GORHAM—The Rams suffered their first defeat when Scarborough came to town on Friday evening, Dec. 21: Gorham fell behind early, and despite a 21-point performance from superstar Mackenzie Holmes, couldn’t recover. 50-36 the final.

“They beat us in almost everything that they could have today,” Gorham head coach Laughn Berthiaume said of the opposition. “They were tougher than we were on the backboard. They played harder with their pressure than we did on our press-breaker. And then we’re out of sync on offense; we didn’t have a ton of second shots that I recall.”

Jocelyn Couture and Kayla Conley opened the scoring with a Scarborough two and a Scarborough three, respectively. Gorhamite Courtney Brent picked up her girls’ first points following an offensive rebound deep in the quarter – around 3:40; Holmes added the Rams’ only other buckets of the stretch, just two of them. 13-6 after one.

Jacqui Hamilton fed to Holmes, who fed to Brent underneath for two at the start of the second, cutting the Storm’s lead to 13-9. But Scarborough reacted in a big way – namely, with an 8-1 run. Holmes had a pair of twos and a three before the end of the half, but the Storm still stood on top, 23-17, when the break arrived.

“We didn’t switch on defense when we had the opportunity, and that gave Scarborough driving lanes to penetrate and kick out,” Berthiaume said. “And then, on offense for us, the first shot that we saw, we threw it up there instead of moving the ball around and getting a better one. I didn’t feel like our shot selection was very good, and I think it’s got to get better.”

The teams matched each other through the third: Holmes, Lauren Fotter, Sophia Michaud and Sarah Walker combined to earn 11 for the home team, and Isabella Dickinson, Lindsay Fiorillo and Madison Blanche put together 11 for the visitors. The Rams were keeping pace now with the Storm – but they needed to do better. They needed to make up ground.

“We just need to get better at moving the basketball,” Berthiaume said. “If we move the basketball, then we’re more on balance and we can make some open shots, rather than one pass and a shot.”

Alas, the Rams couldn’t manage to dry the Storm out. In fact, score-wise, Gorham fared their worst against Scarborough in the home stretch, giving up 16 points and managing just eight of their own. Most of those 16 – 11 of them, to be precise – came from the line. But of course, the only difference that makes is in understanding the action; it doesn’t change the outcome: The Storm still won in the end.

“Their kids did a good job,” Berthiaume said of Scarborough. “They had a good game plan and they executed well; they shared the ball well and they attempted a heck of a lot more free-throws that we did. I think they had 26 free-throws and we had nine. That was a big difference too.”

Beyond Holmes’s 21, Brent finished with seven, Fotter with two, Walker with three, Michaud with one and Anna Nelson with two.

Dickinson had 16 for the Storm, Couture 13, Conley six, and Blanche, Fiorillo and Julia Freeman five apiece.

It’s Gorham’s first loss of the season, though it’s also their toughest challenge to date. Worth noting, two of their key figures, Olivia Michaud and Brittany Desjardins, were out for the evening with injuries; no doubt that affected the action. Still, Berthiaume preferred to think he had the kids to win either way – they just couldn’t get it done.

“I’ve got my two starting guards that are on the bench sitting next to me,” Berthiaume said. “They’re both hurt. One of our Captains, and then our starting point guard. So it makes things a little more difficult. But that’s not an excuse. I feel like we’re well-equipped with the kids that we had to be able to play better. Scarborough played better than we did today, and, honestly, if we had those kids, it might not have mattered.”

The Rams slip to 3-1; they welcome Sanford on Thursday the 27th. Scarborough jumps to 4-1; they host Edward Little on Friday the 28th.

Despite all the negatives that hindered Gorham against the Storm, Berthiaume was ready to point at a positive, too. “The kids that came off the bench in the second quarter and third quarter gave us a spark. We had Anna Nelson, Lauren Fotter, Tatyanna Biamby – they all play hard. Sarah Walker stepped into the starting lineup today; she played really hard.”

Adam Birt can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.

Mackenzie Holmes put up 21 for the Rams, but it wasn’t enough.

Anna Nelson turned in a strong effort for the Rams, despite their loss.

Tatyanna Biamby played a strong game for the Rams.

Sophia Michaud ascends toward the basket for the Rams.

Ram Sarah Walker played a critical part on Friday night.

Lauren Fotter vies with a Scarborough opponent in midair.

Courtney Brent put up good points for the Rams.