Edward Little finally pulled away from a gritty Windham team Friday night and won the Class AA North boys’ basketball title 50-35 at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Windham was looking for its second straight upset, but after knocking off two-time champion Portland, the big shots ended one quarter too soon.

Mike Gilman – who scored the winning basket against Portland – drained a step-back 3-pointer off the dribble to make it 32-32 at the end of the third quarter.

Windham made only one more shot.

Edward Little outscored the Eagles 18-3 in the fourth quarter. Ibn Khalid and then Wol Maiwen took over offensively, and Tyler Morin came up with consecutive key steals to avert fast-break layup chances for Windham.

“Our team and our players, we’re tough guys,” said Maiwen. “I just knew that sometimes I had to step up and make a couple of plays. I’d say our whole team is one of the best defensive teams and Tyler Morin making plays like that is just phenomenal.”

Second-seeded Edward Little (17-4) will appear in its first state final since 2010 when it takes on Scarborough (17-4) at 9 p.m., March 2 in Portland. Edward Little’s last state title came in 1946.

The Eddies lost in the state final in 2009 and 2010, with the 2010 championship eventually vacated by Cheverus because it was ruled that the Stags’ star, Indiana Faithfull, was ineligible.

“Hopefully we can get one more win,” said Mike Adams, in his 18th season as the Eddies’ coach. “We’ve been in two since I’ve been at (Edward Little). I know what it feels like to lose that game. We want to enjoy this, and they should, but we’re not done.”

Fourth-ranked Windham (15-6), still in search of its first regional championship after setting a school record for wins, was led by Nick Curtis with 16 points. Gilman added 13.

“We had to work really hard to limit what they could do because they’re great players,” Adams said.

The Eagles hung with the considerably larger Eddies for three quarters. Windham center Chris Naylor played on an injured ankle. Key reserve Hunter Coffin (injured) and Dierhow Bol (ineligible), who were part of a regular-season win against Edward Little, didn’t play.

“The season is just a mirror image of these kids. They don’t give up. They fight to the end,” said Windham Coach Chad Pulkkinen.

Maiwen, named the tournament’s outstanding player, finished with 22 points and nine rebounds. Khalid scored 13 points, six in the fourth quarter, after spending most of the game chasing the dangerous Gilman through a maze of ball screens.

Khalid scored five straight early in the fourth to push a one-point lead to 39-33.

Then, in quick succession, Austin Brown blocked a Naylor shot and saved it from going out of bounds, Morin came up with his two swipes by running down plays from behind.

That’s when Maiwen went to work with two inside buckets to push the lead into double digits for the first time, 43-33 with less than three minutes to play.

The Eddies then made 7 of 8 free throws (they were 6 of 14 previously at the line) to cinch the win.

Windham had not shot the ball to its normal standards through the first three quarters, then was 1 of 11 in the fourth.

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