Cheverus boys’ basketball Coach Dan Costigan says you can’t replicate Deering’s athleticism and quickness in practice. You just have to experience it first-hand and hopefully survive it.

“I don’t think there’s anyone as quick in the league,” he said.

The Stags got their first taste of Deering’s quickness, and while their start was “less than impressive,” as Costigan put it, Cheverus survived it and went on to a 45-34 win in an SMAA game Friday night at Deering.

Cheverus (4-1) found itself in a 11-0 hole four minutes into the game. The Stags returned the favor at the start of the fourth quarter, and their own 11-0 run was the decisive blow. Cheverus outscored Deering 22-7 in the fourth quarter.

“We just had to handle it, and the kids did,” Costigan said of Deering’s fast start. “This is a very resilient group. We had players come off the bench and they all played well when we needed them.

“This is a big win, but we don’t know how big. It’s still early. We have to keep working and improving.”

Trailing 27-23 entering the fourth quarter, Cheverus quickly turned the game around by forcing turnovers and capitalizing on the offensive end.

“We started getting the ball inside and doing the things we do well,” said center Zordan Holman. “Deering is a good team and they put a lot of pressure on you. Once we settled down, we were able to run our offense.

“We have to keep taking steps to improve.”

Freshman Jesse Matthews keyed the fourth-quarter run with eight points. Luca Napolitano opened the quarter with a basket. Matthews hit a shot from the corner to tie it at 27-27, then followed with an inside basket to give Cheverus its first lead of the game.

The Rams (3-1) kept missing from outside, and Holman, Matthews and Andrew Roberts gobbled up the rebounds.

Holman hit one of two from the line after Cheverus took the lead. Point guard Austin Boudreau scored, and Holman’s basket inside made it 34-27.

Jacob Coon ended Deering’s drought with an inside basket with 3:40 remaining, but sophomore Jack Casale answered with a 3-pointer. Matthew sank two from the line to make it a 10-point game with 2:40 left.

Asked about Matthews’ performance, Costigan said: “He keeps getting better and better.”

Cheverus was rattled at the start of the game as Deering swarmed the Stags, forcing several turnovers. Ben Williams and Garang Majok combined to score the first 11 points.

Holman scored Cheverus’s first basket with 3:04 left in the first quarter. The Stags trailed 15-7 after one quarter.

Cheverus began to find its form in the second quarter, and the Stags’ defense held Deering to two points as they closed to within 17-15.

Boudreau, a sophomore, hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter when Deering led 13-2 and another in the second quarter to cut it to 16-14. He made one of two from the line after time had expired in the first half.

Costigan said a key to the game was Boudreau’s ability to settle down after the opening quarter and handle the ball against Deering’s pressure.

It was a tough loss for Deering which was bidding to start the season 4-0.

“It was a battle of tempos,” said Deering Coach Todd Wing. “For us to play well, we have to force the tempo. We had some good looks in the fourth quarter but couldn’t hit any shots. What we ran was good, but our execution was poor.”

Cheverus placed three players in double figures. Boudreau finished with 12 points, Holman had 11 and Matthews scored 10.

Williams led Deering with 15 points.