By the fourth, Gorham had really gathered their steam. Led by Caitlin Hawxwell, who dropped in two threes and a pair of free-throws, the Rams added 16 more to their tally, while the Eagles – who fought the good fight without one of their leaders, Luisa Sbardella – managed only nine. At the final buzzer, Gorham had pulled away, nearly doubling Windham’s score, 47-24.

“They came out, had an excellent spurt in the second half,” Artes said. “That’s what really extended the game for them.”

“How Esposito goes, that’s how we go,” Berthiaume said. “Whether she’s shooting well or not, she has to be defended, and she can do so many things: rebound, pass, score. We really need her to score, and I thought in the second half she did more of that.”

In addition to Esposito’s 17, Hawxwell totaled 13. Kristen Curley added six and Abby Hamilton five for the Rams. For the Eagles, Haley Batchelder drained the most shots, just a trio of threes for six total.

Gorham travels to Westbrook on Friday the 7th for 7 o’clock. Windham hosts Bonny Eagle on Friday the 7th, at 7 p.m.

Windham’s Mya Mannette breathes between plays in the Eagles’ Friday-night matchup at Gorham.Jessica Rexrode of Gorham chases Macy Mannette of Windham, herself in pursuit of a runaway ball.The Lady Rams regroup during a stoppage of play. From left are Emily Esposito, Kaylea Lundin, Jessica Rexrode, Caitlin Hawxwell and Emily Deluca.Gorham’s Emily Esposito cuts to a halt near the baseline.Caitlin Hawxwell (right) and Windham’s Lyndsey Arsenault wait on a free-throw.Windham’s Lyndsey Arsenault looks to pass on the attack against Gorham Friday night. Gorham won the match handily, 47-24.

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