AUGUSTA — With Amanda Brett providing an emotional and physical boost, Deering earned its first trip to a girls’ basketball regional final since 2011 by beating second-seeded Edward Little 46-40 in Tuesday’s Class AA North semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

Brett, a senior center, was diagnosed with a fractured left femur Jan. 3. She had not played or practiced for eight weeks, but was cleared to play Monday. Brett scored seven points and was pivotal in the fourth quarter.

“My adrenaline kind of overtook the tiredness that I was feeling and I was just so excited for the girls, how well we did today,” Brett said. “I knew we could do it and I hope to do it Friday and then the following weekend.”

No. 3 Deering (13-7) will play No. 1 Oxford Hills (18-1) at the Augusta Civic Center in Friday’s regional final at 7:05 p.m. Oxford Hills beat fifth-seeded Bangor 69-36.

Tasia Titherington scored nine of her 18 points in the fourth quarter. She made 9 of 11 free throws and Deering was 15 of 19 as a team.

Brett played sparingly in the first half but was on the court for most of the fourth quarter. She stymied Red Eddies center Jordyn Reynolds, who scored just two of her 16 points in the fourth quarter.

Brett secured rebounds at both ends and made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch.

“The rebounding, her foul shooting at the end, we needed that,” Titherington said.

The Rams made seven first-half 3-pointers to take a 25-21 halftime lead and closed the victory making 10 of 13 fourth-quarter free throws.

Delaney Haines had three 3s, Ashleigh Mathisen made two 3s, and Titherington and Sydney Giroux each made one.

Titherington was the only Deering player to score from inside the arc in the first half, with a layup and two free throws.

In the second half, Deering didn’t make a 3-pointer but never trailed.

Edward Little (14-5) tied the game 31-31 on a runner by Piper Norcross with seven minutes to play.

Brett and Titherington responded.

Brett made two free throws. Titherington converted a three-point play. Then Titherington scored inside with an assist from Brett for a 38-31 lead.

“They went to man-to-man and we knew we had to attack the hoop more,” Titherington said.

Two 3-pointers by Grace Fontaine got Edward Little within three points but Titherington and Brett each went 3 for 4 at the line in the final minute to secure the win.

OXFORD HILLS 69, BANGOR 36: The top-seeded Vikings (18-1) raced to a 23-2 lead after one quarter and overpowered the fifth-seeded Rams (9-11) in a Class AA North semifinal.

Julia Colby paced a balanced attack for Oxford Hills with 15 points. Katie Butler scored 10 points for Bangor.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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