Mike Murphy wasn’t sure what to expect from his Deering High girls’ basketball team when the season started. Then he started listening to them.

“They like each other,” said Murphy. “You can hear it in the locker room, out on the practice floor.”

And now Murphy likes what he sees. The Rams, ranked second in Class AA North, defeated Windham 51-37 Tuesday night to improve to 7-2. They never trailed and used a pesky defense to keep the Eagles from getting any offensive rhythm.

Tasia Titherington led Deering with 18 points, eight coming in the first quarter, but the Rams had contributions from everybody who played. Freshman guard Mandy Mastropasqua had perhaps the biggest sequence in the game when she scored five consecutive points after Windham had pulled within three in the third quarter.

“I feel like we’re a really good team, we work well together,” said Titherington. “We know each role we have and we can count on each other. Like if I’m dribbling it down, I can kick it out to Mandy, I can kick it out to Delaney (Haines), I can kick it out to anyone and I can count on them.

“I just think we work well together and that we have a good relationship on and off the court. And when we have a good relationship off the court, you can play well together on the court.”

Deering was in control throughout. But the Eagles (3-5) made a run at the start of the third quarter. Trailing 27-20, Windham pulled within three on inside baskets by Julia Linevitch and Ciera Berthiaume. Twice the Eagles had a chance to cut it even closer, but had a traveling violation, then missed two shots on the next possession.

That’s when Mastropasqua stepped up. She plays about 14 minutes a game for the Rams but Murphy wanted her to have more confidence in her offensive game. So he’s had her play with the junior varsity the last couple of games.

“We need her to feel comfortable,” said Murphy. “She obviously did tonight.”

Mastropasqua swished a deep 3-pointer from the right corner to make it 30-24. After a Windham miss, she got the ball on the left baseline and stuck in another jumper and it was 32-24. Amanda Brett followed with a strong inside move and the Rams’ lead was up to 10.

Mastropasqua, who had two blocked shots in the first half, scored all seven of her points in the third quarter. She said she felt good in that stretch. “Whenever I’m open, I shoot it,” she said.

And, said Titherington, “I’m confident she’s going to hit them.”

Windham Coach Brody Artes said the defense on her wasn’t that bad. “She did a good job there,” he said. “I thought our defense was good all night. I thought those shots were defended well, maybe a half-a-step late. But I was happy with our effort tonight.”

Sadie Nelson hit a 3-pointer for the Eagles to stop Deering’s run and make it 34-27. That would be the closest Windham would get as Deering slowly pulled away at the foul line, getting 11 free throws in the final quarter.

Abby Ramirez, Delaney Haines and Brett each scored eight points for Deering. Mya Mannette had 13 for Windham.

“I thought we played well,” said Mastropasqua. “We moved the ball well, we shot it well.”