At 5-foot-2, Kaylea Lundin is often the smallest player on the court. But the junior guard for Gorham High should never be overlooked.

Lundin scored all eight of her points in the fourth quarter Friday night as top-ranked Gorham won the first Class AA South girls’ basketball championship, beating South Portland 37-30 at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Her three-point play with 4:18 remaining gave the Rams an eight-point lead that was too much for the third-seeded Riots to overcome.

“You know she may be the littlest kid on the court but she has the biggest heart,” said Emily Esposito, Gorham’s star junior guard who was named the winner of the Edward “Red” McMann award given to the tournament’s outstanding player. “She does not take a play off, she’s always smiling, upbeat, positive and picking everyone else up. And when you have someone like that on your team, it’s hard to stop.”

Gorham (20-0) will play Edward Little (16-4) for the first Class AA girls’ state championship at 6 p.m. next Saturday at the CIA. It will be the Rams’ first appearance in a state title game since 2000, when they played in Class B. South Portland finished 17-4.

“This means a lot,” said Lundin. “We put in a lot of time. We don’t take many days off. We work hard in practice. So I guess it pays off.”

This was a physical defensive game, one you might expect from two of the best defensive teams in the SMAA – South Portland led the league by allowing just 32.1 points a game; Gorham was tied for second at 36.6.

Baskets were tough to come by and players often paid a price. Esposito had to come out in the fourth quarter with a rib injury and was in pain when she returned.

Gorham had the early advantage but a late surge by South Portland – keyed by Maddie Hasson (15 points, 18 rebounds in the final game of her high school career) – put the Riots ahead 17-16 at the half.

That only spurred the Rams. “That wasn’t what we wanted to see,” said Esposito. “I think our will came out in the second half.”

The teams traded baskets early in the third, then freshman center Mckenzie Holmes (team-high 12 points and nine rebounds) put the Rams ahead for good with 4:16 left in the period on a nice turnaround baseline jumper. Gorham scored the final eight points of the quarter to move ahead 26-19, Holmes getting the final basket on a nice give-and-go pass from Esposito (10 points, eight rebounds).

South Portland pulled within five a couple of times, each time Lundin answering with a basket. With the Rams up 30-25, she grabbed a loose ball out of a defensive scrum and raced the length of the court to scoop in a layup. She was fouled, hit the free throw and it was 33-25.

“She’s a sparkplug,” said Riots Coach Lynne Hasson. “She’s a difference maker. She makes big plays and those one or two plays, in a tie game or close game, are often the difference.”

Holmes hit a foul shot with 3:44 left to make it 34-25. The Riots couldn’t recover.

“I’m really proud, we had a great season,” said Lynne Hasson. “We got here but we wanted a little bit more.”

The Rams, meanwhile, have one more game to play.

“It’s very exciting for us,” said Gorham Coach Laughn Berthiaume.

“It’s really special, but we’ve got a week’s worth of work to do and we’re going to get back at it Monday.”