The biggest shot Ben Williams was involved in Friday night came under his own basket. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Williams blocked a shot from the baseline with 8.9 seconds left, then hit 1 of 2 free throws to help fifth-seeded Deering secure a 61-59 win over fourth-ranked Gorham in a Western Class A boys’ basketball quarterfinal at the Portland Expo.

Deering (14-6) moves on to a semifinal against top-ranked Portland next Friday at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Malik White led Deering with 25 points, including four 3-pointers.

“Big-time players make big-time shots in big-time games,” Deering Coach Todd Wing said. “This was his game and he owned it.”

White said, “I caught fire a little bit, yeah, and everybody got pumped. We just kept playing together.”

Williams scored all 13 of his points from the line on 13-of-16 shooting. Garang Majok chipped in 10, none more important than the two he scored on his only trip to the foul line with 18.6 seconds left, giving Deering a one-point lead, 60-59.

“It was a crazy, crazy game,” Williams said. “I was just trying to make a play. I was able to come from upside and get a hand on it. We battled through.”

There was no shortage of big plays, particularly in the fourth quarter. Back-and-forth play came down to the final minute, when White hit one free throw with 46.9 seconds to play to put Deering ahead, 58-56.

Gorham (13-6) regained the lead on its next possession, when Thibeault completed a three-point play to make it 59-58 with 30 seconds on the clock.

Deering came out of a timeout and Majok regained the lead from the line, 60-59 with 18.6 seconds left.

“You’ve just got to stay focused,” Majok said. “I told myself it was like practice. It felt good (to hit them both) but I knew it wasn’t over.”

Williams blocked the shot with 8.9 seconds left, and Gorham turned the ball over in its own end on a travel call, forcing Gorham to foul Williams, who hit the first of two free throws to ice it, 61-59 with four seconds left.

The game came down to the buzzer, when Gorham’s long shot glanced off the glass as time expired.

“The kids just showed the heart of a champion,” Wing said.

“They battled through; they kept the course and played team basketball.”

In the first half, Deering’s press and cold shooting slowed Gorham’s offense, which had a significant size advantage in the paint with 6-foot-7 Nick Thibeault (19 points, eight rebounds), 6-5 Sam Kilborn (13 and 10), and 6-4 Billy Ruby (14 points). Gorham found its rhythm in the second quarter with a 13-6 run that whittled Deering’s 10-point lead to 34-31 at the half.

Thibeault came out hot in the third, scoring nine of Gorham’s 14 points in the quarter, and four of its five field goals. Deering’s offense cooled in the period, but not before Malik White hit two of his four 3-pointers, and the teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 45.

“We got the shots we wanted, they just didn’t go our way at the end,” Gorham Coach Mark Karter said. “We have great kids. I’m just sad we don’t get to go on to the (next round) because if ever there was a team that deserves it, it’s this one.”