GORHAM — Tyler Bernaiche hit a 3-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter to give Gorham the lead for good and ignite a 20-9 scoring edge in the final quarter that carried the Rams to a 58-47 win over Cheverus in an SMAA boys’ basketball game Monday night.

Bernaiche, a senior guard, scored all of his eight points in the fourth as the Rams won their third straight. The teams were tied 38-38 entering the final quarter.

It was an impressive finish for Gorham (6-3), which struggled at times in the first half.

“We hadn’t played well in the first half, but we still only trailed by two points,” said Bernaiche. “Hitting that 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter gave me a lot of confidence. I was kind of frustrated in the first half. We made the plays down the stretch.”

Bernaiche made the shot from the right side well behind the line.

The Rams started to work the ball down low in the fourth quarter and it paid off with buckets by 6-foot-5 junior Sam Kilborn, who scored seven points in the fourth. The strategy also helped draw fouls. The Rams weren’t great from the line in the game (11 for 23), but guard Cody Elliott made two from the line with 57 seconds left to give Gorham a 10-point lead.

“We made some good decisions down the stretch and executed,” said Gorham Coach Mark Karter. “Cheverus is a quality team and this is a big win. Sam Kilborn was outstanding in the second half. Nick Thibeault rebounded well. When we play to our capabilities, we’re a pretty good team, but the league is wide open and anyone can beat anyone else.”

In the final 1:42, Gorham outscored Cheverus, 9-3. That started with a 7-0 spurt.

Cheverus (5-3) scored the game’s first five points, but Gorham recovered to take its first lead, 9-8, after a basket by Thibeault. Keyed by freshman Jesse Matthews’ 10 first-quarter points, Cheverus led 16-13 after one. Billy Ruby of Gorham came off the bench to score eight of his 11 points in the second quarter. The Stags led 25-23 at intermission.

The game stayed tight until Gorham’s fourth-quarter surge. The Rams’ scored the last five points of the third quarter to tie it at 38-38.

Ruby excited the good-sized crowd with a three-point play with 0.5 seconds left in the quarter to tie it.

It was all Gorham after that. After Bernaiche’s 3-pointer to open the fourth, Thibeault scored inside while getting fouled. He missed the free throw, but it was 43-38.

Matthews made 1 of 2 from the line for the Stags with 4:46 left. Bernaiche scored. Derek Hammond scored for Cheverus before a Kilborn basket.

The Stags still were in contention after two Zordan Holman free throws with 2:12 remaining made it 49-44, but Gorham’s offense continued to click, going inside with a strong outside presence.

Cheverus, known for its 3-point shooting, made three from beyond the arc in the first quarter, but only two after that.

Gorham put in five new players midway through the first quarter – its version of platooning. Then Gorham mixed and matched its lineup with the original starting five and reserves.

“We like to use a lot of players to try to wear teams down,” said Karter. “By the fourth quarter, it might be a little tougher for them to shoot 3-pointers. I don’t know if that was the case tonight, but that’s our goal.” .

Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at

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