STANDISH — Gorham High won the opening tip. The Rams worked the ball to Bode Meader for a 3-pointer.

That was not a good sign for Bonny Eagle, but circumstances soon changed.

The Scots tightened their defense considerably, scored the next eight points and never trailed again.

Bonny Eagle advanced in the Class AA playoffs with a 47-33 win over the Rams, in a South quarterfinal game Tuesday against No. 1 Scarborough.

Zach Maturo led Bonny Eagle with 16 points. William Hendrix scored 14 and Connor Sirois added 10. Tom Nelson scored 12 for Gorham. Meader added nine.

No. 4 Bonny Eagle improved to 7-12, while No. 5 Gorham is finished at 7-12. The Scots advance to the semifinals Tuesday at the Cross Insurance Center, against No. 1 Scarborough (15-4). The Red Storm and Scots met in December with Scarborough winning, 52-34.

Bonny Eagle and Gorham also met once this season, three weeks ago with the Rams hitting 12 3-pointers and winning by 20 points.

This time, the Scots played a swarming man-to-man defense and held Gorham to 23 percent shooting, with four 3-pointers.

“We really didn’t shoot the ball very well, and they did a good job matching up on us and not giving us anything easy,” Gorham Coach Mark Karter said.

There was one other difference from the game last month – the Scots welcomed the return of Hendrix, a 6-foot-3 junior who has missed seven games with a sprained ankle.

“I’ve been watching practice. I just wanted to play,” Hendrix said. “I was excited to get back.”

So were the Scots. Hendrix gave them an inside presence.

“He gets us going,” Maturo said. “He facilitates the offense so much more and makes it easier.”

With Maturo flying around, finding open teammates, and Hendrix muscling inside, the Scots were a tough matchup.

“(Hendrix) makes them a different team,” Karter said. “He’s a big part of what they do.”

Karter wanted his team to work the ball in more, but Hendrix made that a problem. Outside, an array of Scots – Maturo, his brother Casey, Sirois and Jacob Humphrey among them – gave the Rams little room to move, let alone shoot.

“We’ve grown up a little bit, I think,” Bonny Eagle Coach Mike Francoeur said. “Tonight was fun. I was happy for the kids. It’s been one of those seasons where we’ve been close, but have not been successful on the scoreboard. At the end of the season, you’ve won six games. I’m hoping this win makes them realize we really are having a great year.”

The Scots shot 50 percent for the game, including 7 for 10 in the first quarter when they took a 17-9 lead.

That lead grew to 10 in the second quarter, until Gorham’s Nick Stout hit a 3-pointer to close it to 26-19 at halftime.

But the Rams hit only two field goals in the third quarter, and the Scots began to pull away. Jackson Bean’s 3-pointer made it 33-23.

The lead reached 15 points in the fourth quarter, until a Gorham rally closed it to 41-33 with 2:50 left. The Rams did not make another basket.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH