Jack Casale scored 14 points in the first half Friday night to help spark Cheverus to a 17-point lead at intermission. But as the Stags have shown early this season, they struggle playing with a lead.

And so it was again this time.

Edward Little cut the deficit to eight points with just over a minute remaining, but Jesse Matthews and Austin Boudreau went 4 for 4 from the line to seal it as Cheverus improved to 5-0 with a 52-40 win over the Red Eddies in a Class AA South boys’ basketball game at Cheverus.

The Stags were never in danger of losing although they may have given their fans some concern.

“We’ve struggled all year playing with the lead,” said Coach Ryan Soucie.

“We had leads against Windham and Scarborough. We talk about getting in the paint and attacking the rim. We sometimes settle for the 3-pointer. Edward Little is a tough team and they’re not going to quit.”

The Eddies (1-4) outscored Cheverus, 26-21, in the second half after Stags led 31-14 at halftime. The Stags used a strong second quarter, 17-6, to get a cushion.

“In the second quarter, we were able to attack the rim and get good inside-outside looks,” Soucie said.

Cheverus looked tentative with the ball in the third quarter. The Stags freed up Andrew Roberts, a 6-foot-4 senior, for a couple of inside baskets early in the third in an attacking style Soucie wants to see more of. For the most part, the Stags were content with passing the ball around. The good thing about that is that it eats up the clock, but it doesn’t pad the lead.

“It’s not like we weren’t ready to play in the second half,” said senior Luca Napolitano.

“We have a tendency to look for the quick 3-point shot instead of getting better ball movement. We have to have the mindset like it’s a new game. It was a physical game. In the end, we strapped down and got the win,” he said.

Napolitano had two 3-pointers and finished with 10 points. Casale led with 16 points. Roberts added 10.

Napolitano’s 3-pointer in the third quarter got the Stags out of a scoring funk and enabled them to repel an Eddies surge.

“We played hard, but we have some limitations,” said Edward Little Coach Mike Adams.

“We struggle to score. We have to find different ways to get easy scores. We’re a young team. We’ll get better. We could have lost this one by a lot more than we did, but the kids kept battling.”

The Eddies were 0 for 15 from 3-point range and 8 for 15 from the line.

“You’re not going to win any game shooting like that,” said Adams.

Leading 14-8 after one quarter, Cheverus came out strong in the second as Casale and Napolitano hit 3-pointers. After Tyler Morin of Edward Little made 1 of 2 from the line, Roberts converted a three-point play. The Stags closed out the quarter with a Boudreau medium range jumper and a drive by Casale.

“We’re happy to be 5-0,” said Soucie. “There are a lot of teams who aren’t 5-0.”

Samatar Iman paced the Eddies with 11 points. Jarod Norcross Plourde added 10 points.

Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at

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Twitter: TomChardPPH