GORHAM — South Portland’s girls’ basketball team visited Dean Evans Gymnasium Saturday afternoon with the memory of losses to Gorham in the Class AA South final the past two years, but the Red Riots also had a more recent setback to overcome – a one-point upset loss Tuesday at Edward Little.

They quickly put their first loss of the season behind them with yet another solid, all-around effort – and mixed in a dose of revenge.

After Gorham’s post standout, Mackenzie Holmes, scored her 1,000th career point early in the game, South Portland responded to the leadership of captain Meghan Graff, opened things up in the second quarter and never looked back in a 54-44 victory.

“The last couple years, it was a focus to beat Gorham because they were so good, but we’re so much more confident this year,” said Red Riots Coach Lynne Hasson. “A loss never feels good, but I still think our attitude is still one game at a time.”

Holmes quickly reached her milestone. After Sarah Boles opened the game with a 3-pointer for South Portland (15-1), Holmes made a layup, then drained a jumper from the wing with 5:48 left in the first quarter to get to 1,000 points in less than three years.

“It’s important to me because we’ve had a lot of team success, but this is the first milestone I’ve had,” said Holmes, who helped the Rams win back-to-back state championships with undefeated seasons. “Obviously, I couldn’t do it without great teammates. I give credit to them.”

Holmes had 10 first-quarter points to keep Gorham (9-7) close, but the Red Riots closed the first quarter on a 10-2 run for a 17-11 lead, thanks to six points from Graff who also sparked her team with a tremendous defensive effort.

“We wanted to pick up the intensity,” Graff said. “When one person works hard on defense, it sets the tone, and the other four pick it up, too.”

South Portland got separation in the second quarter, with 3-pointers from Boles and Eva Mazur, all-around play from Graff, and strong contributions from reserves Ashlee Aceto, Bela Cloutier and Jena Leckie to build a 32-15 advantage.

“We played very good defense and our running game got going and we took pretty good care of the ball,” Hasson said.

Graff (seven rebounds, five assists, three steals) and Maggie Whitmore each finished with 13 points. Katie Whitmore added nine points and five assists.

“This means a lot,” said Katie Whitmore. “It really does. We’ve had them on the ropes for two years, but we finally broke through.”

Gorham got 28 points and 11 rebounds from Holmes.

“I feel like we’re really, really close to being successful,” said Gorham Coach Laughn Berthiaume. “There isn’t a team we would go up against that I don’t think we’d have a chance against. We just have to put together a complete game.”