This was fun to watch.

Fourth-seeded Cheverus survived a big challenge Thursday night from fifth-seeded Windham, holding on in overtime for a 56-50 victory in a Class AA North girls’ basketball quarterfinal.

The Stags got four foul shots each from Abby Cavallaro and Lauren Jordan in overtime to overcome the Eagles in an entertaining game.

“It was a tough one,” said Cavallaro, who led the Stags with 22 points. “And it was fun to play in.”

Neither team blinked, each one putting together scoring runs, then watching the other come back.

Windham forced overtime when Hannah Talon hit a 3-pointer with 39.3 seconds remaining, then took the lead in overtime on a basket by Meghan Hoffses. But Cheverus responded with tight defense and an unshakable belief.

“I just kept thinking, ‘Senior year, senior year, senior year, Civic Center, Civic Center,’ ” said Cavallaro. “Not only playing for myself, but playing for all the other seniors on the team … we want to go far. We wanted to come out and prove to teams that we are competitive.”

Cheverus (12-7) will play top-ranked Oxford Hills (16-3) in a semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena. The Stags lost to Oxford Hills 62-27 on Jan. 31.

Windham (9-10) defeated Cheverus 46-43 in the season opener.

“(We) fought tooth and nail from the get-go,” said Eagles Coach Brody Artes. “We were very resilient all night, and that’s what (we) needed to be against a team like that.”

Hoffses had a phenomenal game, scoring 24 points. Her 3-pointer on the game’s first shot gave the Eagles the lead, but Cheverus responded with 12 consecutive points.

From there, the Eagles kept answering. They pulled within one in the second quarter, only to see Emme Poulin hit three 3-pointers in 1:16 to push the lead to 10. Windham kept rallying and led 39-38 heading into the fourth after Hoffses scored a transition jumper.

Cheverus controlled the early minutes of the fourth, going ahead 44-39 on a 3-pointer by Cavallaro from the top of the key. A Talon spinning drive pulled Windham within 44-43 before Cavallaro hit two foul shots for a 46-43 lead.

That’s when Talon stepped up and hit her tying 3-pointer from the right wing. Cheverus had one last shot but missed inside, and on to overtime it went.

Hoffses scored on a short jumper to give the Eagles the lead, but with 1:42 left Cavallaro was fouled by Hoffses on a drive. That was Hoffses’ fifth foul and she was out of the game. Cavallaro hit the foul shot to complete the three-point play, and Cheverus led, 49-48.

After a Windham miss, Jordan was fouled with 1:29 remaining and hit both free throws to make it 51-48.

“You’ve got to keep your head at the end of the games,” said Jordan, who finished with nine points. “It’s just, I don’t to miss because I don’t want to let anyone down. And if I miss and they go down and score, it’s a letdown.”

Cavallaro hit 2 of 4 foul shots and Jordan added two with 21.1 seconds left.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” said Cheverus Coach Gary Fifield. “They’re a tough matchup for us because they’re so athletic. But we kept our composure even when they tied it up with the 3 and then took the lead in overtime … (We) really dug down.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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